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Nunu
 
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Another letter to a car guard

07 April 2014, 15:42
It must be tough being Shaun Elliot and many other commentators on this site. Sitting behind their laptops writing articles (like me) when you could be doing something more constructive.
So these "irritating" guards should get a real job? Snap, just like that, I didn't realise it was that easy. I guess its fun standing out in the parking area all day in the sun, rain, or whatever the weather has on offer. Being scowled at by people when you smile at them, because they look down on you due to the fact that they are in a better financial situation than you. They treat you like dirt no matter how friendly you try to be. Funnily enough, when the lady behind the bank counter smiles at them they don't call it false, that lady deserves respect because she has a real job, a proper education. Strange...
I find it sad that we have car guards everywhere, its a sign of our high unemployment rate, and high crime rate. Lets have the preferred scenario that Shaun and his many followers have. Where would all the thousands that are currently car guards get a living from? My guess is that a portion of them would turn to crime. No doubt many people would be without food, and start becoming desperate ... the actions of desperate people can be dangerous. And, I guess no criminals would bother you in the parking lot would they, you wouldn't get mugged at your car, come back and find the car window broken, etc. No, never, life would be all rosy, none of these annoying poor people to bother you! Perhaps you believe some higher power will somehow keep the nastier vagrants away ... or have you not noticed that these guards pretty much keep your cushy parking areas free of the "nastier" vagrants. (Try to be more observant!)
I don't like the sound of the above scenario, so I always pay the guards, depending on circumstances. I have a good relationship with them, if I don't have any change, I apologise and say "next time". This is always received well by them, they understand, I always treat them with respect and visa versa. If I'm away for a while, R5, if a short time R2, if very quick, just a thank you and a smile. I set the price, so I can't complain.
We're very lucky in South Africa. Try Maputo, there you'll learn what a horrible car guard is. They demand up to R20 to look after your car, if you don't want to pay they get extremely aggressive. (Ok, admit, the same things happen with "car washers" at Pilgrims Rest) But our "guards" are ninety nine percent polite. You don't need to pay them, they can't demand you do. Just give the people the same courtesy they give you, its really not that difficult. Their "friendliness" is no different to the waitress that serves you at your local hang out, deep down her friendliness also revolves around getting a decent tip from you. (Or do you think she likes you?) If the waitress did not smile would you tip her, by the way? Why look at car guards differently?
One of the shallowest criticisms I read was "they don't even own a car, they can't even drive". Are you guys for real. You look down on people for that, that they don't own something you can afford but they can't. Most of us "haves" were given a huge helping hand early on in life, due to our parents having the money to send us to good schools, tertiary education institutions, etc. Most of us did not spend hours worrying if we would end up getting a meal at the end of the day. (I gaurantee the guard critics fall 99% into this bracket.) I find it weird you can't try to put yourselves in the shoes of people that didn't (or don't) have it so easy in life. I wonder how you bring your children up, I'm pretty sure to look down on those who have less than you. (Good manners eh?)
To the car guards, thanks for just being there to control our parking areas. Thanks for keeping us safe. Thanks for making sure that is somebody dings my car when I'm not looking, you don't let him drive away until I'm back. (Yes, its happened ... to a few of my friends as well) Thanks for helping my wife with all the groceries, looking after the stuff while her back is turned. For guiding me out of my parking on a busy day, insuring no idiot drives into me. Making sure the tools are not stolen off the back of my open bakkie. (guaranteed if there were no guards!) Thanks for always being friendly, even though you put up will all the abuse from those who look down on you due to your circumstances. Thanks for trying to earn a living offering a service, rather than begging or stealing. Hopefully one day somebody will recognise you as a person who wants to make an honest living, and maybe offer you a better job.
I think the attitude of the car guard bashers is bad karma, beware you one day don't find yourself in a similar situation, and have to suffer the same unfairness.
 

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