She stood in the slowly expanding pool of water that was gathering on the kitchen floor and thought of every name in the book of really evil names that could be ascribed to a human being; none seemed evil enough. Her kitchen sink was leaking for the umpteenth time and if the plumber were standing in front of her, even the thought of jail would not have deterred her from committing murder.

Of Plumbers, Mechanics and a host of others who won’t make heaven
Plumber at work/Pic: Shutterstock

The hood of the car was open and she stood looking in perplexity at the numerous cables and odd looking pieces of twisted metal in the engine. It all looked so unfriendly! The car for which she had just emptied her account a few days before had stopped her smack in the middle of the highway and she had no idea what was wrong. Nothing should be wrong, not after her mechanic had sworn that he had fixed the problem just two days prior.

The dress that Aisha had just collected from the tailor looked like a cross between a potato sack and a shroud. Whatever it was, she could not imagine ever putting it on in this life or the next. Her expensive fabric was ruined.

Lisa was crying tears of anger and frustration as she watched her two-year old limping in obvious pain from the abscess that had developed following the careless way the emergency room Nurse had administered the supposedly life-saving drip a few weeks earlier.

Several years ago a Swiss and his Nigerian friend were discussing and the Swiss remarked that it was amazing that you could find some of the best Doctors, Lawyers and other professionals but you could not find a competent plumber to fix a leaking faucet! The scenarios above are not fictional except for the names. How is it possible that you ask a plumber to fix a leaking tap and he somehow ensures that you wake up to meet a mini swimming pool in your kitchen or bathroom a few days later?

And then, there’s the mechanic.

Of Plumbers, Mechanics and a host of others who won’t make heaven
Mechanic at work/Pic: Shutterstock

You need to understand something about the Nigerian mechanic. He is not really a car repairer; what he is can be better described as ‘changer of parts.’ Because that is what the good ones of them do. They fiddle with your car, identify what they think the problem is and they buy a part and replace. Those are the competent ones. And they are very few. For the most part, they play a game of “tumbu-tumbu” with your car. Tumbu-Tumbu is a guessing game played by village kids across Nigeria. A classic case of trial and error. In the process the mechanic often leaves your car in a worse state than they met it. Many a tale of woe have been told by unfortunate victims.

The next category in our line up are Tailors. Fashion designers. Dress makers. They go by a variety of names but do not let the fancy names fool you. If you ever fall into the hands of this group you would conclude that Heaven cannot be for everybody. They accept to make you an outfit and take your measurement. They promise to have it ready in five days and you make a ‘deposit’ payment without which they will not as much as unwrap your fabric. Then you go away and begin to plan for that special occasion. Dream on. Five months later after several threats to call in the Police, the Navy and the Army, you are finally handed something that leaves you in frustrated and angry tears! To make matters worse, they tell you

“But Madam e resemble am nah!” (Madam it looks like what you asked me to make). At such times the only sensible option is to donate the outfit to the less-privileged. If you make the mistake of asking them to make any amendments you run the risk of committing murder when you see the final outcome of the repair job.

But by far the most dangerous group on our list of those who will not make Heaven are the Emergency Room Nurses in the public hospitals. They have been known to send many an unfortunate victim to an early grave because of their often careless and sometimes downright cruel attitude. A patient in obvious agony could be left groaning while the Nurses hold a parliament to decide what is more important-attending to patients or continuing with whatever interesting tale they were telling before the patient came in. Their insensitivity is not restricted to any group of person; the level is determined by an inner working deep down in their minds. A sick old man could be the object of scorn at the same time as a cute looking baby. A well-dressed young lady is as much at risk as a smelly young man. Some of these ER Nurses take a special delight in tormenting pregnant women, no matter the age of the pregnancy. They do it all with practised indifference.

I know that someone will protest that not all of these professionals are like that. I agree. There are exceptionally good plumbers, mechanics, tailors, nurses and other such professionals out there, and they will go to Heaven. But there are enough bad eggs among the lot to be a cause for concern. And it is to this lot that I speak: “Repent now or else, don’t even think about Heaven!” You have been warned!

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