Friday, February 26, 2021

A response to “beacons of hope article by Mesh Moeti”

Dear Editor

After reading your article ‘The Beacons of Hope’- December 2012, I felt ‘obliged’ to share this with you. I attend medical consultations at Bokamoso Private Hospital under Botswana Public Service Employees Medical Scheme (BPOMAS). Unfortunately for me, to get some medication through my Medical Aid Scheme, an approval must first be made. So, on the 4th of January 2013, I went to BPOMAS office at Bokamoso Private Hospital which I’m told is administered by AFA, to get some approval. I arrived around lunch hour (13:20) as per their operating hours; their lunch is from 12:30hrs – 13:45hrs.

13:45hrs arrived with no one showing him/herself up. At 14:15hrs when I was about to give up, a full figured lady arrived, greeted us, took her seat and asked us who was first. I was the second in a queue, after being asked to come in, I asked her if they have changed their operating times.

She gave me a black look and asked me what I meant. I told her that according to the times pasted on her door, she was supposed to be in the office by 13:45hrs and not 14:15hrs. She got pissed off and said ‘’ if I went for lunch late, what do you expect, you are the same person who is going to go around telling people that I ill treat customers, I leave them in the office and go for lunch. I’m not going to operate like that, if I leave the office at 13:00hrs, I’m going to count my 1hr 15mins from there.”

I said “helping customers up to your lunch time shows humanity but what about someone who comes after lunch who doesn’t know your style of operation?” she just bitterly looked at me and said “nka go thusa ka eng mma?”

Ijoo, ke mathata! I don’t think an apology to us; explaining why she was ‘late’, late in quotes because according to her she wasn’t or leaving a note on the door informing us of her temporary operating time was gonna hurt a fly. Customer service in our country is a serious cause for concern. Like you said, offering quality service to clients is like doing them a favour. Government has tried to outsource some services with the hope of improving service delivery but its efforts do not seem to be bearing fruits. You hardly tell between a Private/Parastatal from a government institute these days. I have been told that some government ministries are even scoring better compared to the former. Too bad!

I laughed when I read your quote from Lamb’s book, I was like, has this dude been to Botswana before? Damn! A hit on the nail head description of us! I was so surprised to learn that as Africans we not are only brothers from another mother but also think alike! We see taking service providers to task as a sin. People who complain about poor service delivery are seen to be claiming to know much, they are seen as big headed and troublesome. Hei, it’s a shame, look at that lady at AFA’s attitude. I don’t see her changing any time soon, more so that of all the people who were there waiting for her, I was the only person who saw her determination towards her job awkward. I’m happy that there‘s someone who see things the way I see them. My friends sometimes see me as a hard to please. When I told them about my AFA experience, they just said “ao mma, 30 mins aint nothing, It happens.”

Imagine!… Thanx Mesh!

Neo Kgomontwa

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