If you haven’t read the previous blog post title “at least it makes for a good story,” read it now before you continue.
My faith in the existence of customer service here in Swaziland was revived!!!
Today I was returning home from a camping trip and was sun-burnt and tired but desperately needing groceries before I headed back to site. Its month-end (aka pay day) and Christmas time so stores are hectic. I had to wait just for a basket at the grocery store and then braced the crowded aisles. Finally I got to the check out and waited in a long line as expected. I got to the front, unloaded my cart at the till, and just as the teller was about to swipe my first product the power goes out. We waited in total darkness for a minute before the lights came back on. I then waited another 15 minutes for the tills to come back up. The line I was in never did start back up. Eventually I was asked to pack up my cart and find another line. Due to the power outage the check-out lines were now half way down the store. I reluctantly pushed my cart to the very back. I had now been in the store for 1.5 hours. Half an hour later the girl at my original till passed me and said “How [expression of surprise]! You are still in line?” I was half way down the dry foods aisle and just smiled and said “yep, still here.” Ten minutes later she rushed up to me again, grabbed my cart and said follow me. I didn’t have time to question so I followed her. She got her till on and kindly brought me to be first in her line before she opened it up. I couldn’t believe how nice she was. I had to really fight back the tears from her kindness. I tried to express how thankful I was in every form I knew how, without physically leaning over the counter and hugging her.
It is moments like this that I am so ashamed of being so cynical here. Goodness does exist, but sometimes only when we aren’t fighting for it. I find myself fighting a lot these days. I use to call it standing-up for myself, not letting people take advantage of me, but what it feels like now is just fighting. Usually at times like the one I mentioned above I am to tired to remember or try to fight for myself, it’s always in these moments that I realize that there are people on my side. Something I am going to try harder to remember.