I'm so sorry I've not been posting. I need money. I can't even deny it or overstate it. I need money.
I've never been one who asks for financial favours easily so I have to work for mine.
I'm telling you I need money because that's why I'm mad. The fact that I just threw away something that I desperately need.
So last week I got a call from the HR of a multinational company asking me to make some supplies. Among these supplies, I am (I'm saying am because I'm staying positive that I will still get this contract) supposed to supply notepads and 2018 diaries. Now, they wanted me to come in and make a presentation for notepads first as that's the most urgent. So while I have access to numerous printers, I used Segun (not real name). I used him because he's the one who handles all the printing jobs for my cousin's bank which is one of the big banks in the country. I needed quality because my clients are all about quality and luxury. So I wasn't going to give just any printer. I figured that if Segun prints for big banks and solid oil companies then he's definitely the right guy.
I went to see Segun on Friday last week and we sat in his office and discussed what I wanted. I wanted three different samples with 2 copies each. That's 6 notepads, right? So you can imagine my shock when Segun charged me N30,000, for something another good printer had charged me 3k for. Well, I needed quality so I had to pay for quality, that's what I told myself. I needed him to start printing immediately as I didn't have much time so I didn't argue much, as long as he delivered. But the 30k for 6 notepads sounded really steep so I pointed out that I'm not one of those his big clients, I'm just me, and I don't even have money! He said he was even giving me a huge discount because he knew that I'm still a young business, so he was actually helping me.
My presentation was at 10am in Apapa yesterday. I had to go and pick up the samples from his office at Lagos Island and then head to Apapa and if you live in Lagos then you know how dreadful Apapa traffic is. I got to his office and had to wait for him to get there, waited over an hour. Immediately he came I grabbed my samples, told him I'd send the balance and jumped into the car. I was already an hour late for my presentation and I was still on the Island!
When I got into the car I couldn't believe my eyes. You people will not understand. This guy did what any road side printer would have done. I swear I wanted to die! It wasn't horrible but it was devastatingly ordinary, kind of life wedding souvenir notebook. I wanted to cry.
I went for my presentation and I could tell that the HR team were completely unimpressed. Before I went in, I called Segun to ask; just in case we get this job I need to know how much to bill them, because they will ask. So how much does each unit cost, basically if we get the job how much will you charge me for each unit? Segun tells me that the hardcovers cost 500 and the soft covers 300. He did 2 hardcovers and 4 softcovers.
Brethren help me do the math.
500 x 2 = 1,000
300 x 4 = 1,200
Total = 2,200
Amount paid by me = 30,000
Can you now understand why I am enraged! This guy not only delivered extremely subpar work, he over over-charged me for it.
I'm going to make a presentation again this week and I've contracted another printer. I really need this job because if my first impression was ruined, chances are that they may not even let me come back to make presentations for the other supplies. They may just write me off totally and I won't even blame them for that. I would do the same! Besides, I refuse to be known as "that lady that brought wedding souvenir to show us".
I realize that Segun treated my job the way he did because he has big clients paying him by the millions so he didn't see the need to pay close attention to mine. That's fine. I've learnt from this. I will stick with workers who are young and equally as hungry as I am. We tend to work with more passion and vigor because we need ALL that we can get.
That said, I had only paid Seun 15,000 and was meant to pay him the balance yesterday. After all that transpired and the revelation of the actual cost, also taking into consideration the work which the HR understandably just tossed aside, I was tempted not to give him his balance.
In my shoes what would you have done? Would you have grudgingly paid him his full balance as agreed? Would you have paid some of the balance and ask him to get lost? Or would you tell him "I'm not paying you a penny more, I'm in my house come and beat me"?
What would you do?
Ps: I paid him his complete balance immediately after my presentation. I'm only asking what you would do in my shoes.