We've got problems

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

South Africans.  SMH.  I was at the post office in Greenside this afternoon and I witnessed something that was short of the Anglo Boer war right there between those rope railings that separate the counter to the customers.  I was standing in a queue in front of two black men. Behind me, 3 white septuagenarians (people in their 70's), two men and a woman.  Everything was cool until another white lady entered the post office and went straight to the counter, avoiding the queue and started talking to the lady at the counter.

She turned around and calmy said, ''Sorry I was here before, I just went to draw money because I didn't have enough, you can ask this lady to explain the situation''.  The black men before me did their business, one left and the other was busy filling in Lotto slips or something but he wasn't paying attention.  One of the Septies, an English Sough African with a hearing aid starts saying that the younger woman who jumped the queue must go to the back because it's not fair.  The lady Septie next to him, wearing a thin red line of lipstick, drawn on eyebrows and a perfectly poised light brown helmet of brown hair, jumps in and says in a very haughty, stiff upper lip accent ''Well I mean, you can't just come in here while we were here first''.  The lady under attack turns around and continues calmly, ''but I was here before and the person behind the counter said I must come straight through''.  At this point, the man right behind me, in a thick Eastern European accent starts talking to the other two going on about how unfair it is and how she can't prove that she was here before because they didn't see her.

I was like WTF? I didn't say anything.  I look at the black guy with the Lotto papers and he has this smirk on his face.  I smile and look at the lady under attack and say, ''Look it's fine, do what you need to do'' because I could see she was getting upset.  The old EEuropean guy comes towards me and asks what's it got to do with me.  Then I say, ''well I'm next in line and you're behind me and there's nothing we can do but wait.  Please guys, it's really not that serious''.  Then the other two Septies just start going off about how she's wrong and they don't believe her and start tauntiing her by talking about her but to each other.  Everybody in the post office can hear this and then BOOM.  Calm lady under attack suddenly goes, ''You horrible horrible people. It's because I'm Afrikaans''.  They don't seem purturbed by her upset and the lady Septie goes ''Oh what a common person, most common I've ever seen''.  Then the English septie agrees, ''Yes, you get people like this everywhere''.  Then the Afrikaans woman starts screaming. SCREAMING. Nee Vok man. Vok Julle. Vok.   You are so rude. I can't believe you''.  At this point, I'm sweating hot hot bullets under my arms and I'm shaking because this is happening right in front of me.  Back and forth and back and forth and the Greek guy eventually says you're a fucking Monkey to the Afrikaans lady.  At this point, she trips over the railings on her way to standing behind them.  She stands behind them and says ''There, go in front, it's yours, TAKE IT TAKE IT.  She is tearing up, breathing heavily and going a rapid red.  When she gets up she stands and there is silence until the EE guy taps me on my shoulder and says, go it's your turn.  I turn around and say directly to the Afrikaans woman, you can go in front of me.  She says thank you, and goes ahead.

I turn around and say to the old people ''Guys, in all seriousness, this is really not that serious.  Everyone needs to calm down.  This is no way to behave.  I have given her my turn and now all we can do is wait for her to finish''.  The EE guy starts shouting at me ''When was she here? It could have been 8am this morning 9am, you don't know. How can you trust her''.  I say ''I don't know and I don't really care, it's ten minutes of my life''. ''It's our lives too, it's our lives that we are waiting''.  I turn around and want to laugh because this situation is totally ridiculous but it's my turn to go to the counter.  The Afrikaans lady finishes and walks past the EE man and says ''Enjoy your horrible personality''.  EE guy grabs the lady by the arm and she says ''You'll hit your wife first before you hit me.  You'll hit your wife'', her voice quivering and ready to cry.  She walks out and I say to the three Septies - ''That is really no way to treat someone.  We are all still here''.  I walk out literally shaking my head.  All the while the staff at the post office are watching this whole thing and not saying anything.  I guess they were also shocked.  We need to work on our issues.


Ms. Overproof said...

Don't feel bad this doesn't just happen in South Africa, ignorance is everywhere happens here too (US) and bravo to you for keeping your head and doing the right thing. They chose to expel unnecessary energy on the mundane. If the woman is lying it would have simply been her bad karma what's 10 mins when you had to wait anyways. Thanks for sharing and always keeping it entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap that was full on World War 3. People seriously need to calm down, there is too much of a divide everywhere with everyone in this country its really sad. This is something we as South Africans need to deal with and let go.

Siki said...

I live in Cape Town.
These kind of arguments are the order of the day.
Oh boy! Do we see this everyday in this City.
This is mild stuff.
We are no where near fixing our issues coz people still point fingers.
but i agree with you when you say "We need to work on our issues"

Kasia said...

I think this kind of situation shows how so many south africans are living on the edge of sanity. I always wonder about the people who do dangerous reckless things in the traffic and then go beserk if you hoot or flash, even trying to cause an accident sometimes. Why are they so angry? And its a vicious circle. Very worrying.

Jerusha said...

Holy crap. That sounds like something from Jerseylicious.

little miss said...

Shame I feel so bad for her...wow, what a bunch of bitter people. Thanks for doing the right thing.

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