Okay, this is a rant! I am so furious…well I was so furious earlier. I lost my temper…in front of my kids…on their outing to the pool today. It was just another day of dealing with the incompetence that is only acceptable in my country, Nigeria! For God’s sake, and His sake alone, I will not name the useless, pathetic organisation that caused me to snap today. But I must rant!
So, we planned to take our kids to the pool today, to enjoy some swimming in the sun, after preparing for their party tomorrow… We paid in advance at a rate of N1000 for 20 kids, with a plan to balance up, depending on how many of our kids were able to make it out today. 26 children actually came out to swim.
The last time I had been to that place was in 2012, and their pools were clean, bright shiny blue! The two boys, who we took to enjoy good behaviour reward, were only 13 and 14 years old, and they swam in the big pool, that is now supposedly only for adults, and the rate of this pool has more than tripled between now and then. The lady, we met kept telling me they were under new management, as if she was proud of the new management!
Okay, so I had great expectations of this place. And when I came, I was more than a little disappointed. I was HORRIFIED at what I saw. I mean, if we had not called them in advance and booked to swim this very day, then it would have been forgivable. But still, they are a business for goodness sake! And all they offer is their pools…. They can at least invest in cleaning them!
They had two massive pools that were hideously dirty! Not green only… Green and black with dead things inside. It looked like the gutter outside my office compound (which unfortunately, there’s little I can do to make that clean, though I try). The better one was leafy green, while the worse one was a dark green. Both had black soot on them, as though there was an oil spill in the pool. Apparently, the better one had been cleaned some days back – I don’t believe it!
So, knowing that I had booked the place in advance, it was a major insult to come and see the place looking so pathetic. And knowing that I had actually deposited N20,000, I was instantly mad! I was shown a small kiddies pool, which they told me was clean, but I knew better. It may have been clean enough for some adults, but definitely not children or little kids! And they said that that was the pool they had prepared for my kids – and in fact, my social worker had told them we might have up to 40 kids! That pool couldn’t safely accommodate 20!
They were now saying that they gave us discount, and that we can’t afford the bigger pool, which is apparently N2,500 per head (hence why they didn’t even bother to clean it, even though the lady had arranged with my social worker that some of our older kids would be allowed to swim in it). And she could open her mouth and say “there’s nothing wrong with the pool!” They said our kids could use one corner of the pool that ‘looked’ cleaner. I was like, “it’s the same filthy water!!!”
That made me even madder. I should have taken a picture, but you don’t have to take my word for it. I know the colours green and black, and I know a clean pool is blue!
So, I spoke with the owner on the phone, and expressed my dissatisfaction. That didn’t get us anywhere. He actually believed that I had paid for that small kiddies pool for 40 kids at the rate of N800 per head, which was never communicated to me (a communication failure by my social worker, who had seen the pools and negotiated with the lady (not the man)). After almost an hour, I couldn’t take it anymore. My kids were just sitting around, clearly unhappy, and the management apparently had no intention of returning our deposit to us.
The man actually said that he is running a business, and he could have turned away other people to accommodate us today, especially since it was the holiday season! Clearly not! If he was expecting anyone to come and swim at his pools, he would have CLEANED THEM!!! Even the ones he thought we wouldn’t use!
I mean, if the bigger pools had been cleaned, and they had insisted that they couldn’t come down on the price, I could have agreed to pay the higher fee for some of our bigger kids! But they lost that business opportunity due to their incompetence! And I do not believe for one second that they turned someone else away to accommodate us. I believe the place is a rundown heap, and they couldn’t even be bothered to make an effort for us!
I eventually left the place with my kids and told him that whether he returns that N20,000 to me or not, it is between him and God. N20,000 means a lot to us, but standing there arguing over it was not worth the damage it was doing to my spirit. I still had to figure out what the kids would do that evening, and we didn’t have enough anymore for a cinema trip.
One of the kids mentioned another place he knows nearby that has a pool. We decided to check them out. Thank God we did!!! These people were ready for business!!!
They didn’t have lots of people about… They were not expecting anybody, but their pool was clean! It was blue and insect free. And what was even better was that their cost was reasonable. N500 per head for our smaller kids and N700 for the bigger kids! So we ended up paying less than the N20,000 we put as deposit for the other place, where they made no preparation for us, even though they knew we were coming and had even booked with a deposit!
My kids ended up having a good day at the pool, as planned. I thank God for that. But how I wish there was some organisation in this country that would handle a report on this establishment and bring them to account. They will certainly never see me again.