Thursday, 9 January 2014

Obtuse Patron Postulation Disorder (OPPD)

We are creating a new culture.  I refer to it as Obtuse Patron Postulation Disorder.    
What on earth is that?  You’re wondering.  Let me use some illustrations to describe it.    
I took my car in a few months back, and the light for the airbag indicates that there is a fault as the fault light switches on and off depending on what is shoved under the seat.  Clearly the wire is loose.  According to the car service centre however, I need a whole ‘new passenger seat.’  Yes, I kid you not.  I was quoted for the whole seat; ‘9000 Rands’.  What the seat and the wiring have to do with each other, the jury is still out on that one on my side too.  Let me know if any of you can come up with the explanation other than the car dealership thinks; ‘I’m an idiot.’
I went to the bank to open another account recently and needed to bring my divorce certificate to verify my name change, as my country issued identity documents were not ‘legal enough’.  Yes, the exact phrase was ‘legal enough’.  If the country official documentation is not legal enough, I’m lost, what is more legal than that? 
And finally, my personal favourite: We went through the passport control at the Johannesburg airport and the woman at the counter thought it appropriate to share with all who would listen (talking to the woman across the aisle): Ngifuna ukuchama”.  Yep.  Thanks for sharing.  We had to pretend that we could not understand a thing.  What else could we do: “Tell her to go ahead and pee, we can wait?”    
‘Welcome to South Africa’.  I want to go and pee.  Seriously?       
I am sure that I can come up with many more examples, as can you.  There seems to be a lot of that going around.  I call it Obtuse Patron Postulation Disorder (OPPD – I enjoy my thesaurus); alternatively known as the idiot client assumption syndrome.
It directly impacts human being’s ability to relate and interact due to perceived and delusional superior intelligence factors that human beings wrongly assume they are in possession of and seems highly prevalent in customer service environments.   
It’s a disease that infects the minds of people.  It’s contagious and its frequency appears to be on the rise.   
But it seems somewhat short-sighted to me. 
If you regularly ‘screw over’ your clients, people do know that eventually you will not have any left... right?   Shouldn’t this be common sense?   
But instead of applying rational thinking, it would seem that the country has become one big laboratory whereby we are out to prove that money can be made, by regularly screwing over our clients.
And short-term it does sometimes work.  Long-term, it is usually paid for by the company (and country) itself.