Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Help!...I'm underwater!!!!"

Did you ever go swimming as a child and try to 'run' in the pool? Ever watched one of these movies that have underwater fight scenes? If so; you'll have noticed that everything that happens underwater happens much slower than it would out of the water. The punches, kicks and parries seem to happen in slow motion. All those who remember their high school physics will know that this is because water is a more viscous substance than air and hence causes greater resistance or drag to motion. (Ok..maybe my terminology isn't exactly accurate but I'm sure you get the idea). 

It seems that some cheeky magician has been going round hypnotising tellers and customer service agents in Nairobi and convincing them that they exist in some sort of underwater world. They therefore move at a speed that suggests they are straining every sinew to fight the drag that is being caused by living and working in in a more viscous atmosphere than they are used to/designed for. 

This has always been the case with our public sector offices..they have always seemed to work and move in slow motion but I also notice it quite often in the private sector. 

Go try and buy a bankers cheque at just about any bank and see how long it takes (without factoring in the queueing time waiting for some other poor sod to buy a bankers cheque). If you're brave and have half a day to kill, go and order a TT. 

I think alot of the blame for this lies with management and their failure to put fast and efficient systems in place (why is paying by credit card in Nakumatt such a cumbersome process for example?) or adequately train and motivate their staff. 

But it seems like even when you look at Kenyans as individuals, majority of us just generally tend to be half assed and half hearted. How many times has an insurance salesman (or any other salesman for that matter) tried to sell you a product and not had all the information about the product at his fingertips? Is there any excuse for that?....where is personal initiative, competitive spirit etc. Do they exist in us or are we just a bunch of losers sitting on our asses, waiting for riches to magically manifest themselves and complaining when it doesn't happen? 

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