Artisans have been known as people who don’t keep to their words when it comes to satisfying their customers both in the quality of service rendered and in keeping to time. Is this attitude a part of their training or just the selfish interest of some bad eggs among them? KEHINDE AJOBIEWE writes.
Whenever the need arises for you to take your fabrics to a tailor to sew for you or take your faulty vehicle and electronic gadgets to mechanics or electricians as the case may be, for repairs, you cannot help but ask yourself these questions; “Am I taking these items to the right place? I hope these people will not remove something from my vehicle and replace it with an inferior part? Will I get my cloth when I need it and will this tailor give me the style that I have chosen?
These are few of the questions that come to the minds of people when they need the services of artisans, who are tailors, motor mechanics, electricians, among others. Some of the artisans have turned their jobs into lines of lies and dishonesty because of greed and laziness.
While the apprentices under the tutelage of some of the artisans as in the case of mechanics are often found in the habits of fixing inferior motor parts in the vehicles of their customers, and sometimes fixing the old part that the customer has brought to them for repair. This is also the same in the case of repair engineers called ‘electricians’.
Tailors are not left out as some of them always fail to beat deadline when clothes are given to them, some even go as far as not giving their customers the styles they requested for because of laziness.
Narrating his own experience Sunday Jeremiah, a commercial vehicle owner, told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY of how he fell victim to a dubious motor mechanic in Jos. “On my way to Lantang, my car developed problem and stopped moving so I took it to a mechanic workshop nearby. As I left my car there, they asked me to come back for it in two days time, but on getting there on the agreed day I was asked to come back again. They kept on posting me for over a week until I decided to come to my house here in Abuja. Later I was called to come and carry my car, that they had finished repairing it. I left Abuja for Jos only to discover that my car had not been repaired, instead I was asked to give them money to buy some parts. Unfortunately for me, I had to spend two weeks and three days after giving them the money, before my car was finally released to me. On my way coming to Abuja again, the same car that had taken them three weeks to repair developed problem. I had to take it to a mechanis workshop in Abuja where it was eventually fixed”, he said.
But it is not all artisans that are dubious after all, if one takes thepains to know them; you will find some to be honest and efficient. The workshop that Sunday took his vehicle to in Abuja falls into this category.
According to him, “In the shop where I finally repaired my car, they are very honest, they take their work seriously. Anywhere my car develops a fault and I call them, they are always there to fix the problem. The way I observed the mechanics that worked on my car in Jos, they just did what they did to get money out of me. They are not particular about good name, if they were, they cannot put something bad in your car and make you think they have fixed the problem”.
Sunday feels that artisans should always do what is right to satisfy their customers, and promote their good image instead of enriching their pockets. “In anything they do, artisans should always work towards satisfying their customers first in order for them to retain such customers’ patronage and enjoy the patronage and the patronage of their friends whom they would be willing to introduce to them“, he added.
Similar to the unforgettable experience of Sunday Jeremiah is the story of Ebi Lawal, who took her tape recorder for repairs, only for her to be disappointed four months later by her supposed technician. She told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that, “The guy repairs electronics of diverse models and sizes in Wuse, Abuja. In July this year, I gave him my recorder to fix and even paid him N1,500 in advance. He assured me that he would repair it promptly only to end up not repaired for four months. Although he had repaired some of my other electronics in the past because he is proficient at his job, but he never delivers on time. Instances abound where he has been dragged to police stations either for the non-fixing of the customers’ items of for the loss of electronic items given to him to repair but which got missing after staying with him for a long time
However, Matthew Babatunde, a panel beater, feels some customers are to blame for the short-comings of the artisans. He told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that although some artisans are fond of collecting jobs from customers without doing it to their satisfaction, some of the customers are guilty of the offense of encouraging the use of cheaper and inferior spare parts for their vehicles.
“There are lots of people out there that would collect work from customers, but will not put things in order, my advice for them is to change their ways for them to have lots of customers who will appreciate whatever service they have to render to them.”
“But sometimes it is not the fault of artisans or their apprentices to fix inferior spare parts in vehicles. Some of the blames go to the parts sellers, because the spares that some of them sell are inferior. Apart from this, some customers too don’t like to spend money. For example a customer who wants to change the brake pad of his vehicle, is asked to bring N5,000, but prefers to go for one which costs N1,500, because he feels his mechanic has inflated the price to cheat him. You don’t expect such cheap things to last long. It’s not that some of these people do not know their work well, they know what they are doing, the major problem lies with the customers, when you tell them the right thing they feel you want to cheat them”, he said.
In situations where artisans don’t meet deadlines, he said, “Our work is not predictable, the work you think will take you three hours to accomplish, could take a longer time due to unforseen circumstances in the course of effecting repairs”. Olarewaju Bayo, a motor mechanic feels it is exactly what an artisan does in the presence of his apprentice that he follows. “Some of these artisans will always inflate the prices of spare parts even in the presence of their apprentice, and that is why you see them buying inferior motor parts to fix in customers’ vehicles. I will indulge everyone, mechanics, tailors and other artisans, to always be honest to their customers in order to project a good image of our business and promote our jobs”, he said.