Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Different Type Of Farewell

I said in my Goodbye to our Landrover post, that it has been a week of farewells. These are farewells of a different kind.

Shaun, the young guy who started working for us in January is leaving today. He initially started working for us, because he wanted to do his apprenticeship through us, but the whole learnership process has changed since we were accredited years ago. He hasn't started his apprenticeship as yet and besides it being the worst trade to be in ever, it certainly is not as glorified as tinkering on your car on weekends that most of these boys think it is, Shaun just does not have the passion to overlook the negative side of it. So he leaves today for much greener pastures and we wish him everything of the best. His cousin works for an IT Company and they were looking for staff and he went for the interview about 2 weeks ago and for a psychometric test and finally last week they said he has the position. We have encouraged him all the way, because it is an opportunity he cannot turn down. The Company sounds amazing to work for and he is very excited, but nervous to start on Wednesday. He is a sweet kid, so we will miss him, but he needs to think of his future. That was farewell one.

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 We were meant to be moving premises today, but they haven't started renovating yet and the landlord asked if we wanted to stay longer on a reduced rent, until they start renovating and we have stayed, because it has been easier that way.  In the meantime we have been preparing for the move, like transferring the phone line and because we did not know where we will be moving to (we do now) and because it will be out of this area we need to port this number to Vodacom One Net Express. One Net Express is meant to be a Mobile Switchboard, but doesn't quite work as a switchboard. It has an auto attendant, but you can't transfer calls between the different lines. What is really great about it, is that it is the only Network that can port a Telkom line, which is great if like us, we are moving out of the area and losing our land line number means losing Clients. What is not great about it , is that no one and I mean NO ONE, not even Vodacom Call Centre staff know about it. We went through a very stressful time in December and January trying to get our other number ported and was eventually assisted by a wonderful man, who after huge fights and frustrations got it working. He was, I have to admit the fall guy for a very new product and now almost a year later I have had to ask him to assist AGAIN. He gladly and willingly helps, even when on two occasions, I have forgotten my pin number. Call the Call Centre and give them a Telkom number and automatically you are a retard phoning Vodacom to query a Telkom number. Chatting to this man again on Friday, to try and finalise the porting of the number and he mentioned that he will be leaving Vodacom - Why?? because he was retrenched as the Product is not profitable!!! Dam straight it is not profitable - no one knows about it at Vodacom. I saw a billboard advert once upon a time and when we needed something like that went onto their website and from there it was downhill into a frustrating pit of unknown. Not a single store we went to knew about it and I believe that now it is going to be integrated into the stores - I hope they train their staff. It is really fantastic if you don't want to lose your land line number, but have to move out of the area. So that was my next farewell for the week.

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The last one is quite tragic, but kind of makes me angry and then even more angry at myself for being judgemental. Our gardener sent a message to Mark on Friday to say he is not coming to work, because his brother Justice was dead. Now our gardener has a book of excuses to take time off work. He once borrowed money to rush off home, because his wife had an emergency hysterectomy - she has had another child since the "hysterectomy". We were stunned to hear his brother was dead, we know him quite well, because he has done painting and tiling at our house a couple of times. We thought it was an accident, could only be, he is young and healthy,   I phoned his cousin who works at our other branch and asked if Justice had died, because our gardener always lies. Big mistake and I should not have done it as he had not heard yet.  Rabie, our gardener was on the other line telling Phineas. Turns out Justice, who is one of the most arrogant people I have ever met, hung himself on Thursday night. He has a construction business and his staff arrived at work on Friday morning and found him like that. We are all so shocked, because he is so arrogant and does not fit the profile of a depressed suicidal person. Apparently, he has been talking about dying for a few weeks now and asked his brothers to look after his children. He left a note and this is what has made me judgemental. He has a wife and 6 kids in Zimbabwe, not divorced, a wife he has a relationship with and then he has a wife in South Africa with a child. In the note he said his South African wife left him for another man and he hung himself. This is not the time or post for my lack of understanding of the culture of polygamy and adultery, but I just don't get it. What is very unfair is leaving his wife to carry the burden of his death on herself and also to leave his brothers to look after his children. He was the one who was doing pretty well for himself. Our gardener works two days for us and one day for our neighbour and he does not work for the rest of the week, mainly because his other bosses, I am sure were not as lenient as us with all of his days off work. The other brothers also have unskilled jobs.

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Depression and suicidal thoughts lurk in corners where you least expect to find them. The worst is that culturally this was put down to black magic, that he was cursed. It is very sad for those children. Phineas who is steeped in African culture and tradition also cannot understand why someone who has two wives takes his own life, because his second wife left him.

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