Tuesday, August 19, 2008

there is a light which forever goes out....

well, this evening delivered a fascinating twist in the saga of perpetual "power failures" in the area we live. apparently, South Africa's power woes have been addressed and there is no need for enforced power cuts, something which occurred around the time it was decided to give the state owned power company even more money (go figure). and yet, somehow, we have had at least one power cut every day for the past four days.

the power went out again this evening. i immediately picked up the phone and called the number for City (non) Power to report such incidents and get further information. that number would be 011 375 5555, option 2.

can you imagine my surprise to get a recorded message telling me that the power was out in my area? i mean, how is that possible? at best, and this is being generous, there was 1 single minute between the power going out and me calling the number. as they thrive on inefficiency and revel in their incompetence. there's no way they could have got the information, recorded the message and implemented it in that time. a rather planned power outage then, methinks, and i thought it best to get an explanation from them as to how they could do this.

of course, the people who answer the phones above could not answer the question. they are but simple people, hired for their will power i would imagine, as i dare say the majority of calls received are of a less than complimentary nature. to their credit, they too were equally puzzled as to how such a message could come into being with such speed, and one chap was keen to learn how a recorded message advising that the power was out in an area could be put in place so quickly. they suggested that i speak to a supervisor, and endeavored to put me through to one of them.

the supervisors, alas, were mysteriously all unavailable right up until all four of them (Brian Nxumalo, Rabizo Nthe, Vuyiswa Makeke and Gugu Kheswa) finished their shift at 10pm. what an interesting deployment of manpower that is - have four supervisors on duty at the same time, all unavailable, and then have a large chunk of time at your 24 hour call centre where no supervisor or anyone senior is on duty. it's also rather convenient for dealing with questions like mine in regards of incidents like this one.

the lady i spoke to after 10pm, however, felt that not even a supervisor would be able to answer this curious question; she suggested that no less a being than the "area manager" would be the best person to answer the question. i was given the details for this supreme being, a Mothusi Tawana, telephone 011 256 8500. needless to say, that's only going to be during office hours, and i would wager that Mothusi will be unavailable if i bother to try calling tomorrow.

if anyone reading this wishes to pursue the story, go mad. i am just growing as tired of their dishonest attitude as i am of their lack of competence to do the job they are paid rather well to do.

and, as the lights will no doubt go out again at some point, let me head off to bed now that i have all that out of my system!!
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