Ever since Trevor Noah sold his soul to the corporates, I've become very anti-Trevor and by default very anti-CellC.
Suddenly his jokes don't seem funny anymore.
So when one of my mobile contracts came up for renewal, I decided to stick with MTN.
Sure they have their issues and may not have the best customer service, but at least they're not affiliated with Trevor or have retarded meerkats dancing to even more retarded songs as a marketing tool.
I traipsed (I like that word.. I should use it more often) over to the local MTN store and was met by Eric.
Calmest guy on the planet!
True story :
This woman standing before me was ranting and raving and cussing all manner of unspeakable words that would make a scurvied sailor blush, and Eric just stood there and smiled.
He took it like a real trooper, never once flinching or interrupting.
Even when she said the MTN folk can take their Blackberry's and shove it up their collective arses!
I think "collective" was over-kill. Singular arses would still have got the point across.
But thats just me.
Admittedly I was there to collect one of those Blackberry's.
Hopefully from the storeroom and not from the orifice said lady had just mentioned.
It turns out she was upset that MTN had suspended her service for being in arrears.
I'm not sure what her argument was, but telling them where to shove their phones didn't seem like such a great negotiating tactic.
Anyways, Eric finally calmed her down and offered her some coffee while he suggested she use his laptop to write them an email!
How cool is this guy?!
Him and I both knew he was going to delete her mail the second she walked out of the store.
OK maybe he didn't know it, but I sure as heck did.
It's exactly what I would have done.
It's only when I stepped up to the counter to be helped that I realised why he was so cool throughout her tirade... he had his earphones plugged into his ear, and seemed to be listening to music from his mobile!
I'm guessing The Three Tenors or Andrea Bocelli.
He probably had'nt heard a word she said.
Again, maximum points for distracting himself whilst looking interested.
Now one of the things I've realised about myself is that I enjoy engaging people and finding out their stories. Everybody has a story, even those who say they don't.
It's like the post I was reading on my friend Paige's blog, about a Big Issue vendor being drenched.
Wouldn't it be cool if every day, we could choose random people from all walks of life, and sit them down to find out their story, and then write about it on our blogs?
Telling the story would be as empowering for them as writing the story would be for us.
I just knew Eric had a story, so I asked him about the craziest client he ever had to deal with.
Always an easy ice-breaker, because we never forget the crazies.
He looked at me with that amazingly calm face, eye's as serene as an Alaskan ice-pond.
His eyelids half-closed. He almost looked Chinese.
Like a Chinese black dude.
Maybe he just smoked weed?...
It was a few weeks back.
She came in carrying her fancy handbag and flowers on her shoe's matching the flowers in her hair.
Always a bad sign.
Bad dress sense always equates to bad common sense.
Anyways, she never bothered introducing herself or asking for the right person to speak to.
She just saw calm Eric as the weak link in the MTN herd and honed in for the attack.
Within 5 minutes he was belittled to the point where he started thinking maybe he was a loser.
She was so crafty he forgot to ask her what the problem was and began focussing on his newly-planned suicide.
Just before he slit his wrist as a last stand of defiance of a man holding on to his vanishing pride, he managed to fire off a feeble "What's the problem with your phone ma'am?"
She handed it over to Eric and said she couldn't connect to the internet.
He flipped it open, looked at it and told her he couldn't help her.
She had his testicles in her claws and was about to rip them off and serve them as a delicacy to her poodle, unsalted. (figuratively, of course).
She scowled and asked him why not.
He lifted his gaze like a muslim pilgrim trying not to gaze at Satans naked wife before him.
Then lifted his finger and pointed out the door, saying "Because Vodacom is that way ma'am."
Crazy woman realised she was in the wrong store, didn't bother apologising as she huffed, spun around and proceeded to the Vodacom store.
So thats Eric's story.... and he's sticking by it.