Friday 29 January 2021

Dr Akinboboye: A tribute

Roped to a memory

Memories are made of ideas, events, people, places, situations and much more. The things that trigger the memories are myriad with the ability to put you in a time and place.

One of my closest friends from school to whom I handed over a number of contractual obligations called to inform me that a customer of ours had passed on.

I immediately remembered a lesson in life our veritable customer taught me. He was in the medical profession and I was introduced to him via another professional acquaintance, out of that came an agreement and retainer to provide computer support and maintenance.

Know who you are

When we were agreeing a fee, he painted a scenario of people seeking his medical opinion on the hoof and for free without committing to anything in that encounter or relationship. He made it a point never to offer professional services in a social setting fundamentally because he did not acquire his expertise without rigour and great expense in cost and time.

Then, when he brought a customer or patient into a professional environment for services that might be a check-up to treatment for whatever ailment, if he was not doing it pro bono, then the fee for his services was agreed to, probably by mutual negotiation and never through haggling, bargaining, or barter.

The fundamental basis was simple, as a professional you charge a fee for your services expecting to be respected as such. From that, I could escape from the common saying that a customer is always right, because to someone who is a professional, for every idea of what a customer might think they want or need, they may not be right, in fact, they might be completely wrong, confused, unsure, indecisive, prone to suggestion, open to persuasion, bamboozled with jargon, and working against their own best interests in opposition to better judgement and advice.

The right in the light

From that perspective, I found a retort on the rightfulness of the customer, that a customer is always right when you are selling tomatoes.

Dr Peter Ibikayode Akinboboye, 67, who I first met in 1989 was a friend, a gentleman of an easy and approachable manner who sowed seeds of knowledge, insight, and wisdom in me like a mentor would. I was enriched by our frequent encounters and exhaustive conversations that evolved from my servicing his computer. I heard he passed on from complications of CoVID-19 at 67. Saddened as I am, I pray his gentle soul rest in peace. Thank you doctor for touching my life in a very significant way.

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