One of the things that I have struggled with since I moved to Cote d’Ivoire is the housing issue at my school. Or to be more specific the lack of urgency in addressing housing issues. I really try not to complain because it’s exhausting but also because the custodial staff are kind and helpful and they don’t get paid well but are often blamed when things don’t get fixed. Although they don’t speak much English, they try to communicate with us Anglophones. However due to inefficiency when we have issues with housing it can take unusually long time to fix them. I still have a cabinet door that has not been fixed since November. The GSO often refuses to take responsibility for his actions, he often makes excuses for why things have not been done in a timely manner and likes to say how busy he is🤯.
Which brings me to my current issue: my stove has not been working since December 20th. I put in a ticket on the 21st, called the GSO – he did not answer and sent a text – he did not respond. When I arrived back on Monday afternoon, I responded to an email reminding him that the stove was not working, filled out another ticket and heard nothing. I waited and then sent another email yesterday asking him to send someone over to fix the stove. Because I got no response, I asked a colleague for the GSO’s number and sent another text yesterday evening – still no response. Just now I called him and asked when someone was going to come by and fix my stove and he began to over talk me – I hate this and he does it often. I asked him to let me speak and told him that I did everything I was supposed to do in order to get my issue addressed. He said he texted yesterday and I didn’t answer and then he sent an email this morning. He didn’t even seem to know what the problem was which made me wonder if he had even read the ticket. I told him I never received a text and that the best way to handle housing requests outside of work hours would be to call, like I am calling him now. He made a bunch of excuses and said he is supposed to be off this week🤦🏾♀️. I told him that this was an emergency and not a request like one of my toilets is not working when I have another one I can use. He then said he would send someone over today and after I hung up he responded to my text from yesterday. Of course he is now in CYA mode because…
The maintenance guy came half an hour later, looked at the hose while he patiently listened to my explanation and said it needed to be replaced and that he would have to tell the GSO and he left. All of this took less than 5 minutes and he came back with a hose 20 minutes later. Something so simple that could have been solved earlier this week took days. I am so grateful for the maintenance staff because they really do their best even with the limited resources they have. The GSO well 🤷🏾♀️
I have 5 more months at this school and in this apartment and I pray every day that nothing else urgent will go wrong in this apartment because not much is considered an emergency here. I have been more than patient with this process and it hasn’t made much of a difference. So I speak up today in this blog because it is necessary. I embrace truth telling because sometimes others will try to make you feel like you are overreacting. And I always tell my students to speak up even if your voice shakes so that others can’t tell your story for you.
#BlackExpat #itwillgetbetter #lifeinCI #thelittlethingsinlife #speakup