Woke up feeling totally famished this morning, lucky I’d spotted a King Pie around the corner at the Bree Street Taxi Rank, I took an immediate liking to their new offering, a pizza-looking puff pastry with toppings made up of chunks of chicken, cheese and tomato paste – the best part was the price, and yes, the size, it cost the exact same amount as their pies and was exactly 4 times bigger (that is, the size of four pies placed side by side). Two female cashiers (one elderly and the other young) stood at the ready, one to take my order, the younger one already taking and preparing another customers order, and then things turned nasty.
From what I could understand, the young assistant alleged that the customer ordered a combination or pie and chips, the client denied this point blank and said there was no such thing, she merely ordered chips and this drove the young assistant totally berserk yelling “Mara what is wrong with Black people?!” (Since she was a Black person herself you cannot conclude that she was being racist) she continued her tirade, “You Black people do not explain things clearly, or you say one thing only to change your minds at the blink of an eye!, who will pay for these chips? Don’t look at me for that I can tell you now straight out!” A similar set of beliefs, morals and values were instilled in me, if you dislike something, let it out, have your say, but do Not remain silent only to carry life-long grudges planning ways for revenge, backstabbing and being two-faced. Therefore I understood and was quite comfortable all along – this was at total odds with what was expected from us in the workplace, where the customer was always right even when they were being rude and obnoxious. Sure enough the fracas died down and there were even smiles exchanged, the young assistant shaking her head “it’s just too early for drama” she said. With regards to PoC (People Of Colour), most of our dealings with each other are very informal, that often gets carried through to the way we do business with each other, times gone by we needed no contract or invoices, your word was your life, needed a car fixed? ask your cousin, his connection, or a friend, everyone knew that one day you’d need them too. It’s still like that in many places. This happens in a different way with westerners, a westerner wanting to give business to a relative or friend would employ them as contractors for..ummm say one BS reason like..to come and teach their entire staff of 1000 how to use the internet at a cost of R2500-00 per staff member (just an example, but you get my drift, some equally mindless course like “Self Motivation” etc),I could rattle off a long list of such schemes but I don’t want to give you any ideas. I believe some Government officials have learnt some of these same tricks all too well.
Anyway, my pizza arrives, it’s stone-cold and still frozen in certain parts, I point this out to the elderly lady, she prods the cold toppings with an index finger “Oh ja, just as I thought, my suspicions have now been confirmed, the oven is not working right” I give her a puzzled look, she imparts some sound advice “I’m sure you have a microwave oven at your work, put it in there for about 5 to 10 minutes, then it will be good to eat” Like I said, we do things in an informal manner and are very understanding, and that works perfectly, but sometimes you just want things done on time and the way you expect them to be for what you paid, that’s not always the case.
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