The Sweet Service Award goes to Nu-Line Elevator Products, the company servicing the lift in the new apartment block in which I live. For the first time since living in the apartment I exited it via the lift, as I do every day, but without taking my car and apartment keys. To get to the basement garage, I press a lift button, but to get back to one’s apartment, one needs to insert the lift key. As soon as I got to the garage, I realized that I had left all my keys in my apartment, but wouldn’t be able to get back into it. I was on my way to see a movie at the Labia, and could see myself spending the night sleeping in my open car in the garage. I called Stuart Bailey who has my spare keys at his home, but he was on the Garden Route. Carel Liebenberg of Constantia Nek had a key to Stuart’s room, so he could find my keys, and very kindly offered to drive them to me.  Henry, our Operations Manager, suggested calling Sea Point Locksmiths, to open my apartment side door, but it took them a while to return my call! But the surprise in this drama was Nu-Line, the lift company, which I had contacted on an emergency number, intended for persons stuck in a lift. Llewellyn, the lift technician, arrived ten minutes after my call to that number, and with the luck of the Parisian owner Magali above me being at home, the lift man was able to climb on top of the lift via her apartment, like they do in the Tom Cruise movies, and get it to stop on my floor, jump off, and unlock my side door! This sequence of events was more exciting than the movie itself. 

The Sour Service Award goes to Look Africa, a beachwear shop in Camps Bay, and its owner Inge. I had popped into this shop, my first visit, on a walk along the Camps Bay beachfront, not having brought my purse with me. I spotted a pair of Argentinian beach shoes, and asked the assistant Melvina whether she could keep them for me until the next day. She didn’t reply, keeping on chewing her gum. I asked her if it was a yes or a no, and she glared at me. I asked to speak to her manager, but she  said that she is the manager. I asked her for details of her owner, and between her and her colleague it took another 15 minutes to find the number for Inge. I called Inge afterwards, and shared my experience with her. She told me her staff is excellent, and that she has never received a complaint, but she apologised, and offered me a 10% discount. I went back two days later, to collect the shoes, and the male assistant was friendly and helpful. His colleagues Aimee didn’t greet me, stood with a body language of crossed arms, and didn’t speak to me. I was told that Inge was in a car across the road, so I went up to her to give her feedback about what I had experienced on my second visit. She gave me another ‘my staff is perfect’ speech, suggesting that the problem lies with me! She won’t be seeing me in her shop again with such an attitude!

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein