Thursday, May 21, 2009

the sandwich lady

Conquered the sandwich woman.

Good lord, this has taken a year.

Ask for a sandwich from this lady (who services the building), and it’s a little bit of a passive-aggressive issue.
Not full on crazy, just that you can sense that you’re being the ultimate pain in arss asking for two pieces of toast, sandwiched for five seconds, and moulded together with a humble piece of cheese.

You can be as sweet as candy coated with 8000 kgs of pure refined cane sugar, but the sandwich will arrive three hours later and you’re tentative to bitch and moan, because you’re concerned it’ll be addled with spittle the next time you order.

As revenge.

I worked as a waitress for a while. I know what happens behind the scenes when people complain.

And even if you weren’t a slave to the food whoreder, you can always at least imagine what happens if you complain a little too much.

South Africans are known for feeling bad if they complain about shitty service or if the house lasagne is too cold, they get wracked with guilt/

At least in my experience.

Until you spill three drinks on their crotch in the space of 45 minutes.

That’s not a good look. I got demoted, not even fired. But that’s a whole other story for another day. And I didn’t experience the manager’s penis in order not to get fired. Believe you me. That would’ve been another kind of punishment.

I’m merely saying that if you’ve worked in the service industry before, you generally respect waitrons.

So after pleading and smiling like an inane idiot, being sweet, but still receiving the dog’s end of crap service (and I understand - sidenote: she has to do it, it’s part of the corporate vibe and she doesn’t get tips. It’s her duty to wrack up sandwiches and wraps), I get it.

I went in one morning and addressed her in Zulu. Maybe I was overly enthused, maybe I was just feeling language-funky, but I waltzed in there during the manic lunch-rush-hour-men-in-chinos-and-blue-collared shirts, and jumped in ahead of them all but filing up for a good old zarm on the double.

Go in, tentatively avoiding the Deep South Stompers which is their chosen foot apparel for day-to-day corporate activities, and skip the line.
Wearing gold golf shoes, a bubble dress and blue stockings (Living.The.Dream), and say something like:
‘Precious! Sisi! Ufuna uSandwich, yabonga gaKhulu!’

But did this woman’s face light up. Clearly I’d said something completely off charter, and perhaps my sentence made no sense whatsoever. For all I know it could’ve been ‘Precious! I’d like one toasted Hairy Bollock Breath, that’s a sad balloon.’

But this woman but starts dancing, giggling like a Thai ladyboy, and ululating around the micro-kitchen.

She was digging it lank.

And made me a sandwich quicker than a taxi cuts in front of you on the apex of Jan Smuts and William Nicol.

Seriously, I suddenly start addressing her in Zulu (all six words. Plus ‘sfebe’ which is bitch. Which is what I love being), and it all comes together.

Peas gets a perfectly crafted sandwich 20 minutes later while the rest of the corporate universe waits for days, weeks, months for theirs. Which, could, suspiciously, be coated in saliva.

End of story, I’ve cracked Precious. I now go in there, with a straight talking-straight-facing-straight-vibing expression – no battering of eyelids, no bullshit, and say I want a sandwich in her language.

The Difference.

I know shit in Zulu. But speak someone’s language, play by their rules, and you’ll get somewhere. [Extra sidenote: if only MTN had their own fucking language, then I wouldn’t be trying to spell I.N.C.O.M.P.E.T.E.N.C.E ALL DAY LONG]

The world hates the French, and I don’t hear people on a general spectrum, being fond of the Germans. But speak their language? And things start to adhere the grand plan more smoothly.

Things roll better. And people who just assume these nations should just fucking speak English are nothing but arrogant. Seriously. Those are their first languages – at least try.
Bridget Jones even tried in the pharmacy when she got a pregnancy test in an Austrian ski resort – it wasn’t pretty, but thank FUCK for Bridget Jones.


So from now on, Precious will get her Zulu. It’s her vibe. However crap and up to shit my grasp of the language is.

And when I’m in France and they stink to the ceiling panels of garlic, I’ll speak French. And when I’m in Germany eating long, hot sausages and drinking beer, I’ll try to speak German. Even if it only stretches to boy band porn terms.

They might not even spit in your food (bonus!) And on the Rive Guache – it’s gonna happen seriously. You might even get a smile. Maybe.

In China I'll just nod and wave.

It's just key. Like a pikey. Except not.


tyrone said...

Probably the first time in a long time one of the throngs that she serves has made her feel special, noticed or properly respected?

And as for MTN... You should see the fight I'm having with them at the moment... They are PATHETICALLY USELESS!

Hate them...

Peas on Toast said...

Tyrone - yes I think trying to speak someon'es first language is a sign of respect, for sure.

What's crappening with MTN your side?

Perhaps try and speak to them in American, they'll think then that you'll try to sue them if they push it too hard!

tyrone said...

More like what's NOT happening... Which is:

1) Voicemails coming through on time.

2) Callers being allowed to leave voicemails.

3) 3G actually working and staying connected for longer than 15 minutes.

4) Customer service

5) Helpdesk support

What really makes me want to drop a fucking a-bomb on their heads is that they make so much fucking money it's beyond imagination. Their margins are SKY-HIGH. All this and they can't even get a helpdesk to work properly.


Off to Swaziland in an hour. Yay for a chilled weekend.

Peas on Toast said...

Fuck Ty. I would've blown a vesicle years ago. That kind of shit isn't something I'm talented at being tolerant with.

Sounds like you definitely deserve a bit of Swazi. Or Swaziland. Or both. Enjoy it. :)

Revolving Credit said...

Reading this, you sound almost disappointed not to have experienced the managers penis??

As for Precious, isn't she the one constantly referred to in Lord of the Rings, in a rather evil sounding voice as 'My Precious'??
Now that shit sounds evil.

Peas on Toast said...

Rev - that shit IS evil. Good lord. ;)
As for: Reading this, you sound almost disappointed not to have experienced the managers penis??The guy was Russian and had lots of hair. Need I elaborate?

Wallfish said...

Dude - my theory on Margaret - 'cos that's her real name is - call her Margaret, not Maggie. I think she just hates being called Maggie. When I call her Margaret (with respective tone thrown in) I get my sandwich pronto.

Just a thought.

Peas on Toast said...

Tried that.

Didn't work. You showed her your penis didn't you?

Peas on Toast said...

PS: Can I call you by your real name too?

Revolving Credit said...

Vodka = hairy Russian = Fuzzy Navel?

Peas on Toast said...

A fuzzy navel might be a bit optimistic. If a fuzzy navel was a penis, that would be nice.

He was more like a.....Gulag On The Beach.

Revolving Credit said...

So, hairy penis is your thing?

Maybe get the Dolphin a sheepskin cover??

Know that I think about it, I never realised that the Bushwhacker was..umm...bushy.

Peas on Toast said...

hahaha everyone's a comedian Rev :)

Are you suggesting I buy my dildo a willy warmer?

Can't I just knit one myself? ;)

Revolving Credit said...

but can you knit it out of pubes?

Peas on Toast said...



Revolving Credit said...

Oooh...have I been naughty? Am I gonna get spanked?

Ruby said...

Ahem... You guys know each other?

Lol @ the human prune of yesterday. A dumb woman almost drove me off the road earlier in TBK. She slowed down, thinking she was going to park to the left of the road, YET, with no indicator on she turned RIGHT and I, in an almost 90% complete attempt at overtaking her,

To top it off she gives me a blank look. *save me*

Man the only thing I miss about JHB aside from the warm weather in winter and th Souff' is the WIDE roads... No nonsense with parking on the side of the road...Cape Town drivers are useless!

Anonymous said...

ooooh- sfebe means "slut" not "bitch" ... so be careful with that one. bitch is more "inja" and "msunuwako" works much better. But I didn't tell you :P