Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The night shift bank security guard.

We have all encountered that annoying security guard once or twice if you live or work in Uganda, whether it was at a checkpoint of a mall, an office entrance, washing or parking bay. There is one similar characteristic that they all share; they all think for you and make assumptions without having all the facts.

Recently I went to a DFCU bank Ntinda branch at Capital shoppers and on the outside there is an ATM with a security guard who was dozing at the time and only woke up when I pushed the booth door open. 

Within 1 minute I realised that there was a technical problem with this machine and I was not happy that I would have to go all the way to the Nalya Quality shoppers’ branch or back to town. I decided to engage the guard to see if I was the first person to complain that the ATM was not dispensing money.

Me: ‘’Hello Sebo, has this machine been down all day.’’

Security Guard: ‘’No it has been on and off like that like for about 2 hours.’’

I wondered, how an ATM machine worked like a security lights that go on and off but that is a discussion for another blog altogether.

Me: ‘’Okay so should I try again?’’

Security Guard: ‘’Let me see,’’ he said and after a minute he told me to come back after 5 minutes.

Me: ‘’Okay,’’ I said begrudgingly but decided to stroll around the mall as I waited.
However when I returned and walked towards his direction and said ‘’I hope this device will work this time and not capture my ATM card.’’

Security Guard: ‘’Nanti, the problem is you are talking too much.’’ (In Luganda)

Me:  ‘’What, excuse me!’’

Security Guard: ‘’You are saying too many things, you just keep quiet, believe and go back and try. But if you talk, talk, like that then of course it will not work.’’

Me: ‘’Fine,’’ I responded as I walked back into the ATM booth to give it one more go before I giving up. Sadly this time the screen display read, TEMPORARILY OUT OF SERVICE

So I walked out ready to leave with no look in the security guards direction only for him to say.

Security Guard: ‘’See it is not working because you said many words.’’
I was stunned as I turned around to glance at him before I walked away leaving him saying;

Security Guard: ‘’You try again tomorrow.’’

I was dumbfounded and also rather irritated at this point however, I decided I was not going to get into a full on exchange with this fellow for any reason and as I walked away he squirmed in his seat readying himself to get back to his nap while on shift with a firearm in hand. 

This led me to wonder how helpful his fire arm would be if I were being attacked in front or within the ATM booth. Many who saw me post this picture were unhappy but wouldn’t you be unhappier if I had done same with a casualty right next to him for his failure to stand guard during his shift? 

Ugandans we need to stop making excuses and pay attention to our job descriptions instead of giving ourselves new ones like this fellow who wanted to be the DFCU ATM booth entertainer. 

Monday, 18 April 2016

JAVA House staff who only want to serve you Mango juice

I finally got some room in my day last month to enjoy some restaurant hopping which is a hobby of sorts and this time I went to visit the Java house along the Lugogo bypass opposite Orynx Lugogo petrol station.  I arrived and after about 3 minutes a waitress came to me with a menu.

Waitress: ‘’Hello, have you received service?’’

Me: ‘’No.’’

Waitress: ‘’I recommend the mango juice.’’

Me: ‘’Ah... no. Well I am waiting for company but I will look at the menu and decide when they arrive.’’

After a long wait, since my meeting party was running late I decided to order anyway and as I kept shouting ‘’Excuse me!’’ as waiters passed by, I soon realised it was going to take a lot more to get service. It was not until a gentleman with a heavy Kenyan accent clad in chef’s garb walked in from the Kitchen into the main seating area that I received service. As he surveyed the seating area, he turned and glanced in my direction, our eyes locked and I began to raise my hand as he briskly made a beeline in my direction.

Chef: ‘’Have you been attended to?’’

Me: ‘’No sir.’’                                           
                                                           
Chef: ‘’Okay,’’ he said as he span around and headed for the closest waiter yelling. ‘’Madam is sitting there and has not been attended to, can’t you see her?’’
I grinned a little because this chef had quite the sense of humour but the waiters could tell he was dead serious.

Me: ‘’ Could I have a BTL sandwich and juice cocktail of mango, watermelon and pineapple. Could you make sure my juice is very cold. ’’

Waiter: ‘’Okay.’’

Me: ‘’Thank you, oh and could you please bring my food and juice at the same time?’’

Waiter: ‘’Yes, madam that’s fine.’’

10 minutes later, my juice arrived and it was warm tending towards hot and on tasting it 5 minutes later I realised that it was not what I ordered let alone the fact that it was not followed by my food. I had not been given fruit cocktail juice but Mango juice, so I wondered whether there had been a plot to serve me Mango juice by all the waiters no matter what I ordered. However not wanting to be fussy, I decided not to complain and typed away at my keys as I waited for my food. All I did was ask for some ice cubes to sort out the issue when my BTL sandwich and fruit arrived 10 minutes later.

Sadly I must say, my BTL sandwich had a rather flat note but then again I am big on flavour so that might be the issue and I also realised the accompanying fruit was charged separately which was surprising but I could handle. 2 gentlemen who I realised later on to be brothers walked in and sat next to me. I decided to pay attention to see what kind of service they would receive compared whether their experience would be any different from mine.  

Younger brother: ‘’Can I have chips, a pair of sausages and salad.’’

Waitress: ‘’No, but you can try this.’’

Younger brother: ‘’But does this come with salad.’’

Waitress: ‘’No, we will charge you separately for the salad.’’

Younger brother: ‘’Fine, I will order what you suggested, but first can I have fruit cocktail juice.’’

Older brother: ‘’What is that?’’

Younger brother: ‘’It is pineapple, mango watermelon juice mixed in one it is awesome.’’


Older brother: ‘’Okay, I need to try it.’’

So when the waitress came back with the glass of juice, the older brother grabbed the glass to have a sip so he could make up his mind on whether to order it as well and this was his response.

Older brother: ‘’This is mango,’’ he said as the anxiously waiting younger brother grabbed the glass to make sure.

Younger brother: ‘’Yeah this is mango, this is not what I ordered I want juice cocktail – watermelon, mango and pineapple.’’

Waitress: ‘’Ok let me confirm with the kitchen.’’

Within 5 minutes, she returned with another glass of juice and apologised as the first glass was indeed Mango juice but it was not cold.

Older brother: ‘’Could I have the same, but it is not cold. Can I have ice like hers as well? But is your ice okay today?’’

Waitress: ‘’What do you mean?’’

Older brother: ‘’2 days ago, I asked for ice with my drink and my stomach was upset all day and yet that is all I had eaten that afternoon.’’

Waitress: ‘’Sorry to hear that, what I can get you?’’


She had quickly brushed over the issue and continued like nothing had happened. Wow I thought to myself but could not stay any longer and had to leave so I asked for my bill. I paid, filled out the customer review form that came with my bill. As I waited for my change, I noticed the waiter remove and read the feedback form and after handing over the money to the cashier he took out the form and disappeared around the corner only to return without it. I cannot say what became of it but what I can say is I had rated the service as poor.