11 11 / 2012
There is one thing that I like about Botswana in terms of emotions.
Customer Service here in Botswana is atrocious. People cannot be fired for “laziness” here. Unless someone steals something or doesn’t show up to work for more than a month, Botswana’s labor laws make it impossible to fire someone. So people really have no incentive to be helpful when it comes to customer service here.
So this can lead to a lot of frustrating interactions. For instance, every volunteer I know has had a horror story about their pursuit of acquiring Internet here. The company lost their paperwork, made them go to 3 different stores, or made them pay a contract even though they hadn’t activated it. It’s crazy.
I had a problem with my dongle (the USB stick that uses cell phone coverage to give me Internet. High tech. I know.) and had to go to the Orange store to get it fixed. I had 3 hours before I had to catch the bus home, so I thought no problem, should be able to get this fixed. I get there and there are 4 people “working” but only one seeing customers. The queue takes an hour and a half. When I get to the front the guy decides to check his facebook for twenty minutes. I ask him if we are waiting for something. He says “No.”
A half hour later he checks up on my file and says that there is nothing he can do to fix it, but I will still have to pay my contract every month. After waiting for so long, and with only 45 minutes until I have to catch the bus, I get frustrated and start saying “Then we have to cancel the contract” he refuses, and I start to get teary because I am so upset.
As soon as he sees the tears he gets very uncomfortable. He gets the manager. The manager fixes whatever the problem was in 30 seconds. People who will do anything to avoid working will also do anything to avoid seeing emotions.
I pick up my dongle and hop on my bus, finally happy that Botswana’s lack of emotional health has done me some good after all.