The Sweet Service Award goes to Jenny Hobbs and Sheenagh Tyler, tireless organisers of the Franschhoek Literary Festival, for a fantastic 5th Festival, and for filling the beds and restaurants of Franschhoek over this stimulating weekend. More than 7000 tickets were sold for 70 programme sessions, up by 50 % compared to 2010. It is the first time in many months that the village has been buzzing, and that most establishments were fully booked. It also created a wonderful interaction between Festival goers, who enjoyed chatting to complete strangers, sharing their passion for reading books and writing.
The Sour Service Award goes to ADT, for suspending its service to Whale Cottage Franschhoek due to an account that was not paid according to their records, even though our records showed that we had, thereby leaving the guest house unarmed for 24 hours until we got to Franschhoek for the Literary Festival. We subscribe to their service in Plettenberg Bay too, and this may have caused the confusion, especially as the company now runs its administrative operation from Cape Town, and does not state which regional service it is communicating about or sending invoices for. The suspension was communicated by empty sms, to which we reacted by call. SMS’s sent in reply are ignored and not reacted to. The ADT Paarl manager Emile Weaver was able to expedite the re-connection as soon as they had received our cheque. One would have expected a manager to have called proactively, to prevent the suspension in the first instance. ADT has a near-monopoly in Franschhoek, there being no security company alternative. ADT appears to be run by the accounts department.
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 email@example.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.