Dont Call Me Kaffir – Part 2
Being new at the company, and with his salary the sole alleviation from poverty at his home and young new family, Thabang decided to leave the matter, his conscience somewhat a little bit quenched in that he had reported the matter to the relevant authorities. Besides he did not want to seem like the new guy who was starting fires. He would not mention this matter to his boss or anyone else for a long time.
Patrice Lazzare, the Director of finance in the company flew in from France some few months later. He was in South Africa to address remuneration negotiations with Thabang and others perhaps. Thabang had been complaining since he got to his job that he was getting paid well below what he had been enticed to the job with by his recruitment agency.
Mr Lazzare was a jolly man in his late fifties, very large waste line and heavy breathing as though he was struggling to swallow some leftover food. He summoned Thabang to the boardroom where they would discuss the matter about Thabang’s remuneration, on purpose, Mr Lazzare excused himself for a moment, saying he was going to the lavatory, leaving his spreadsheet on the table for Thabang to take a peek.
The spreadsheet contained the amounts of money that everyone in the company was getting, except for just one main Director of the company Mr Napolean Bonert. He noted with pleasure that the R15000.00 per month he was getting was above that of a few of his colleagues, though Stevan was getting paid way more than most at R23500.00 per month. Soon Mr Lazzare was back and negotiations resumed, he offered to increase Thabang’s salary to R17500.00 per month, and because this was way more than anything Thabang had ever been paid in the past, he accepted without much of a fight.
In a spirit of community, Thabang suggested that everyone chip in about R50.00 per month to get snacks that they could share and place in the common fridge. Upon his request, Stevan interjected to add that they could increase the money a bit so they could buy drinks as well. Thabang retorted and made a remark about how he didn’t want the thing to be too expensive for anyone. Probably furious about being stood up to by a black man who does not know his place, Stevan retorted to say that Thabang was not obligated to participate as no one was forcing him.
Whether he had forgotten that this was Thabang’s idea or not, such is only left to imagination now. Thabang though, feeling disrespected decided to pull out of the whole thing altogether. For a good two years he watched as his brainchild operated fruitfully, but remained firm in his principle even though he was asked why he would not participate. Problems arose with the system where people were taking more than they had paid for and it eventually collapsed to the satisfaction and vindication of Thabang.