Haggle for your life

Wilson Orhiunu

First Gentleman with Wilson Orhiunu

Email: babawill2000@gmail.com Twitter: @Babawilly

Some love to haggle. Beating the price down is a big thrill for these types. Watching them in action makes you wonder if they find the verbal wrestling match for the prize of a lower price more exhilarating than the actual purchase itself. I prefer to walk in, pick up an item and leave.

However, I have witnessed some classic haggling sessions in the past. Those moments when the seller and buyer act out a script with more twists and turns than the Ore-Ife road. Anger is feigned as the price is questioned. The buyer threatens to walk away while the seller calls off the bluff. When they settled on a price the seller complains about not having the exact change hoping to make a bit of money. A new good natured argument occurs about the impact of not having that change in the short term. The buyer might mention that sweets need to be bought and bus fares need to be paid to make it home.

Those who move with friends who demand to know how much every new purchased item costs tend to haggle the most. At the back of the mind is that conversation that always ends with “dem don cheat you”. The quest not to be cheated makes the need to drive a diamond-hard bargain a necessity. That way you can hold their head high among your competitive cheap friends and boast, ‘I got the best deal’.

Human beings in general never seem to agree on the value of things; at least initially. When two opposing views collide there is a debate and a final settlement in a middle ground position that is tolerable to both parties.

The value of our time is a case in point. We are all traders of time. Many purchasers of our time exist and one of the chief ones is sleep. This is a tax that must be paid and your after-sleep time works a bit like your after-tax income; you make the best of what is left.

Beyond money, enjoying yourself costs time and those after both your time and money advertise their merchandise with a promise that the pleasure their products or services will provide will more than compensate for the loss of your time.

Friends and family make demands on your time as do your ambitions, hopes and aspirations. Conflict is bound to occur once in a while and that is where your haggling skills might be needed.

Some might expect you to be available for daily phone calls because they value your time exactly the same way they value theirs. You on the other hand might find that you cannot afford lengthy phone calls each night just because it is free to make calls after 12am. Well, some prices are just too high to bother haggling. Switch off the phone and get some sleep.

People with no pressure or need to achieve anything in their lives are always on the look-out for entertaining conversation and they see nothing wrong in four hours of television and phone calls daily. Some of these people actually believe everyone does this, that is spend all their free time looking for the next shocking thing a reality TV star does. The funny thing about life is that for whatever way we want to spend our time, there are millions of people who share that lifestyle and philosophy, so when we feel everybody is doing it, that is correct to an extent. Everybody in our particular universe is spending their time this way.

Change of universe

Now some might have valued their time cheaply in the past and want to hike up its value by switching universe.

Why wait for an important job that comes with a secretary and your name on the door to know that your time is important? Why wait to become president to know that you should not be easily available to every friend, foe or television programme that wants your time?

Why rely on external forces to tell you that your time is very important? You have subconsciously told yourself that billionaires have very precious time seeing that they are very busy people and it is now about time you treated yourself the way you have treated or thought about others. Get busy!

A few questions can help solve this problem.

What can be achieved in one hour, two hours or even in a day?

The answer to this question points to the value of time.

What can be achieved in a week, month, year or in decade?

Ultimately the most important question is what can be achieved in a lifetime?

If one half of your mind says nothing much can be achieved in a given amount of time and the other half says great things can be achieved, you have conflict within. Once you win the internal battle and realise that life is one great edifice and the very hours that make up life are all building blocks for the construction of something great, no one would be able to haggle down the price of your hour no matter how good the distracting promises of short term pleasure are.

The language one uses when talking about one’s time is crucial in placing a high valuation on this special possession we all have. Phrases like spending time could be replaced with investing time and killing time is an absolute abominable thing to say or do.

Just like money, the time always finds a way of slipping away so invest it wisely and please haggle for the best price.