No comment needed I guess. Other than to say a real inspiration for any women intending to come to SA, now, or in 2010. Helluvu'n example of Ubuntu among Africans - men and women - involved in this. Pray for the children of these beasts. Words fail me. UPDATE 22 Feb '08: See Bongani Madondo's article in 'Continue Reading' below...as well as the update (29th Feb '08) on the tradition of short skirts in indigenous South African culture.
Update: 8th March 2008. Too little, too late perhaps, but the mafioso-style industry is 'apologising' to the young woman. Go read here.
[See new updates below]mweb Business,in its wisdom, decided to migrate a whole bunch of websites to a new server. In the process they 'lost' the pointer to my website, so when you try go to www.imbizo.com, you get this:
Trying to reach mweb business technical support is proving more difficult than getting an interview with
the Pope. As I write this, I'm sitting on speaker-phone (thank God) in my office, being interminably regaled by a boring voice telling me all about mweb business and its (in their own opinion), bloody marvellous services. Including inviting me to go visit their website while I'm on hold, to see what they have on offer. Is that supposed to take my mind off the irritation of waiting forever to be helped, because they're (you guessed it), 'experiencing higher than usual call volumes". For which read: We're skimping on staff, so you can just wait.
Finally get answered, can't help, then get put through to Thate, who also can't help me. He promises to put the right person on the line, disappears and I'm back to the messages and awful musak. This time I'm told that my patience is appreciated. That helps. I immediately feel a whole lot better. Man, I could write a whole lot more Blogs if I called mweb Business more frequently!
Clearly, someone didn't fully think through the migration detail and like Microsoft, the customer is being used to de-bug the system. Not acceptable.
UPDATE: Gave up waiting after half an hour. Have called Koos Bekker, the Naspers CEO's PA. She's given me the number for Rudi Jansen who heads up mweb Business. Neither he nor his PA, Liesl, are available. I've left a message. I'll keep you posted. A luta continua!
UPDATE 2: Liesl has called back and is referring the issue to the GM of mweb Business JHB region. Why does it always take this sort of freakin' Cecil B de Mille production to get an issue sorted in South Africa I wonder? I'll update you as the saga progresses.
UPDATE 3: Hours and hours later and the site is still MIA - Missing In Action. mweb Business' lack of professionalism is reaching a new low. Still waitin' people...
UPDATE 4: No notification or communication from anyone at mweb Business. I looked for my site (18:20) and a whole freakin' day later, it's back. What abysmal dis-service. Biiiiiig vote of no-confidence in mweb Business.
UPDATE 5: 26th February.Weeks after the cursed 'migration' by these unremittingly uncaring people at mweb Business, there's still no cache of my website, and I can't access visitor stats. In typical large corporate South African fashion, mweb Business appears not to give a tinker's cuss about the perceived 'small' customer. I bet they're jumping like hell with the larger corporate accounts, though....
UPDATE 6:28th February. Wow! Just because you write about mweb Business' crappy service they suddenly wake up. Got a call today from customer service executive Genevieve Mattheus. Apologising for my experience. I told her nary a person from the upper echelons of mweb Business had bothered to get back to report on what they heck they were doing. Got all the usual 'that's unacceptable' noises from her. Sick-making. Why don't they just get off their lazy butts and do some client-service training? Yuck! The mweb Business ad caption is 'Achieve the extraordinary.' They've managed that alright. Just at the wrong end of the bloody service continuum.
UPDATE 7: 29th Feb '08. Guess what? Today we have statistics back, but in mweb Business' benighted incompetence, they've lost all previous stats. That's kinda unhelpful I'd say. I think they should be nominated for the Ignoble Awards this year for unprecedented incompetence and a don't give a shit attitude to clients.
UPDATE 8: 4th March '08. Got a call from mweb's Mario yesterday. To tell me he's the techie involved in re-constructing my stats from 'inception in 2006'. I pointed out that in fact mweb have hosted my site since January 2000! Every time they call they dig an even bigger hole. If the inertia factor and accompanying (guaranteed) screw-ups were not such a factor, I'd change ISPs now. As I said before....
UPDATE 9: 6th March '08. Three pointers - all to my one website. Now mweb business have contrived to ensure that if we make changes to my website, their caches aren't cleared or updated, or their mirror servers simply don't pick up the changes. Is there no end to the incompetence that these people can hatch?
If you value your sanity and your business,
DON'T USE THESE PEOPLE AS YOUR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP).
As Tweety (of Sylvester partnership fame) might have said, 'Oh doodness me!" Just look at the Material Girl's forearms. Almost no subcutaneous fat left, so every knotted blood vessel is visible. Along with some muscular bumps and lunar craters. Eeyew!
Paradoxically, the face has retained the sub-cut fat, keeping her lookin' purty young for a 50-something.
Not sure that those forearms mightn't do better in long sleeves.
Madonna, maybe time to start growing older, gracefully?
OK. Other than sneaking up the slipway at a
yacht marina, in full scuba gear, to give the folk there a once-off fright, what on earth would anyone want with an underwater car? One in which you have to wear scuba gear, as it happens. Isn't this technology and time wasted on ludicrous frivolity? Or was it just to satisfy scientific ego, one wonders? You may have seen the TV 'launch' of it.....Dear God....
Right, so the speaker bureaus got their wee in a froth. As promised,
some thoughts on the speaker. Those dastardly villains out of whom the
bureaus make their living and have their reason for being. Let's see if
they get their knickers into a similar knot. Somehow, I think not. Here you go:
My, my. It seems I've stirred up a veritable hornet's nest with my posting on Speaker Bureau Ethics. If you haven't read it, go do so here. In order to do justice to the issue of sorting out the resulting broedertwis, here are my thoughts on what some speaker bureaus could and should do to sort out their lack of professionalism.
In my next posting I'm going to do the same exercise for speakers themselves. Then I can't be accused of not being even-handed. Indeed, it'll then be possible to say I have a chip on each shoulder! Oh, and of course you're welcome to a 'right of reply'. I won't censor a word. Here goes, part 1:
Sitting in my PE guesthouse getting my ducks in a row for a coaching program tomorrow. So no scanner. But here's the text of a letter in the Feb edition of SAA's Sawubona inflight magazine. I'll drop the original article in when I'm back next week.
Now (11th Feb '08) added below the text version.
From the complainant.. "This is getting too much. Every time I travel to Lusaka the lunch served is horrible. On 17 November last year on SA63 from Lusaka the lunch was shamefully ridiculous. Something called couscous? With cold ham and a tomato, and a bread roll that was not fresh (very hard). First of all, half the people did not know what couscous is (very foreign to Southern African meals). Why not just give passengers a sandwich if SAA cannot afford to give us decent meals?
"This is my second complaint about meals on this route; should one revert to the press to get some response? I am tempted to take this to the media in both Zambia and South Africa.
"No one has bothered to respond to my fist complaint. One wonders if the food served is deliberate because the route is an African one? Food for thought!" - Agnes Phiri
Here's the SAA reply: "Our menu on this route changes every week to offer variety. Our caterer has put measures in place to address all quality issues. Couscous is a staple food throughout North Africa and part of the cuisine in neighbouring African countries and elsewhere. One of its attractions is that, unlike pasta or leavened bread, it is a light and elegant grain food. As the leading carrier on the continent, our African routes are our stars and we would like to thank our customers travelling on these routes and assure them that we greatly appreciate and value their continued custom."
So SAA's embedded message was, "Hey Philistine! You don't know what couscous is? Tough. Right, now that's out of the way, let's do a little plug to our loyal and uncomplaining customers who DO like our couscous."
If this wasn't so tragic, it would be funny. I thought SAA PR was truly crap in the days of Felicia Mabuza-Unsubtle, but this is an Ig-Nobel award-winning response. If Agnes Phiri thinks she has it bad, she should try being a vegetarian on this same airline. I swear they've done more damage to my digestive tract than any other single element in my long life. imbizo.com
You were hopefully spared the shocking visual in last week's print media of a mother in Kenya, lying dead
on the floor in a large pool of her own congealed blood, her eyes wide open and her arms akimbo, while her orphaned toddler sat crouched and screaming in terror on a nearby chair. I'm not repeating it here. The
picture was too shocking even to become the iconic picture of the chaos as did several from the Vietnam War.
The dreadful hidden cost to the on-going Kenyan riots, instability and killings is of course the psychological impact on impressionable young minds. In Kenya, most people alive today, have pretty much lived a peaceful, if poor existence. So the scale and intensity of the current election-driven violence is all the more out of kilter with what Kenyans have come to expect and know.
One wonders if incumbent Mwai Kibaki and the Pretender to the throne, Raila Odinga have paused to consider this in their ego-driven, testosterone-fuelled jousting?
Anyone notice the total absence of former epitome of corrupt African presidencies, Daniel Arap Moi? Is he hiding out in a chateau on Lake Geneva or summat? Nary a peep from him.
The Kenyan future now has a virus in it. It will spread its slow contagion of dysfunctionality and distorted value systems and if the script runs true to form, Kenya in fifteen to twenty years will experience a wave of crime, a lack of respect for elders or authority, self-serving thuggish behaviour and a brutality among its young adults that will parallel what we have in South Africa. The law of cause and effect is regretfully as inexorable as the slow pace of non-change that continues to afflict the African continent. imbizo.com