When the dream doesn’t meet reality

2013-04-01 15:24

When I moved to Cape Town, I often wondered why every single day there would be a car stuck in the shoulder of the freeway with its hazards on; then I sent my car for a service. It was a reputable company recommended by my boss who had never had a problem. Five trips to the mechanic later and my car was still struggling to meet the parade requirements for its daily ride through the town. Eventually, I gave up and decided to accept my rattling black beauty as she was until it was absolutely essential to have her purr again... or until I too was stuck on the side of the freeway.

However, that wasn’t the end of my consumer woes. It seemed bad customer service extended to teeth maintenance, hair trims, food stops, cellphone repairs and adventure tours through the city. Being a tourist city, I expected Prestik smiles from ear to ear at every entrance and a five minute break from my schedule to discuss my health and the weather before jumping to business... as seen during the World Cup. Instead, my encounters were bleak; people found their emails more interesting then my purchase, they didn't know how to communicate, weren't willing to assist or simply didn't feel like doing their jobs.

It’s not only Cape Town. Many a day was spent listening to people verbally abuse the person on the other end of the line because of some "incompetent fool's blunder". I was told that it's the only way to ensure you don’t get taken for a ride. Fighting got your medical aid deductions for treatments and scans to be taken from the allocated funds in your chosen plan and not your savings. It got your money back for shoes that didn’t last its first mile and perhaps even won you some extra Voyager miles. Maybe all that lead we have been exposed to has turned us into a fighting nation but really, why can't people just do their jobs? Why make life harder for everyone else?

I get it. At some point every single one of us wanted to be great. We wanted to be someone, to change our stars and ride the waves of life with ease and sufficient sunscreen. None of us wanted to follow that bank advert and lead average lives with an average job, an average spouse and 2.5 children. No. We wanted to be famous or rich or change the world. We wanted to be CFOs of SABC, win the Olympics with no legs, eat sushi off naked women and send bags of nail clippings to Asia in hope to save the Rhinos.

I too was born in an environment where the banner for the future read "Follow your dreams" and "Do what you love and you will always be happy!" Worst of all, we were made to believe that it was as easy as getting a loan, making the right friends, signing a contract and getting a couple of good grades... somehow.

It’s hard. They missed the part where we have to deal with many road blocks and unruly police but being miserable won't land you that leading role and Bentley, no matter how tight you are with Oupa or how far you can throw a burning tyre.

Life sucks. I concur. Update your Facebook status if you need to vent but please, for the love of those willing to die for South Africa, do your job. It may not be your dream, you probably deserve better but just doing your job may save a child from domestic violence.

Yes. Do it for the children.

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