Thursday, 27 September 2007

Manto loses Face[book]

I was totally flabbagasted to see that there are 3 profiles built for our Minister of Health in Facebook. They are certainly worth the read. Especially since they catch you off guard and at first I thought the government was just being really pro-active in the PR arena..[until I saw the other 2 profiles].
What is scary is how quickly you can lose face [in this case on Facebook] nowadays and how the technological world is aiding this. It really brings freedom of speech to A WHOLE NEW LEVEL! I wonder if Manto has seen her profiles?? Visit the link to check it out... if you are not on Facebook yet.... SERVES YOU RIGHT for not being proactive!

Monday, 17 September 2007

The Lion King lesson

We were fortunate enough to see the Lion King [at Monte Casino] this week. WOW! I was totally blown away. I have never really seen anything like that and I have seen a few theatre productions. It would be great if every South African was fortunate enough to see it.

We took our daughter (who is under 10) and she was very well behaved. She sat as quite as a mouse, captivated. Sadly the experience had a kak lesson and confirmed my assumptions about how truly bad some parents are.

Let me first say that, I believe, in this uncaring, dangerous world there are 2 very important things you now need to teach your children [along with everything else] caring for others and giving. This counteracts the external messages of ‘its all about me’ and ‘take, take, take’ that are surreptitiously lurking in every corner, especially in advertising and the celebrity 'role models' that kids grow up with today.

During the show, there were children that were talking loud, jumping on their seats, and in some cases standing and knocking the seats in front of them. At R375 per ticket that is a little more than annoying! Take a guess what all three sets of parents were doing…. Nothing. Not even once did I see one of the parents turn their head to reprimand their children. They have become so good at ignoring and ‘switching off’ that they do it with ease in these situations, this whilst the rest of us are left to be irritated by their children. Manners seem to be the last thing they are taught.
I ended up actually telling a little girl behind me to keep quite, which I didn’t particularly enjoy, but she was virtually shouting at her grandmother whilst her mother sat idly by enjoying the show.

What is happening in this world?… what are people breeding? It is pretty scary to watch and I must say this kind of thing does bother me, especially since I am teaching my daughter to be caring and giving. I just hope this ‘lot’ don’t end up hurting her! I hope I am not the one that has got this all wrong and in fact I should be teaching my child to 'protect herself from the world'!
In reality, there is simply no way I would be able to teach [even if subconsciously] my daughter this kind of 'new age' behaviour…..I think someone should start a 'children with manners club' to remind parents of what they were taught as children…..! I am sure there are kids out there that are caring, giving and have manners, but by the looks of things, they almost extinct!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Mr Price...not so nice

Mr Price has always been one of those shining SA brands for me…. You know the ones that you are extremely loyal 2! That is until my recent experience.
I recently had to purchase office furniture and someone suggested I try Mr Price Home, the ‘Super Store’ on corner of Hendrik Potgieter & Nic Diedrichs Boulevard Wilgeheuwel On The West Rand. Very far for a Sandton chick [had to take my passport] but they apparently had loads of stock! Something Sandton was clearly fresh out of…..

To cut a very long story [not so] short :
1. I spent over R20 000 on office equipment. A LOT of money for a small company (money I don’t just have lying around). Even with that large spend, I still had to actually ask them for a discount and I was made to wait for ages for managers approval [felt a little like they were doing me a massive favour].
2. Whilst I was waiting, two of their staff asked me for jobs?? Slightly unprofessional.
3. I requested delivery and was told it would cost me R150….. ON a R24000 bill you would think delivery would be free?? That also felt like a tall order, especially when I threw a curve ball and asked for it to be delivered on the day that suited me not the store! Eish!
4. I paid in full [had a few issues with the credit card payment courtesy of my other ‘favourite’ Standard Bank]. That was finally sorted.
5. I got a call the next day from a staff member ON MY CELL for a job. So much for privacy!
6. 4 days later I called to check that my delivery was on track and I was told they would not be delivering on ‘my’ day as they have stock take? I asked to speak to the abrasive manager and she informed me of that same fact. To which my response was that does not suit me and why I was not told that when I chose the day. The manager promised to come back to me…. A whole day later but I beat them 2 it.
7. The delivery arrived, once again I was made to feel like they were doing me a favour by telling me that I was the only one that was getting a delivery on that day!
8. The delivery was wrong [partly my fault for not checking up on a bunch of people that clearly did not know their head from there backside]. I had checked the ‘shopping’ list but it was so long and I was so irritated I rushed stupidly. I was missing my 5 office chairs.
9. I called about the chairs, luckily they still had them [I was very irritated now]. I chose to go into the store to collect them just to be safe. I got there, they were not ready [surprise surprise!]. Lots of people standing around holding up counters and a few more doing a stock take.
10. I once again asked for a measly 5 % discount on the chairs as it was part of the original order. I had already been inconvenienced by driving back to get something that should have been delivered if they had of listened and included everything in the beginning! The cashier simply laughed and ignored me. Ringing up the chairs without a thought. I told him I was not joking. He then looked and some other guy, spoke in Sotho and the guy ran off. [My thought at this time was how sadly disempowered these people were]. 15 min later the guy comes back and has no news. The floor manager [not the real ‘big’ manager] just says no discount, to quote him “we only give discount for orders over R15 000” [something that was NEVER offered to me on my first purchase!]. At this point I am so mad I just paid the R3500 to get out of the Store.
11. Whilst this is going on the floor manager speaks to at least 3 customers making their stock take day the customer’s problem. I am fascinated at how low the Mr Price Home customers are on the food chain.

So what has happened? The staff and customers seem to be a means to an end and although the store concept is great, that particular store seems to be totally mismanaged. Maybe this BIG CORPORATE Mr Price no longer cares for its people or its customers [shareholder value now hey guys]? Well good luck on that one without customers you ain’t got no value. There is such potential for Mr P to support small business in the country BUT I will not be referring anyone to them. I realized it just takes one experience [ok a very expensive one for me] to change the fragile face of brand perceptions. I dont think Mr Price will be placing a [red] cap in hand anytime soon for their customers....

So sad and damn frustrating.

[Update:17 Sept- I subsequently found out I should have been offered the option of assembly which infuriated me even more -but briefly, after a call to the Head Office, I managed to get this whole mess sorted. Today Mr Price sent people to assemble the furniture. I am thankful, but saddened that such a fuss had to happen before any real service was given]

Thursday, 06 September 2007

Get your gnashes into Tashas!

OK, it really is not often that I punt a place [Vida being the one exception] BUT I have to say for brand consistancy Tashas Cafe in Atholl Square [Sandton-Jozi] is so ahead it is scary......

The food is the freshest around and no matter what you order you are sure to get a great good quality meal, and the service is very good. I realise that some see it as a place to 'be seen' but I can tell you that it is also a place to see! If you are a people watcher Tashas is heaven!

If anyone has been, please give me your feedback...I have been over 40 times this year and had only one marginal service issue...nothing that I would not go back for! Give it a bash!