I travel a lot by public means, and where I come from, there are several ways of getting transportation. You can walk to a cab or matatu, hail one down, chase after one that you’ve seen, or respond to those calling out to you. You remain the same person, but you get different treatment based on the happenings of the few minutes before your entry into the vehicle.
Let me pick out only two. Scenario I. You see a matatu, decide you’re desperately late, and hail it down. It’s probably overloaded, but you don’t see that. You run towards it and try to enter. Conductor not so amused by the fuss you’re making, but wants your money. States your fare. You have no option but to stay in (for all the fuss you’ve caused and the attention you’ve drawn) and pay that.
Scenario II. A matatu stops right where you are. Conductor inquires about your destination. You check out the matatu if there’s good and enough space for you. You state your way. He suggests a price. You decline, move one step back. He asks you how much you want to pay. You state your price. He lets you take your time and enter the matatu in a civil way before driving away.
Both of these happen within the same period o time. Every day. And we all see them, perhaps not noting the differences. What am I saying? Regardless of who you are and your manner of packaging (outward look); you get the treatment you bargain for, by how you actually behave (character.) act cheap and easy, and your worth is played around with by colleagues. State your claim and stand your ground, and they bow to your wishes, or at least treat you honorably and respectably. Largely, the consequence lies in you I deal my cards. And you too. We all.

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