Woke up this morning to the whistle that signals the garbage truck's arrival. When I asked the guys whether trash day was now Wednesday, they mumbled and shot a look behind them. Today, they had turned up with their boss, the money-collection lady.
We like each other: our household always pays her fee on time, no fuss, and provides a glass of water if she requires it. I figured we could have a civil conversation about this business of delaying the trash collection. We couldn't. Unlike the Municipal people, she tried to dismiss my concern. Then she cooked up an excuse for why they were late. And then she completely stonewalled when I asked for a number that works in order to keep in touch with them. The kicker: she subtly warned me to abandon this train of active customership by letting me know that the number does, in fact, work and it belongs to The Manager Himself, and that He Is Overseas On Business. And since our fees for March were due... where is Dada, who she usually deals with?
Obviously she wasn't about to let some little housegirl-looking person get in her face about the quality of their service. Heh. I could have threatened her back by mentioning that I had called the Municipal Office about this, but it is a cool morning, and the street smells like dust again, and who hasn't had to cover for their company's mistakes. I paid the fee. I can afford to lie in wait for now.
What has changed? Nothing outwardly measurable, that's for sure. Ofisa Usafishaji hasn't gotten back to me yet, for the record. Here is what I do have: the number of my Ofisa Usafishaji, increased trust in my Municipal Office, a few helpful things to say to The Manager when he gets back. One day the customer will be right, even with Lyoto and Co.