Tag Archive | Social problems

One shot, Two shots…

firearm, revolver, bullets, gun, shooting

one shot,

two shots,

three shots

… twenty more 

target is down,

and he’s stone cold dead.

 

A life is lost,

a son is gone,

a brother is taken,

a husband is no more,

a father is killed,

a friend is dead

the list goes on…

 

To them,

he’s just another

disposable black man.

His phone,

a weapon

that struck fear

in their hearts.

How is it that a black man can be killed in his own backyard where even his phone is mistaken as a weapon. He’s riddled with enough bullets to take a small army, yet serial killers get taken peacefully, living at the expense of taxpayers and they get to have their day in court?

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A Day in the life of a Maid…..a true recount

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When we came here for a look-see in December, to help facilitate our migrating decision-making process, we spent weeks in a glitzy, glam hotel having a tour of the lovely city.

Hotels spuriously dot Dubai’s landscape to meet the needs of a teeming tourism industry which keeps blooming by the day. From the 0 stars to 5 stars and the only 7 Star hotel in the World!

Naturally, I got a bit friendly with a few of the staff, especially a young lady that tended to our room. I have no idea if I was drawn to her because she is of African descent, but I remember observing her very earnest yet polite demeanour as she rushed through her duties like a fire-ball in a haste to get her job done in record time.

The little tips that I gave her were highly appreciated and by the end of a few days, we became a little more friendly. I even suggested to her that I would like to share a day working with her for the heck of the experience to her alarmed and vehement refusal.

Out of piqued curiosity an interview ensued on one of the days that she was making up the room, little did I know that I would use the excerpts one day!

I will keep her name different and no mention is made of the hotels for privacy sake:

Me: “Lydia, where are you from?”

Lydia : “Somalia.”

Me: “How long have you been living here?”

Lydia : “Three years now.”

Me: “Wow!”  “That’s been a while!” “Do you live close by?”

Lydia: “Not at all.” “The outskirts, after Sharjah.” “It’s too expensive to live in the city.”

Me: “That’s far! (I exclaimed with the little idea that I had to the terrain). ”What time do you leave home?”

Lydia: ”Most times 5 or 5:30 in the morning!” ”I have to be at work by 7:30.”

Me: “And I see you here till late evening around 9.00pm or so when the bus is taking a bunch of you home.” “Doe’s the bus take you home?”

Lydia: “No it stops us at a metro station and we find our way from there.”

Me: “Oh good!” “So how do you like it living here?” “Was it easy to transition from your place?” “I thought it was a bit difficult to move here as a single woman, given the rules and regulations?” A battery of questions came from my end and all these while she busily went about her duties in the apartment, changing sheets, fluffing pillows etc.

Lydia: “It’s okay to live here even though it is more expensive than Somalia, but this place is better.” “An employment agency engages a lot of us.” “We cannot apply directly by ourselves and they are the ones that obtain the visa after medical tests and other requirements have been satisfied.” ”The agency gets a fraction of our income – they are actually our employers and they deploy us to work in places where they get contracts.”

Me: ”How did you get to know about the agency?” ”Are you happy with the work?”

Lydia: ”My cousin told me about them.” ”We were searching for a proper way to leave Somalia because of certain hardship due to conflicts.” I observed the flitting of emotions on her pretty face, but I didn’t interrupt as I was regaled with bits and pieces of what home meant to her.

Me: ”So what about the job?” ”Is it tedious?” ”Is it okay?” ”What has your experience been like?” I asked leading questions trying to probe a bit beyond the surface.

Lydia: ”Sometimes, I do about 35 check-outs in a day.” I got to understand that, that meant putting rooms in immaculate states when an occupant has checked out.

Some days can be very stressful especially when some occupants are difficult and don’t want you to disturb them until when they are ready.” ”Then they call and tell housekeeping that nobody has done up their rooms; meanwhile, they are the ones that put a do not disturb sign on the door.” ”What can you do?” ”You just have to manage.” She stated philosophically

Every job has it’s problems, but if I get money, I will open a hairdressing salon.” ”I know how to make hair very well.” Her face lit up at such an anticipated prospect.

This is actually my second place of work.” ”At the first hotel that I worked in, I was nearly assaulted by a client.” ”It was during a festive season and the hotel was fully booked at that time.” ‘I was assigned to work that floor for the week and this man kept making overtures but I ignored him.” ”On one of the days that I was cleaning up the toilet (and he is a very messy guest), he followed me into the bathroom, got aggressive and tried to force himself on me.” ”I barely managed to extricate myself without getting seriously hurt, but the Indian housekeeping manager informed me two days later that I was fired for upsetting a customer.”

I was lucky that the agency was understanding and they deployed me to this place.” ”This is a better hotel, she enunciated quietly in her sing-song drawling accent. ”The manager is a nice Egyptian Christian.”

I was very disquietened and left the interview at that with a bigger tip than usual.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt FAQ

Interview someone — a friend, another blogger, your mother, the mailman — and write a post based on their responses.

The Face Of Evil..

In response to The Daily Post prompt Wicked Witch

Write about evil: how you understand it (or don’t), what you think it means, or a way it’s manifested, either in the world at large or in your life.

Love most important

Evil lies at every door!
Sneaky and eager to slip in,
When the door is left unlocked,
Evil slips in unwatched!

In each of us exists a Jekyll and Hyde,
Always a tussle between Good and Bad,
Who wins is left for you to say,
Because, indeed, evil lies at the door!

She doesn’t look like the wicked witch from East-wick,
Neither does she resemble the witch from Far East,
But resides in all those, with malevolent eyes,
Indeed, evil lies at the door!

She needs not have a hooked, pimply nose,
Nor cast spells over,
Pots of mumbo-jumbo,
A minutes delay, the spell is done,
Indeed, evil slips in through the door!

S/he comes well packaged in lovely gift wraps,
S/he comes sensuous, sleek with soft touch,
Glossy and sweet, like everything nice,
A little taste and then its doom,
Indeed, evil lies at the door!

S/he needs no crooked black hat,
Nor a black cat that spits with squinted eyes,
She needs no broom,
To get her vroom,
Yes indeed, evil lies at the door!

At the door of an unrepentant heart,
With no sense of remorse!
At the door of wicked pleasure,
From others pain and misery!
At the door of abuse, loneliness, violence and more,
Yes indeed, evil lies at the door!

Guard your hearts and minds!

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha