It’s taken us over six months to get an internet line installed in our office. Six months, to go to a cable exchange and change a line from phone and fax, to phone, fax and ADSL. Six months, four order reference numbers, three visits to the local telkom office and countless phone calls where I would work my way through the time saving automated menu before arriving at a destination that required me to hang up and try again.

Telkom is a horribly inefficient service but what they lack in efficacy they more than made up for in Customer Relations. Every single person I spoke to was friendly, patient and helpful. Only one person could help me everyone else did their very best to point me in the right direction.

The finale involved a 90 minute phone call that required me to talk to 7 different people scattered amongst the internet query, business account and technical help lines. All 7 were awesomely friendly. I don’t know whether it’s a massive inside joke, they’re slipping Xanax into the water supply or the company as a whole is compensating for their complete and utter inability to do what they say they will, but every conversation was a long, repetitive and unnecessary joy. Like eating a kilo of sherbert by dipping a moist finger tip into a bag over and over again.

Thank you Thuli (I think that was her name, the line was terrible) for the help and the other 35 of you over the last 6 months who tried their best. While it would please me greatly to hate you all, I cannot bring myself to feel like that about such nice people. However, if the company itself were to somehow miraculously anthropomorphise into a human being, I would gladly drive him insane by putting a knee into the small of his back and making him listen non stop to a looped Bongo Muffin and Mango Groove recording.

Helpful staff are an awesome asset, but at the end of the day, I would have preferred a 15 minute conversation with an asshole, and my ADSL connection in one afternoon over six months of manners.