Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Telkom goes on strike, nobody notices

PRETORIA. Telkom, South Africa's taxpayer-funded social welfare scheme for people with severe mental disabilities, has launched a nationwide strike after initially getting the start date wrong.

The strike was supposed to start yesterday. Although strikers say their action is underway, members of the public say they have noticed no difference in the quality of Telkom service.

The Telkom work scheme markets itself as a telecommunications provider, but management concedes that this is "just an official line" to make Telkom "workers" feel better about themselves.
"Really it's just a big special care home," said senior Telkom caregiver Dr Huggies Mpundu.

"We could have had them all churning butter or crocheting tea-cozies but some of the cleverer ones might have figured out that they don't actually work for a functioning corporation.

However, he said more traditional therapies were still being provided on regular basis. "We get a cheetah in once a month and they all stroke it. It calms them down.

"We used to give them bunnies and kittens to stroke but they kept killing them, accidentally disconnecting their heads from their necks and then sending subscribers the vet bill."

Strike leaders were widely quoted in the national media accusing Telkom "management" of deliberately being vague about the legality of the strike, which caused workers to get the start date wrong. However, Dr Mpundu explained that they had got the start date wrong because none of them know how calendars work.

"If you've ever tried to book any kind of appointment with Telkom you'll know that our patients have a very flexible relationship with dates," he said.
"This is because they think time is a giant galactic river, with lotus flowers floating down it, gently pouring off the backs of four enormous space-turtles.

"When we try to teach them how to use calendars they always just daub them with poster-paint and glue them onto the walls to make collages.

Meanwhile members of the public said they were unaware that the strike had begun as their service from Telkom was still as bad as always. "It's an interesting question," said Mrs Vygie Rentbooi of Lentegeur.

"If you make a non-functioning company non-functioning, is it non-functioning or working to 100 percent capacity?"

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