by Brigette Mashile, founder of Roka Roko
The other week I spent an entire day sorting out traffic tickets while I was meant to be working in the business, making clothes. I did not expect this, I just thought it was a quick thing and would be sorted literally quick, quick! I mean, my car licence disc is expired, you go to have it renewed, you pay and leave. In my head it should be around or less than R300 each car. Ok cool, lets go.
First of all, I do not like the traffic department because of the time you can spend there in queues. So I decided to go to the post office rather, I mean there are so many options today for renewing a car licence. The expiry date was 30 April. So me and my procrastination calmly sat through the 21 days grace you get after the expiration date. Then I started panicking on the 5th of May, so finally, I decided to go to the post office.
The first post office was offline for this work to be done, 2 days in a row. This was a sign right?...but no…noooo I kept holding on to my idea of using a post office to renew my licence. This is like in business when I meet a client and I see all the red flags but proceed onwards. So, I tried my local shopping mall post office, after the lady at the 1st post office said I should try this option. I go in, fill in the forms and stand in line. There are only 3 of us there. I get to the front and apparently the other car on my name is also expired. 5 months late. Well… ok!
The lady then tells me that the amount I am to pay on that day where I budgeted R300 to leave my pocket, is now R1 200. For the discs, the penalties and whatever else is necessary. But, she cannot print the new discs because there is a traffic fine blocking the print. So, today, if you have a traffic fine that you haven’t paid, it gets upgraded to a warrant of arrest; you cannot renew anything traffic wise without paying this ticket. This is like when a client says they only have budgeted R1 000 for a dress that is obviously R2 000, and I decide to see how I can lower the price. Another red flag!
I pay the R1 200 painfully and leave to go deal with the warrant of arrest ticket. I am advised to go to the traffic department. Remember, the one I have been avoiding the entire time. At the traffic department, a week later, after being stopped at a road block, and explaining myself out of a ticket, I am told they cannot help me because I have now paid the 3rd party through the post office. Apparently, this is complicated because they cannot see the payments. So, they direct me to the court by the police station.
I arrive there and there is no line at all. I go through, plead my case and find out how much I actually owe in traffic fines. And the ones blocking everything total R1 000. No, you cannot pay it at the court, you have to pay at a local bank, ABSA. Yes, the bank (I am laughing with you!) So I go to ABSA, pay and walk into the post office to have the discs printed. They cannot see the payment, even though I have the proof of payment. They don’t have access to the main traffic information. Again, 3rd party. I am tired, so I go home. This is when one bridesmaid drops out from the bridal order I am making on the business front, and that R1 000 we agreed to is now 1 person short, so we are definitely making a loss. But yet again, I don’t change my mind; I mean we are halfway and the bride trusts me now.
Guess what, next day, ROAD BLOCK! I am just scared of any uniform that looks like the police. I do my best to avoid them, well today it’s not happening. A lady stops me and I start my story. I am lead into the BUS. The bus! But she’s actually helping me. She tells me that the post office cannot help me, I must definitely go to Aarto in Midrand. Long story short, I went to Midrand. All they did was print all my traffic fines and send me back to the traffic department. Are you tired yet? At this point I am numb and calm. I do not care anymore. Its like when on the business front, the bride asks if I can also make her mom’s dress 2 weeks before the wedding and I say yes knowing very well I am just creating additional problems.
At the traffic department, my discs are printed in 30 minutes and a payment of R240 is done. I have spent R 2550 so far on everything in cash and more money in petrol, and delayed business. I stand there realizing that had I just come to the traffic department in the first place, on time, I would have saved myself so many trips. They are most probably capable of telling me which ticket is blocking, and I am able to pay with them for penalties, traffic fines and renewal. In one go, in one place. But you see, I was avoiding the issue and trying to create a short cut which ended up being super long and costly.
How many times do you want to do something but decide to not go the normal route so you can finish faster. How many diets have you embarked upon when trying to lose 10kg when you know only the treadmill can achieve the results? How many orders have you accepted in the name of sales, humbleness and kindness only to have them blow up in your face? So many for me, and I feel silly every time, and probably more annoyed by myself.
Fear, avoidance and fast solutions to problems are risky, you will end up doing more hard work than just going direct, dealing with the problem and being very aware of your strength and weaknesses; and being honest with yourself and the client. Next time, just face it!
Brigette Mashile is the founder and creative force behind Roka Roko, a custom fashion design business based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company passionately delivers quality tailored and trendy fashion to make their customers happy, and specializes in styling women by creating unusual combinations with fabric, culture and style. Brigette has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Witwatersrand and a Fashion Diploma from Studio5 School of Fashion. She’s a former fashion buyer for a major retailer in South Africa, and an international direct selling company. She’s been passionate about fashion since the age of 10 and gained invaluable experience in the fashion world running informal fashion creation businesses until the day her own Roka Roko brand was born. Find out more by visiting the Roka Roko website www.rokaroko.co.za
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