In what seems like a lifetime ago, I worked in Lekki and lived at the other end of town. Before the completion of the first phase of the Lekki Epe Expressway, commuting to and from work was not fun. I’d get to work and my colleagues and I would gather in the tea-room swapping tales about how long it took us to get home the day before and then compare it to how long it took to get to work this morning.
Then, my friend moved to Ajao-Estate and all was well with the world. I could now car-pool. This meant that I could go to and from work without having to curse my ancestors for not being wealthy arabs. On the long ride to and from work, I’d gist with my friend, press my phone and on some off days I’d sleep till we get to the “Airtel billboard” on the 3rd Mainland bridge stretch. I didn’t think too much of this time until last week when my friend Tolulope sent me a Blackberry message “When you used to go to work with Muyiwa, did you ever sleep during the ride?” I thought about it long and hard; “well, not really! That time was mostly our gist time so I’m sure I spent 85% of the time chatting away like the parrot that I am.”
Tolulope’s issue is this: She gives some of her colleagues at work a ride to and from work and she noticed a trend. They like to sleep. According to her, she found this habit quite disconcerting and rather annoying. “I’m not their driver”
This was a tricky one. Did she want them to stay up and talk to her? If they were not in the car would she not still drive her car? She responded that she knew she sounded a little unreasonable but she couldn’t help but be a little miffed. “To make matters worse, whenever we’re approaching where they’ll get off, one of them makes sure she brushes her hair and leave hair all over my car. I’m really tired of carrying them”
I laughed at her, consoled her and then told her this matter could easily be solved by telling them to stop sleeping in the car even though she’d sound ridiculous. However, I remembered when I used to drive to work and someone I gave a ride to had this constant habit of pressing her Blackberry phone and giggling incessantly. I suffered in silence. It used to drive me crazy for some reason but after a while, I just zoned out and cranked up the volume of my car stereo.
What do you guys think about car-pooling? As driver, do you feel the people in your car owe you an obligation to stay attentive and keep you company? As a “rider” do you feel like you don’t owe the driver any duty of care. Do you think that it’s absolutely unreasonable to have expectations from people whom you give rides to? Do you make a conscious effort to show appreciation to person you car-pool with? Do these things really matter or is Tolulope just being pedantic?
Photo credit: style-angelina.blogspot.com