The last time I repainted my apartment, I had issues with the painter when I insisted he fill up the cracks by the door hinges before painting them. He said it didn’t matter, as that part will be covered by the curtain. I insisted it did matter. Fill before painting it. He grudgingly did.
You see, our shabby attitude to details stares us in the face at every turn: a generator repairer will un-screw five bolts but end up screwing in four, insisting the fifth isn’t necessary, as if the manufacturers were high on cheap weed when they screwed in five; someone will switch on the socket to charge their phone, but care less to switch it off when they un-plug the phone. They just couldn’t be bothered. Again, why?
And until we start taking these tiny bits of details seriously in this parts, it would be harder looking at the bigger picture.
We have a big problem in this country, one that has to do with a lack of attention to detail. You see a palatial residence in Lekki, only to get inside and discover the painter did a shabby work of the painting; the carpenter left half of the door hinges sticking out; the plumber patched up parts of the plumbing work, leaving parts dripping with water and effluent; and the tiler lacked symmetry in the layout of the tiles.
We couldn’t be bothered, after all it doesn’t matter. If it ain’t broke, nobody should bother fixing it, right? Let it be.
Being a perfectionist, I often times watch foreign movies not because I’m a movie buff, but because I love to see their attention to tiny bits of details: the decor in the sitting room, kitchen and toilet; the visual aesthetics that imbue their living spaces; flowers vases, sculptures, lampshades on all corners to improve both interior illumination and aesthetics, ornate ornaments, picture frames adorning dressers, and all sorts of decorative objects.
A typical “bigman” here, once he’s done with constructing the house, he’s done with everything. Furniture and electronics are thrown in haphazardly without symmetry or coordination; a chair here, a badly hung frame there. One central bulb or chandelier overhead. No soft or mood lighting anywhere. Why bother?
Even the jacuzzi in the bathroom will only work for few weeks or months before you start seeing a bucket kept on standby, the toilet cover flung open or even ripped off its hinges.
We have an appalling maintenance culture, and it shows in these little things we take for granted.
You lodge in a hotel, only to discover shabbiness has come to be accepted as the norm. No water heater in the bathroom, the AC is faulty and no one bothers. There’s a stain on the bedsheets, but who cares? Just manage it as it is. After all, you ain’t the first guest to lodge there. If others didn’t complain, why should you?