Someone mused aloud,
Why do we supercharge our bargaining power while buying from, or negotiating with the needy, but become generous and non parsimonious while operating with the more endowed, in affluent neighbourhoods?
People go to a highbrow car wash in an affluent neighbourhood, easily tell the boy to keep a change of ₦500, but would haggle with the poor woman selling roasted plantain, or the weary boy selling LaCasera in traffic, risking his limbs and life.
There is a real mental separation between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. The rich are from Mars while the poor are from Venus.
This is not just in terms of the physical, societal or economic delineation / demarcation .
Some weeks back in Abeokuta, Ogun State, I bought fried yam plus fish from a roadside seller and asked her to keep N700 change,
My relatively well-to-do friend was mad with me.
There was the case where I accompanied a friend, an accountant, to a local mechanic workshop. After spending like two hours repairing, my friend gave the mechanic an amount I considered a travesty of justice.
When I complained on our way back, he said, ‘Don’t you know these ones are uneducated? Whatever I give him, he would willingly accept!
Psychologists discovered that the richer you get, the nonchalant / unconcerned you are likely to be about the misfortune / tribulations of the less-privileged.
Research suggests that as people climb the social / economic ladder, their compassionate feelings towards other people decline.
… says the Scientific American in this article.
To those who already have, the haves easily hand-out even more. To those who don’t have enough, the haves couldn’t be bothered (of course there are exceptions)!
While many would buy high-ticket items from affluent neighbourhoods without negotiating the price, that same person would haggle to no end when dealing with people perceived to be of lower economic standing, or in less upscale environments.
You go to a car repair workshop with a wonder-on-wheels, get your repairs done and get charged a bundle. You pay the bill without a whimper. You feel haggling would be beneath you and undermine your social standing. Whatever outrageous bill they throw at you at that uptown hospital, you bring out your checkbook and pay up without complaint.
But your poor driver needs just ₦20k to attend to a sudden medical emergency, you would grill him to no end, and probably tell him, I don’t have money now!
The rich would operate in affluent neighbourhoods, spend insane amounts on goods and services (that are simply exploitative), but still feel cool, cherishing the ‘feeling of ‘belonging-ness’.
It is the same reason a simple iPhone charger that is horribly underpowered would be sold for mind_boggling sums in Lekki, Lagos, but that same charger would cost just a fraction in Computer Village, Ikeja. The guy, while in Lekki, happily pays, but he gets to Ikeja, and his negotiating skills suddenly wake up!
Many seem to undergo a character metamorphosis once they achieve serious political or economic power, probably for similar humanistic reasons.. You don’t want to be caught dead with your old friends and colleagues of lower standing.