Stories

One Coin, Two Sides

January 14, 2024

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It was the sort of argument you could not win without telling people the cold, hard truth

Nobody wants to hear the truth

Everybody would rather play the victim

They were all in a WhatsApp group

A gathering of old classmates of an Alma Mater

Somebody somewhere felt it was a good idea to create an old students’ association group

He got an invite and he joined

When he got into the group he saw many of his old classmates

They had nothing to discuss

They had graduated for over ten years and had all gone on to make names and a life for themselves where they could

Some were abroad, some were in Nigeria

It was a gathering of the past

It was not a necessary gathering in his opinion

There was nothing to benefit from joining

A guy was still writing about an ex-girlfriend who had gotten married with children as if they were still dating

Another lady in the group made it her job to persistently remind the guy of this whenever he wrote anything and mentioned the lady’s name as if they were still dating

Another guy was into snail farming and all he did was advertise his snail (raw, cooked, dried, roasted, and fried) on the group

A lady called herself an HR Specialist and would post Zoom links to seminars from her office or whatever on the group intermittently

He kept wondering what he was doing in the group

He was no longer the person they went to school with

He was not the same guy they once shared classrooms, cafeterias, and hostels with

He was a different person

The group was a headache

He wouldn’t dare be himself in the group

He exited the group, and one of his classmates reached out and begged him to rejoin it

The classmate said, “It will be interpreted as pride”

He felt anybody could think whatever they wanted

It is only right that people have their opinions

Opinions are like noses, everybody has one and it usually has two holes in it

Nobody’s opinion is a dead-on truth

One day they began a discussion on the WhatsApp group

They chose a topic he felt he could contribute to

They were talking about one of their old lecturers

To him, the lecturer was a good, sound, and intelligent man

The best lecturer they all had in the department as at when they were in school

He was so sure of this

The man was truly brilliant and he lectured using a fantastic style

The moment he wrote his opinion of the lecturer

The group went quiet

Then, one lady responded by saying, “That lecturer was despicable, he tried to sleep with me while we were in school”

Another guy said, “The lecturer was a bastard, he collected a lot of money from me while we were in school”

Others, about six of them also spoke

They echoed the sentiment that the lecturer was evil, immoral, the devil’s best friend, the devil’s boyfriend, etcetera

He read their replies and began to laugh

The guys seemed to have forgotten that they were all in school at the same time

These guys were the most unserious students in the class when they were in school

One of them was his roommate

He would not be in school for nine weeks out of a semester

He only came in to register for his courses, pay his fees, disappear for months and then reappear a few days before the exam

He spent the days he was on campus, bribing lecturers to allow him to write make-up tests, begging his classmates to borrow him their notes, or stealing their notes when they were not looking

After writing the examination, he would begin to lobby the lecturers not to give him an F

He didn’t mind an E or a D but he didn’t want to have to retake any paper

The ladies were cut from the same fiber- lazy, laid back, unserious, truant, undisciplined and lax

They lived by their own rules and the lecturer marked them according to what they truly earned

Then they would go to the lecturer to cry and beg

Then the lecturer would offer them terms outside of the set rules of engagement (This is wrong of the lecturer to do)

The terms could be, “Sleep with me” or “Send me money”

They would do it just to get away with their crazy choices

And then lament about it years later as if they were chatting with people who had no memory of what went down

The problem was, that telling them the truth that way in the group would be unkind and unnecessary

It would make him look arrogant and self-righteous

Being a Christian and all, he decided to leave the group

No serious-minded student in the class could complain about being harassed or made any demand on by the lecturer

It was those who wanted to cut corners that had the guts to rewrite facts just to smear the lecturer and make themselves look like victims

It was what it was

The mindset was not right and being in the group while unable to say things as they are was quite uncomfortable for him.

He exited the group

Two of their classmates called him to ask why he left the second time

He told them he was too busy to cope

Another classmate called him and said, “Can you imagine what those guys were saying about Dr. So and So, have they forgotten that we were all in the same school and we knew that without the lecturer’s help, some of them would never have graduated?

He had to remind the caller that two wrongs could no right make

The lecturer ought to have allowed all the unserious students to dance to the tune of their own music in peace

He would later learn that it was the bending of rules that cost the lecturer his marriage and his career in academics

One of the ladies who came to him crying that she could not afford to fail a course, offered to do anything to pass

He took her tears as desperation

He didn’t know he was being set up

He asked for sex in return for marks

The lady agreed

They met in a hotel and he got himself recorded

With the evidence against him, he had no defence

He was sacked and his wife left him that same day

The lecturer got what he deserved

This does not mean everybody’s opinion of the lecturer will be the same

We should judge people by what we know about them and not what we were told about them (If we want to be fair)

To him and the other serious students, the lecturer was good at his job

To the unserious students, the lecturer was mean and evil

It was the same coin with its two sides

PS: The lecturer was wrong to give those who deserved to fail an alternative to success apart from the laid down rules

He would have been called mean and inflexible but it would have helped his career and his reputation a lot to be steadfast

By bending the rules for some, his reputation came under scrutiny by the very people he bent the rules for

We must all remember this

There are two sides to every coin

You cannot open the door to the devil by making certain decisions and then crying foul when affliction comes

If you avoid a naked wire, you will most likely avoid being electrocuted

I have seen ladies who complain of being harassed at work

One got employed as a journalist but she could neither write a news story nor conduct an interview

Six months after her employment, the company rated her as the worst employee and were going to sack her

She was summoned to the MD’s office and she gave a sob story

Then she offered a compromise

She was given the sack but she became the MD’s mistress a few days later

I have seen guys too who turned to snitches at the office because they could not deliver on the task they were employed for and had to adopt new tactics to please the boss so as not to get the sack

We all should walk in such a manner that we would not expose ourselves to such realities due to our missteps

If the hedge is not broken, the serpent can’t bite.

-GSW-

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