Mind your bath­room man­ners

CityPress - - Business - Muzi Kuzwayo busi­ness@ city­press. co. za

Irecently bumped into a for­mer col­league in the men’s room. As I was about to shake his hand, I heard an Os­car Pis­to­rius-like scream. Turn­ing around in sur­prise, I saw the cleaner, his face con­torted as if he was un­der the vice of the An­gel of Death.

My for­mer col­league was never a nice guy. As far as he was con­cerned, the earth re­volved around his pelvis. Pity there’s no toi­let big enough to flush down a big man like him be­cause he re­ally does be­long down the tubes.

The scream­ing didn’t bother him. He took it as an op­por­tu­nity to skip the pleas­antries.

“Eish,” said the toi­let cleaner. “No man, there is noth­ing wrong. I just didn’t want you to shake that man’s hand.

“He was in the toi­let for some time. I heard sounds and smelt some smells, but when he came out, he didn’t wash his hands. So I just thought ... mmhh, cholera, and de­cided to dis­tract you.”

I was stunned by his words. As a de­fence mech­a­nism, I broke into un­con­trolled laugh­ter. The cleaner didn’t stop there. See­ing that I was en­joy­ing his toi­let gos­sip, he went on to name the big sirs who didn’t wash their hands af­ter us­ing the toi­let.

“I don’t un­der­stand this whole thing be­cause there is no charge for wash­ing one’s hands,” he said pas­sion­ately.

“I mean ... if you touch any­thing that’s hid­den be­hind the zip, that’s it, you must wash your hands. That’s hy­giene.”

You would think ev­ery­one knows that, es­pe­cially the good and the great who oc­cupy high of­fice.

We al­ways as­sume power comes with knowl­edge and that some po­si­tions in busi­ness can only be at­tained by those with un­par­al­leled wis­dom. Wrong. Mon­keys do climb to the top of a tree.

You would think ev­ery­one knows and ob­serves per­sonal hy­giene in busi­ness. You would think ev­ery­one knows be­ing late for a meet­ing is as bad as not wash­ing your hands. You would think ev­ery­one knows that be­ing late means you have no re­spect for the peo­ple you are deal­ing with, the busi­ness or your­self.

You would think that some­one who calls him­self an en­tre­pre­neur would be at work be­fore ev­ery­one else. You would think some­one who has just started a busi­ness would not fly busi­ness class be­cause it is too ex­pen­sive.

You would think peo­ple who plant trees have a long-term view and founders do not squan­der their wealth on vapour­ware. You would think they save, save, save. But that would make life too sim­ple.

Germs have to be in­vis­i­ble so they can kill us easily. Un­washed hands are not colour-coded. The white shirt and a blue tie make all sim­ple Si­mons look like clever Dicks, and crooks don’t grow horns on their heads.

Be­cause noth­ing is as it seems, hold on lightly to the prom­ises men make. Al­ways be­lieve the weather re­porter ahead of the economist and treat the preacher as you would a travel agent. Be­lieve in the par­adise he is promis­ing, but don’t pay too much.

Re­mem­ber, haem­or­rhoids and raw deals are part of life so when you get your share take the cure, no mat­ter how painful. Money might buy you many a thrill, but thrills will never equate to hap­pi­ness. Learn to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween your friends and those who’ve be­friended your money.

En­joy the com­edy of life. Laugh at short men, laugh at tall men, laugh at the dumb­ness of the hu­man race but most im­por­tantly, laugh at your­self. What­ever you do, young man, never laugh at women and al­ways take care of your hy­giene. Kuzwayo is the founder of Ig­ni­tive,

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