Friday, 30 December 2011

Slowing Down To A Fast Paced Hectic Stressful Holiday

December is supposed to be the holiday season, where we all slow down, take a break, relax and regroup for the New Year. So why is it so busy hectic and stressful. Everyone rushing here, rushing there, the Malls are crowded, people fighting, shouting, shoving - I hate it. The schools are closed, aftercare centers, nursery schools, creches are all closed by the 16th, nannies and domestic workers leave for their home towns on the 16th, so most people go on leave then as well. Most industries except for retail close up on the 15th, although granted these past few years many small businesses keep going until the 23rd or 24th, then after that there is no business. Just a mass exodus to the coast or other holiday destinations. The beaches are over crowded, the amusement  parks overcrowded - everything just crowds, crowds,crowds. With the mass exodus to the coast and records of over 1000 cars going through the Toll Plaza's an hour on the 16th and then even more on the 23rd you would think the shops here would be quiet - not a chance!! Fighting over parking, trolleys, shoving; pushing; grabbing - the silly season! No I would rather term it as the mad season and not in a fuzzy way, but in an insane, ugly, stupid way. People dying on the roads, due to arrogance, stupidity and lawlessness. People getting drunk and stabbing and shooting each other to death. What is so festive and relaxing about that?

Now This Is Slowing Down!!!

Work was also so hectic. Mark closed on the 23rd, I worked until the 22nd around lunchtime, then braved the Malls. He was so busy and short staffed. Everyone booking their cars in at the last minute, wanting it finished yesterday, like he just sits there waiting for them and they are his only customer. Truth is Mark does treat his customers like they are his only customer. He gives them personal service and treats them like royalty and like they are the only person that comes to him to have their car fixed. He goes out of his way for them, goes the extra mile, does little extras and yes it is a good thing. That is why most of his customers have stayed with him for 14 years and have followed him each time he has moved. Moving was beyond his control and not because he wanted to move and he has moved far from his original base, but they still drive the 20 odd kilometers to have their cars fixed or serviced. One guy came there the other day and he now lives in Carltonville. OK, so I don't even know where that is. I had to Google it for interest sake - it is like 90 Km's away!! To have his wheel bearings fixed - wow. He won't go anywhere else. The bad thing about the way he treats his customers is in that they expect him to be available at the drop of the hat, think they can bring their cars in at the last minute, because their's is the only car he fixes and it is very stressful and hectic. The other problem is like the guy from Carltonville was R170.00 short. He had "no money" in his account, no credit card and no other cash. So what can Mark do after him saying Mark is the only person he will use and telling me that he drives from Carltonville. All he says is OK, don't worry and gives the guy a discount. Quite a few customers think I am a new employee, because I work from home and have not worked there for about ten years, just come in now and again.  Another woman comes from near Bella-Bella, which is far, 160km's away. They don't come often, but they drive far enough. She also thought I was a new employee, going on and on about Mark and was so embarrassed when she found out who I was. His customers are sort of possessive about him and know him so well, better than his "receptionist" and have known him longer than his "receptionist" It is quite funny actually. What gets me is that customers will come and pay cash, get the invoice and round the amount off to the lowest hundred. So many do that and say I am sure you don't need the R80.00 or the R40.00, it makes me so mad. Where else can you do that??? If you go to a supermarket or any other big company and you are five cents short, you have to put something back. I have often been behind someone at Pick 'n Pay and they are 50 cents short and need to put something back and I just give the person the money, whether it is 50 cents or R5.00, but when you are paying the owner like Mark it is the norm to say "Oh I am sure you don't need the R80.00. And of course he has had the odd customer from hell, he has lost some gained some and has been screwed over by lots, usually ones that he has helped over and over then they don't pay and disappear.

A Dog's Life

So the last month has been very busy, actually the last two months, but the last two weeks more than ever. Yesterday, was the first day that I had nothing to do. Alone at home, Mark and Chad are in Ballito, so it is just me here. I don't have to clean or cook and I am not even doing the ironing. I did the washing and did some more today - catching up from the weekend and the rain, but it is all folded waiting to be ironed one day soon.

I was so bored yesterday and today, just eating and eating the time away. I have nothing to read. I don't read books anymore, but I don't even have a magazine to read and it is too much effort to go buy one.  I went to the shops yesterday to buy milk and smokes, but did not think to buy a magazine. There are no movies to watch on TV and I also don't feel like watching TV, so all I do is eat eat eat. Terrible!!!!!!!

I am too tired to care

Just now I went to lie in the sun by the pool. After my last Blog post I was feeling emotional, sad and drained. So I made my self something to eat, put my costume on and went to lie by the pool. Not even a half an hour later, there was a huge angry black cloud above me and then drops of rain. I had to dash to get the washing off the line and then huge drops of rain came down, but I was so hot from lying in the blazing sun that was there a few minutes ago that I jumped into the pool and had a quick swim, before the lightning and thunder started. Now it is dark outside, with far off rumblings of thunder, but no rain. The huge rain storm lasted two minutes.
The end of my tanning

Now I think I will channel surf and see if there is something to watch on TV, maybe blog about something else later. My mind is full of stuff - I tell you!! An afternoon nap would be the answer, but then I can't sleep at night and this house has the worst ever creepy noises at night - when I am alone. As it is I stay up until very late to avoid lying there listening to creepy sounds and bangs, so an afternoon nap is not in order.

So 'til later...............

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