Show appreciation for honest hard workers

2015-11-05 06:00
laughing lunga adam

laughing lunga adam

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Where has the love and appreciation for our jobs gone to? What happened to the days when one actually looked forward to a working day?

These days, most people need to be dragged off their feet, kicking and screaming, to report for work. One thought this was just a Monday thing. Oh no, turns out it’s a daily occurrence! This habit happened to cross my mind when I looked around me and saw the passion that others seem to have for their professions. Except that theirs are not ‘professions’ per se. These are folk we look down on and whose means of making an honest living make them a laughing stock all around kasi. These people will wake up in the wee hours of the morning to prepare for their shift, and boy, do they put everything into executing their duties. I’m not talking about aliens here. I’m talking about people around us - they have the same number of teeth, fingers and toes as the rest of us.

Just take a look. The yard that provides some semblance of protection while you’re sitting in the comfort of your home... who helped build it? Who sweeps streets and ensures our surroundings are spic-and-span? Who transports you in his old battered bakkie to the hospital in ungodly hours when you fall sick? What I like is the degree of trust that you can invest in these members of society. Whether they are enjoying quality time with their families or mowing their lawn, once you call on them, they drop everything. They are, in the true sense of the word, at your service.

Which is why I wish they can share their secrets with the rest of us. Our people spend a lot of time crying about a lack of jobs, yet once they get employment, they do not show gratitude. They are grumpy. I am wary of picking on certain peeps here, but just as an example, look at the cashiers in the various retail stores around. The way that most of them show a lackadaisical approach to their job, you’d be forgiven for thinking they had just come out of unsuccessful lobola negotiations. Unhappy women indeed! The sooner they change their attitude, the better I think.

This has made me think of a man who was a caretaker at Vukani Primary School in Lower Crossroads, where I used to attend. Tat’ uMatshaya was the name. What a man. Such was his determination, that the thought of falling foul of his rule book never even crossed your mind as a learner. If you were late by even a minute, he would shut the gate on your face, and your desperate pleas would fall on deaf ears. I remember on one occasion, I had just started my grade 8 at Phakama High School, which is situated just ‘next door’.

He was standing just outside the gate, looking for late-comers who were trickling in and armed with a cane. Because of my height, he must have thought I was one of the late-comers, because next thing I know, this man is running after me, aiming for my ankles with his ‘pipe’. It was only later that common sense must have prevailed on his part, but by then fear had gripped me, that I hurriedly made my way inside my own school’s gate. Tat’ uMatshaya retired to the Eastern Cape. Still, I ask: from which cloth was he cut? How come we don’t find men and women like him in this troubled community anymore?

There were many such people in his time, be it queue marshals at taxi ranks or bus stations, or simply senior citizens who were entrusted with the task of making sure young kids do not stray from the straight and narrow. How we seem to be in great need of them today.

Anyway, I just thought I’d pass this message on to you, dear readers. Next time you see someone doing their job diligently and earning their pay in an honest way, show some appreciation for the very reason that they are a rare breed in kasi nowadays.

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