Manners maketh the Man

Today, 8 September 2015, has been both good and really annoying for me. The start to the day was the good part.  I had been invited to make a presentation on my book to the Durban North and Umhlanga Cancer Survivor Group and it went very well. I sold 7 more books and learnt lots of new information which I shall put on my website and mail out to my book purchasers for whom I have e-mail addresses. Thereafter the day went downhill until I arrived home at 2pm.

I have decided to be a bit different and use this as the blog for Day 8 of the 30-day blogging challenge.

After completing the presentation morning, I went, as usual, to the Durban North branch of my bank to make a foreign payment. I was unaware that the branch is being remodelled and I was sent ‘miles’ around to another part of the building from where they were working.  There I was brusquely told to go to one of 2 other branches as there were no representatives for foreign exchange issues there. When I got to the La Lucia Branch which has been remodelled and all wonderfully computerised blah blah I was given a little ticket by a pretty young lady with a Consumer Champion Sash and told to sit ‘over there’ and that someone would come and assist me. During the 15 mins I sat there the same young man walked past me 3 times without a word or even a nod of the head. After the 3rd time the impersonal computer which had been intoning things like “we are now serving T0058 at Counter 1” intoned “we are now serving F0003 at Counter 11”. It took me a few seconds to realise that it was my ticket. Of course they were not really serving me yet but that is the wording used! Where is Counter 11? Oh around the corner somewhere as I can see no. 10 in front of me. Guess what? There was this young man but now writing on those papers! Without lifting his head he said, ‘afternoon, Mam’ so he knew it was me without looking up! I was mad at his rude attitude. Added to which I was already irritated, hungry and sore so I did not need poor service too. Before he even looked up I said, “Excuse me young man, I am 40 years your senior and would appreciate more polite service.” (Ooh, I sounded like those old ladies from when I was young.) He hardly flinched and asked what he could do for me. I explained that I needed a payment made and he asked for ID. As I have many times before I handed over my driver’s licence. “No, I said I need your ID.” Well, actually he had not said that and I did not have it on me as I only carry it if I know that I am going to need it. Too many get stolen and it is hard work to get a replacement. My driver’s licence has usually been sufficient. After a couple more minutes of his not being professional or helpful I left. He had said something about having to send everything to somewhere else and it has to be with my ID but, the bank has this on their computer so why can they not use that? From the start I got the feeling that he had been asked to assist me as it was lunchtime (was the Forex person at lunch?) but it was not actually his area of work. As I left I told the young lady with the sash that it was the worst and most impersonal service that I have received from this bank and its predecessors in almost 50 years! Yep, both Trevor and I have been with them since age 16.

In between going from the Durban North Branch to the La Lucia one I had to stop at the pharmacy to collect some meds. Once again there was nowhere to park outside the pharmacy as MacKeurtan Avenue has become an avenue of eating and drinking places but no more parking places. Even though the pharmacy, which has been there for over 50 years, has put up signs in front of 4 parking bays marking them for customers only for 30mins. These were all taken and yet there was only 1 customer in the pharmacy! I had to park on the side of the road but what about other older or sicker customers or those with little ones who may have had to park even further away. I had a long wait for all my meds to be prepared and packed as there was an error on my script and the pharmacist had to phone the doctor. Just as I was having my purchases cashed up, a car left the bay right in front of the shop and almost immediately a huge black Mercedes with 2 middle-aged men, I think Malaysian, drove up. The passenger got out and was showing the driver how far forward he could bring his huge car. One of the pharmacy assistants said something like, guess where they are going and it is not in here. This really riled me big time. I went out and tapped on the nice noisy metal sign and the conversation went as follows:

Me: “Can’t you read? This is indicated as for pharmacy customers to park for a max of 30minutes.”

Passenger: “We will be only 30mins.”

Pharmacist: “and pigs will fly.”

Me: “Do you see that green car on the roadside there? It is mine. I could not park here because of people like you. Read this sign and consider the pharmacy customers.”

Driver to passenger: “Come on, let’s go”

I went back into the shop ready to apologise for my behaviour but was surprised to be praised and told I was much appreciated. Everyone was in hysterics. As staff they had not wanted to say anything before. This incident happened BEFORE I had experienced the young man at the bank, so I guess he was just at the end of the chain of events but he should have shown some basic manners anyway.

My day was significantly improved when I arrived home and learnt that Kevin Anderson had beaten Andy Murray in the 4th round of the US Open Tennis Grand Slam. Proudly South African again!


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