THE DRIVER AND THE PASSENGER; THE ULTIMATE PROFIT BATTLE

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No matter the ills bemoaned by both parties, the relationship between the commercial driver and passenger is one that can never near divorce. According to statistics, about 12 million (60.29%) of vehicles in Nigeria are commercial vehicles. With about 10 million people owning both private and government vehicles, the number of people that make use of commercial vehicles stands at about 180 million people. These statistics shows that the commercial or public transport sector is a pivotal organ for nation building. However, just as seen sometimes in a marriage affair, often times, the relationship between the commercial cab or bus driver and the passenger turns sour.
One may ask, why? Poor ethical principles? Or has the economic condition of the country taken so much toll on each individual? The last inquired question seems best fit. But at the end of the day, you’ll discover that the problem boils from a major aspect of life that has often pushed man to his limits. Making profit! To create an outfit for this discussion, we’ll seek to create a balance sheet in order to allude to the essence of making a profit.

THE DRIVER.
On this side of the balance sheet, we have the driver. A primer in the business of commercial transport whose only aim, just like every other person, is to make profit. He on this note, postulates with his a most autocratic theory. On which is that the passenger is at his mercy. On a fortunate day at work, a driver can decide not to board a passenger that he sees as unyielding to his business. He might also decide not to lower the price rate of his services, which on a normal day, he’s expected to. The pointer is the fact that he has made enough profit for the day or expected to make even more. The driver also believes that the passenger has no right to cause a ruckus in his cabal. He therefore, frequently ascertains his claims to the vehicle as the passenger begins to come on board. Statements like these are often heard:
‘Come on in with your change! If you no get change abeg commot (pidgin for if you don’t have change, don’ board the car).
‘Don’t slam my door!’
In a bid to have a more overload psyche, the driver tends to go down on different hard drinks. You walk past a garage board that says ‘don’t drink and drive, don’t drive while drinking,’ and find a driver gearing up the engine of his car with a shot of gin trickling down his throat.
With the face of the economy now seeming irredeemable, the driver has gone rogue in his attempt to transcend the harsh economic conditions. Double now is the price to pay for salvation. As for the passenger, what shall the righteous do if the foundation be faulty?
(2) The passenger: The passenger serves as the other balance medium in this equation. The passenger thinks he holds the commodity I.e money that ensures the driver’s survival. He thinks he must be treated with utmost respect. At times, the passenger tries his best to remain calm with the driver in order to ensure a smooth ride. In other times, the passenger loses a but in the head. He claims that the driver has no right to treat him like trash or deliver poor or reckless driving services.
‘I’ll pay, you know?’ He might say.
However crazy the passenger might act, he always has it at the back of his kind that he is at the mercy of the driver. The driver might decide to ditch the passenger in-between travel. An act in contrast to the goal of the passenger, that is, to arrive early and safely at his destination. Therefore, we can conclude that in this relationship, the driver cuts the best of deal and consequently, makes more profit.
But life as it seems, is a circle. The same driver who thinks he has made a good profit, has as his passengers, artisans, traders, doctors, engineers, bankers etc. At the end of the day, he takes his profit and loses it to these same passengers. So, the table turns. The driver is now at the mercy of the passenger. Balanced, as all things should be.


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