Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A tribute to Mr Saka – The Carpenter


Mr Saka was a carpenter i met a few years ago who became my friend. He was not a fancy furniture maker, no no no, he was a real carpenter, the type that you will see sawing wood in front of his workshop with his little white cap, shouting in Yoruba at his 14 year old apprentice to hurry up and buy some nails.

Though he didn’t go to university or have any professional training, Mr Saka’s customer service was more exceptional than that of some people who graduated from the university. He was a cool and calm man who would go through any length to ensure that his customers were satisfied with whatever furniture he made or mends for them.

Through referrals, Mr Saka serviced a lot of people he would never have dreamt to meet. His ever humble and respectful character announced and advertised him wherever he went.

Ask him to come to your house just to seek his opinion on a job, he would run down and thank you when leaving. Mr Saka made me free furniture one time when i accused him of not giving me a Christmas present as his faithful customer. He was so flexible with his job that he could come to your house at anytime just to mend a broken wardrobe; he didn’t mind that you didn’t buy it from him; he would mend it like it was his own and advise you on how to look after it.

One day, when we needed Mr Saka to do a job for us at work, we were unable to reach him(which was very unlike him) so we sent somebody to look for him at home. The messenger came back with the news that Mr Saka was ill. The following week we heard he died. “Impossible” i shouted, “he probably went to his village for a little while” i said knowing that i was sounding silly. Well, Mr Saka truly died because his family confirmed and i haven’t seen him ever since. I had some work pending for him, and every time I remember him, i think about the exceptional services that he rendered.

Today at work, we sit and stare at these temporary dividers that Mr Saka always fixed and removed for us for free whenever we needed to use that particular room( the room is a multi-purpose room, we have wooden dividers demarcating it from others, but when we need a big space we remove the dividers, he always always always does this for us ) and have now realised that we need another carpenter. we sincerely miss him

Mr Saka’s fantastic services will never be forgotten, he was born with good customer service skills.

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