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A picture speaks 1 000 words

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Despite a week of waiting, fuming and frustrated, Bonitas still cannot tell me how much I owe or how I can pay them and it’s stressing me out

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There are three things I despise above all others. Poor service, poor vocabulary and poor manners.

Therefore, my disdain for emojis, emoticons, acronyms and abbreviated texts always felt like a natural evolution for the digital age.

You see, I like words and I like playing with them but the fun always stopped at the first sign of a “lol” or a smily face.

Simply put, I never viewed these as genuine reactions nor responses but rather random punctuation, typos, cheats and tricks masking the absence of genuine grins and sniggers.

For me, these pics and misplaced punctuation were precursors to a future where few ever actually smiled and even fewer could spell “laugh”.

ROFL meant something to some but nobody was rolling around anywhere.

These were empty, irreverent, gestures, no more sincere than the concern shown by a politician when elections approach.

Sorry to say it but they were, at best, lazy substitutes for inconvenient honesty and suppressed sentiments. .

At worst, they were placeholders for statements like: “Stop wasting my time with home movies of your ugly child.”

To this day, whenever someone uses certain acronyms, certain four letters comes to mind but fortunately, I think I’m getting soft with age.

I may still despise poor vocabulary, manners and people who can’t count but I’ve learned to channel my personal prejudices into addressing my primary pet peeve … poor service.

The last few weeks have given me ample opportunity to do just that as I’ve been going through old accounts and statements I probably should have reviewed some time ago.

As a result, I had the misfortune of dealing with two of South Africa’s corporate giants leaving me unimpressed.

This came after a week of calls, e-mails and visits to DStv’s local office, simply trying to change basic account information, proved a futile exercise and I had a similarly unsatisfactory experience with Bonitas.

In both instances, my requests were neither complicated nor handled. I was livid.

For a company that snaffles nearly R1 000 per month and survives mostly due to their shameful grip on sports coverage, there was a sense of irony in MultiChoice taking an optional approach to customer care.

I found it equally ironic that, despite a week of waiting, fuming and frustrated, Bonitas still cannot tell me how much I owe or how I can pay them and it’s stressing me out.

I’m convinced that my medical aid is actually making me sick and I doubt I’m covered for that.

In the end, you can raise your voice and your argument.

Giving someone a thousand words is often an appropriate but useless reaction that falls on the deaf ears of blind witnesses.

I have thousands of words but why waste them? A simple middle finger can get the message across loud and clear.

You can rant and rave.

You can slate and swear.

You can even rhyme, ridicule and reason.

What you can seldom do is express your sentiments in words nearly as succinctly as you can in characters.

The next time you have a thousand words, remember, that’s exactly the number spoken by a picture.

The next time poor service has you up in arms, don’t let poor vocabulary, manners and maths slow you down.