The Sweet Service Award  goes to Friendly 7 Eleven at Regent Road, Sea Point, and was nominated by Rosemary Gough.  “On Monday morning I went to draw cash (R1500) at the ATM in the Friendly 7 Eleven.   I had 3 staff members urgently waiting for the cash, so I didn’t even check the amount which I received – being more worried about giving out to my workers.  On Thursday morning I went back into the shop to get a coffee and after I left one of the staff called me back to say the manager wanted to see me.   It turns out I had left R100 in the machine and one of the staff had noticed and handed it in to the manager. When the staff member saw me back in the shop he alerted the manager to who I was and they gave me back my money.  This is something I never thought possible in today’s world, that people could be that honest”. 


The Sour Service Award  goes to Cape Town Tourism and its CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, who has taken our criticism about her over-optimistic evaluation of the state of the tourism industry over the festive season, and her incorrect definition of the period when Cape Town will next experience a peak, demonstrating that she is out of touch with our industry, personally.  She made the errors when she commented to journalists about the festive season whilst on a two week holiday in Pringle Bay, in a period in which Cape Town was at its busiest, and during which Cape Town Tourism members suffered due to snow-stuck tourists staying away.   Cape Town Tourism did not comment on this devastating event and its effect on the hospitality industry to its members, not while it occurred nor subsequently, as if it never happened.  Mrs Helmbold has retaliated to our feedback by posting an attacking blogpost on the Cape Town Tourism blog; posting a detailed defensive comment on our blog, which we published; wrote a libelous and defamatory Tweet on Twitter; censored us by removing us from the Cape Town Tourism media list; and blocked us on Twitter.  In her newsletter sent to Cape Town Tourism members yesterday, Mrs Helmbold acknowledged her error in her definition of the next peak season, without an apology or acknowledgement to us.  Whale Cottage Camps Bay is a member of Cape Town Tourism, and Mrs Helmbold’s actions are personal retaliation and unprofessional, given her organisation’s duty to market Cape Town and to build relationships with the media and its members.   Her colleague Skye Grove, PR Manager of Cape Town Tourism, received a Sour Service Award in October, for similar unprofessional behaviour.

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   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 website.