I was just doing my job - waitress who read menu to blind patrons

2016-07-23 14:43
Mashella Malema, the waitress at a Mugg & Bean in Brooklyn. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Mashella Malema, the waitress at a Mugg & Bean in Brooklyn. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Pretoria - With the country caught in the euphoria of Mandela month and giving 67 minutes to a worthy course, a waitress in Pretoria has earned herself great reviews by just doing her job.

When Mashella Malema, a waitress at a Mugg & Bean in Brooklyn, read an entire menu twice to three blind patrons to help them to place an order, she never imagined she would get admiration and applause from thousands of South Africans online.

"On Monday I helped three blind patrons. When they got here they couldn't see the chairs so I moved some out of the way and assisted them to sit down to ensure they don't fall. After that they knew what they wanted to drink as it was not their first time coming to Mugg & Bean," she told News24.

"I brought their drinks but when it came to the food order I told them that we had changed the menu. I had to read them the menu from page one until where the food section ends. They indicated they didn’t understand and I started over again that’s when they were able to place an order."

The mother of two who originally hails from Ga-Mothapo, a village in Limpopo, said she didn't think she was doing anything extraordinary but merely carrying out her duties. She said she believes in treating everyone with respect and dignity irrespective of their background or skin colour. Her desire and ability to go beyond the call of duty was seen by another patron who posted her picture on Facebook.

"I didn't think I was doing anything special because this is what I do on a daily basis. I treat everyone who comes in here with the same respect that for me is a normal thing.  I didn't think I was doing anything out of the ordinary," she said.

Exemplary employee

Malema said she was taught from a young age to always lend a helping hand to those who are unable to do certain things on their own. She said she has grown up with that motto and is now passing it on to her two children.

"In my life I believe that you have to help everyone, especially those with disabilities, but you must not do it in a belittling manner. Treat them just like you treat an abled person. I'm teaching my children to appreciate and respect everyone in the world irrespective of their disability. They must not treat them badly just because they can't do certain things for themselves. I also teach my children that and they have embraced it. My oldest son would do more than I did to assist," she said.

Malema said the patrons were extremely happy with the service she offered. She said despite having served clients with different disabilities, it was her first time serving blind people and she would do the same thing for any other client that would visit the establishment.

"I work with people. Sometimes you have people that are on wheelchairs and I have to move chairs and tables for them to pass so I was just doing what I do regularly. I didn't think I was doing anything special. I feel proud to be able to help people," she said.

Store manager Tracey Njugi said Malema was an exemplary employee who shares the the businesses values of helping and treating people with dignity at the establishment.

"We are obliged to help any customer that walks into our store. We don't look or treat people based on class, every customer that comes into our store we treat them equally and they are all special to us. I'm very happy that something positive came out of her goodness, so is every staff member in the store. That is what we call going the extra mile. She has always been helpful. I told her that she must just continue not because someone recognised what she did but she must just do what she does. She must pass it on to our other staff members," said Njugi.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  good news

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