Emmanuel Orji Written by Emmanuel Orji · 1 min read >


“What I ordered vs. what I got”. This is a popular maxim which has gained massive popularity amongst netizens in Nigeria and some parts of West Africa. It is a term that describes the aftermath of a product bought or service rendered which is slightly or significantly different from the intended outcome of the consumer or customer.

A significant example that will guide our understanding will be the incessant complaints from customers to different tailors, who when they (customers) receive their outfit in joy, with the hope of rocking the style they gave the tailor at the owambe party. Their joy is short-lived after they have worn the outfit and the mirror shows them something different from the design they gave the tailor.

Another popular example will be the reaction people get from the significant difference from what they ordered online from an online store or an e-commerce platform. Usually, disgruntled customers take their complaints to the online community; either on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to pour out their hearts and also sample the opinion of others.

There are two opposing perspectives on how businesspeople and their clients interact.

The Warfare Paradigm will be the name of the first. In accordance with this paradigm, a businessperson’s primary goal is to pursue, at all costs, his own personal interests. To this aim, he wages an ongoing conflict with his clients in an effort to extract as much money as possible.

The war is, of course, a battle of wits, but that does not make it any less lethal or intense. It is acknowledged that deception, force, and (in some situations) flagrant abuse of monopolistic power should be forbidden in order to establish some minimal ground rules to prevent this intellectual battle from turning into a physical one.

Outside of that, though, “all is fair in love, war, and business.”

Businessmen that follow the Warfare Paradigm bow before their clients, smile at them, and say things like “the client is king” and “the customer is always right,” but in reality, these are just ruses to make their clients feel more secure so they can better rip them off.

However, not everyone runs their business that way. Another paradigm exists as well, which we might refer to as “The Service Paradigm.” Followers of it view their interactions with clients as cooperative relationships. Instead of trying to take advantage of them, they want to work with them by providing them with goods and services that truly help them with their problems or make their lives more comfortable.

These businessmen want to be compensated for their efforts because they, like everyone else, need money. However, it is important to note that they do not view this compensation as the spoils they take from those who are less cunning or ruthless than themselves, but rather as their just compensation for the value they generate for their clients. Although they do not have an altruistic or beneficent relationship with the client, they do work closely together.

Different people adhere to the Service Paradigm for various reasons. This paradigm should be adopted since, in contrast to the warfare paradigm, it is simpler to integrate into a moral existence. 

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