Ugandanisms: Regarding Payments
They call it purpose. Having a reason to wake up every morning. You call it survival, having to wake up every morning to go to work. You have never had to guts to say it out loud, because they will call you entitled. It’s the millennial curse.
They lied. When they said that study to get a job, and live a good life. Your job can only cater for rent, transport, lunch or supper. Never both. Breakfast is for the weak. The discussion of staying with your parents until you can afford to stay on your own is one I will leave for another day. You don’t have the guts to voice your complaints – it’s more than many have, stop being ungrateful.
You are after all, grateful to have a job. Even though your employer seems to think the payment you agreed to is a mere suggestion. What’s a few delayed or half payments in the grand scheme of things? Nothing. So what if the company can afford to pay the full amount, on time but chooses not to? At least you have a job, you are not part of the unemployment statistic.
You have big plans, and they don’t involve doing pinky ponky about which meal you shall have that day. And so you look for extra income, get a job on the side. In theory, the numbers add up. In reality, you are chasing payments for months. You are hopeful, may be they will pay one day. At that point, hope is all you have.
Your friends have it worse. Their employers don’t know about the concept of salary raise. They need your help, once in a while. The look of sadness on their faces is your undoing, and so you go ahead and give them that loan. Not because you can afford it but because you believe that if sides were reversed, they would do the same. The gratitude in their voice as they promise to pay the debt at the end of the month is the only guarantee you need. Until months go by, and you haven’t been cleared. You don’t want to bring it up so soon, so you wait a little bit longer. May be they don’t have it yet, may be they will pay next week. The ‘don’t have it’ bit is cleared when you see them living lavishly on Snapchat. Meanwhile you have a schedule for when you check out Snapchat (and it’s not every day), so there’s probably more lavish living that you don’t see.
In my experience, there are three things that we, as Ugandans need to work on regarding payments;
- Communication: If you owe someone money, and for whatever reason, you are not in position to pay them at the agreed upon time, call/text them and let them know. If you are able to commit to a new date, do otherwise don’t make a new promise that you have no intention of keeping. Don’t burden the creditor with having to hunt you down. They didn’t look for you to lend you the money or force you to work with them.
- Have some respect: Clear your debt at the first opportunity you get. Yes, watching Queen of Katwe in a cinema and getting turnt every day might be cooler, but you are not doing the creditor a favor by paying the debt. You owe them, you do NOT have a choice. If you insist on not clearing your debts, do it quietly. Don’t Snapchat yourself living lavishly, or go to places where you might bump into your creditor. Hide, it’s immoral but a bit more respectful.
- Cover your ass: If you have been a victim of the cruel payment system in Uganda, you can learn from it. Research about a company’s payment history before working for/with them. If someone was mistreated while they were there, there is a good chance you will hear about it. If you are working on project basis, get as much percentage before hand as possible. If you are to lend a friend/colleague money, get/have some sort of security to guarantee payment or minimize loss.
Let’s leave the payment issues in 2016 banange.