Friday, February 3, 2012

Mowing the lawn – A true story

The story I’ve shared here landed in my inbox this morning. As with so many other stuff I occasionally receive vie e-mail, I don’t always know to whom I should give credit.

The original story was written in Afrikaans - (scroll down to read).

I’ve also taken the liberty of translating it into English…

(Take note: In South Africa garden-labourers are usually Black Africans, and if you happen to not have one, you will most surely be nagged by a constant surge of ‘helpers’ standing at your front gate, begging for a job. Very few will take “NO” for an answer, unless…)

The story…

I experienced an interesting episode during the past holidays:

After we returned home our gardener of many years was also given two weeks leave.

This meant that I had to mow the lawn myself.

The Saturday-morning I was in my oldest PT-shorts and T-shirt, while mowing the lawn on the pedestrian area near the front road. I was in a hurry and wanted to get the job done properly but swiftly. I was in no mood to explain to a new ‘helper’ how I wanted my lawn to be mowed.

But as it usually goes: When you don’t need anybody, then all the help in the world arrives. Everyone wanted to know if they could not ‘acquire’ a piece-job for the day. When the fourth chap arrived standing with hands in his pockets asking for a 'piece-job', the conversation progressed as follows:

Him: “I know the job of cutting lawn; I want the job.”
Me: “Sorry man, I don’t live here, I’m only working for the people who live inside.”
Him: “Hau, the people employ a White for the garden?”
Me: Yes, and they don’t even give me food at lunchtime.”

He then removed a packet of Kent cigarettes and offered me one.

I took one, and he lit it for me. I took about three drags, nipped it, and placed the stub behind my ear.

While he walked away I heard him muttering the following words:
“The ANC has stuffed everything up!” 

The same story in Afrikaans:

Grassny – ‘n Ware verhaal

Ek het die afgelope vakansie 'n interessante episode beleef:

Nadat ons terug was by die huis, het my tuinhulp van baie jare ook toe
so twee weke se verlof gekry.

Dit het natuurlik beteken dat ekself weer agter die grassnyer moes inskuif.

Die Saterdag-oggend was ek in my oudste PT-broek en T-shirt besig om die gras op die sypaadjie voor ons huis te sny, en ek was haastig en wou die job ordentlik en gou afgehandel kry. Ek was nie lus om vir 'n nuwe voornemende tuinhulp te verduidelik hoe die gras gesny moes word nie.

Maar soos dit maar altyd gaan: As jy niemand nodig het nie, dan daag al die hulp in die wêreld op. Elkeen wil weet of hy nie 'n piece-job vir die dag kan kry nie. Toe die vierde een opdaag en hande in die sakke staan en vra of hy 'n piece-job kan kry, toe verloop die gesprek omtrent soos volg:

Hy: "Ek ken hom die sny van die gras, ek soek die job."
Ek: "Sorry man, ek bly nie hier nie, ek werk net vir die mense wat hier binne bly."
Hy: "Hau, die mense hulle employ 'n whitey by die tuin?"
Ek: "Ja, en hulle gee nie eers kos by lunchtime nie."

Einde van die storie was, dat hy sy pakkie Kent sigarette uithaal, en my een aanbied.
Ek vat toe een, en hy steek hom vir my aan. Ek vat so drie trekke, nip die outjie, en
sit die stompie agter my oor.

So met die wegstap was sy laaste woorde:
"Die ANC het alles kom opf...k."


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