Standing between two banks along Catholic Mission Street waiting for a motorcycle to take me to my next destination, a disheveled man stood a few metres away, looking like he has no good intentions. With the side of my eye I noticed he would go and stay real close to the security personnel of the bank on my right and at other time, help him do his job by conducting cars coming to and leaving the bank on how best to park and leave.
Being in the sun does nothing good for my body beyond drain my body fluids as well as give me room to have suspicious thoughts. Motorcycles I flagged down did not like my destination as the cyclist would shake his head once he heard “bookshop” and take off. I began to think “petty thief” as I stole side glances towards the disheveled man who now oscillated between being in close proximity to me and the banks security personnel. Finally, about ten minutes later, he turned to me and spoke: ‘wich kin tin be dis, na 400 naira kip me here o! yestaday, dey bring me cum do work, I do am, o ya pay me my moni, dey say cum tomoro, dey say paper need to move from desk for approval before the moni go reach me. For 400 naira I don talk tire, I no fit go back, I just dey, dey wait dem, wich kin tin be dis.”

As I walked away to pick another spot to stand, and put some distance between him and me, I glanced at him and then the bank…how sad, the reality of the life of a worker in some spheres of the working class of citizens. A pathetic tale.

To me that was definitely a small sum; to this worker his life seemed to depend on it. When the Bible talked about a worker being worthy of his wages, I strongly doubt it envisaged the worker would undergo such just to get  the money after the work had been completed. Another scripture actually says: ‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight’ Lev 19:13b
Most times in our society, we get to celebrate the workers in the white-collar jobs almost always over looking the blue-collar job workers. They do the handyman efficiently. This is not hard given the fact that quite a number of them do look suspicious in their seemingly perpetual state of being disheveled and coupled with the foul smell they ooze out from break of day till sunset.

Aah! You may say sure some don’t deserve the wage particularly when they have carried out a shoddy job that will cost you more time and money to repair. If a bad mechanic has touched your car before…you understand and would think along these lines. But when it was written a worker is worthy of his wages, there was no proviso or exception given to qualify that. I Timothy 5:18b …’and a worker deserves his wages.’ (Matthew 10:10, Luke 10:7 & I Cor 9: 14)

As we celebrate workers day…I want to celebrate the gardeners, handymen, house helps, cooks, cleaners, messengers, drivers, gatemen and all others of the blue-collared jobs specifically. Thank you for making the white collar jobs less stressful by the services you render.

Copyright © 30th April, 2011

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