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Thursday, July 16, 2009

First Impressions Matter

A friend of mine narrated to me how he was one time treated by a man he met in a bus. He was coming from Mombasa to Nairobi and since it is a long ride, he started a conversation with a very smartly dressed young man. My friend had gone to Mombasa for a brief business trip and was now coming back in a relaxed mode; he was wearing simple T-shirt and a pair of Khaki short pants.

After some hours, he was hungry and hence asked his newly found friend who of course looked very wealthy, “I am not so conversant with the city of Nairobi, when we alight, will you please take me to one of the hotels for a meal?” His smartly dressed friend was delighted to do exactly that. When they alighted in town, his friend confidently led him to a hotel, but after a few minutes he was shocked to find out that the hotel he was being taken was in the middle of the toy market, a slum in the outskirt’s of Nairobi. It is an extremely filthy environment and very unhygienic.

His friend sits down on the dark oily wooden benches inside the dusty, unclean hotel and comfortably orders for a burger and a mug of tea. He calmly asked his friend, “Ah…my friend, is…is this the best hotel in Nairobi?” His friend answers confidently, “Well it is definitely the cheapest in town.”

He then took his smartly dressed friend to Hilton Hotel and said, “I meant apart from Hilton Hotel which is the other better place.” And his friend really apologized. Anyway, he took good care of his friend and from this event, he learnt a hard lesson. People tend to treat you the way you look.

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