My former boss once told me about her driver, she said – “I wonder how Baba Shukura makes it to the island by 5o’clock every day, for Christ’s sakes the man comes from Agbara, he has about six children and I pay him just 45thousand naira. Well, just so I don’t feel guilty I usually give him one thousand naira every day after work as transport fare home, that way he does not have to spend so much on transportation”
I shook my head and smiled while in my mind I muttered – Baba shukura is so down the pecking order he actually feels you are a saint. He (baba Shukura) once boasted to me of how well Madam pays him, how he never have to pay for his own food and how his transport money is always sorted, by the way he never actually goes home he stays at Ajah till the weekend and by 5am on Monday, he is back!
Anyone who lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria should either have a driver or work as one, if one has to do an estimate of how much of productive time is wasted on the road, whether it be long distance driving or slow traffic in ratio with the actual time spent working, one would realize the sheer waste of transit time
Drivers also serve as multipurpose laborers and they save you lots of money, so he gets paid as driver, but when he is not driving, the employers make it a point of duty to fill in the ‘free time’ with gardening, errands etc. Besides, it is scarcely stated whose driver he is, so he gets to drive husband, wife, children and even extended family. That makes him really work the work of whatever he is paid. Having a driver also cuts the cost of and time of going to car wash or is he not supposed to take care of his office?
Driver is a companion by compulsion even to places he doesn’t like, so if you get one you just got a free companion paid only for driving, most sincere people scarcely get a driver unless they are extremely busy or getting too old to drive, several other people that get drivers don’t only want drivers, they need them for several other reasons that doesn’t get stated. My mentor once said his driver goes everywhere he goes so his wife is always sure he is not cheating on her.
Drivers are also an available head to heap the blame on when cars get bashed and pour the frustration when delay says hi even if he is not at fault, Drivers take away d tension, Increase reputation, more like emotional shock absorbers, It seems to be a cheap way to buy ‘levels’ Such that even the employee has an employee called driver.
At times I look at the car, owner and driver and three of them evidently need help, what some folks especially in places like Lagos will spend on their health for driving for a month is more than the driver’s salary, so it’s good business for the business owners and those in management but beyond the economics, in some really nice cases, driver stay so long with some employers that they literally become part of the family, I didn’t bother stating the obvious that it reduces the population of job hunters as well, educated people can now take up the job and answer the title, “Chauffeur”
Of course you know that economics is not limited to financial implications, it’s value in general.