Good service, a smile and a pen made my day

By Phumla Mkize

Johannesburg – It is the bleakest of places to go.

But when you have to go, you do.

And so, I went. Armed with a form to be signed by the commissioner of oath, a swanky pen from a workshop I attended earlier in the year; face covered in a mask; sanitiser; wet wipes and other essentials in a small slingback, I walked into my local police station with the demeanour expected of a citizen hugely cognisant of the hard work done by police in our country.

They are after all at the coalface of the ugliness of our society It was a quiet day at the police station last Sunday around midday, just a handful of people inside waiting in clearly marked spaces to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

When the policewoman looked up at me and said “next” as soon as I had stepped on the mark on the floor, I thanked my lucky stars.

It was a quick process; I was in and out of there like a bank robber. But in the few minutes I spent at the police station, I had a heart-warming moment with the two cops who were working side by side at the counter, with the required social distance between them, of course.

With pen in hand, I gave the form to the policewoman. Her colleague, who was busy assisting another fellow citizen, took a quick look at her as she patted herself down for a pen, which I could see hidden under a piece of paper on the counter before me.

The quick-thinking policeman quipped: “Why don’t you use her nice pen,” he said, nodding towards my right hand. My comeback was just as quick; I made an excuse about COVID-19, sanitising the pen before giving it to her and how time-consuming it is blah blah blah. He was not buying it; he had his eyes set on my pen. I relented and handed my pen to the policewoman.

As she was sliding it back to me together with my form, the policeman suggested I leave the pen with his colleague because she needed it.

To get the point through, the policeman asked: “When was the last time you donated something to your local police station?” I gave it some thought – and “never” came to mind. He slowly nodded in my direction, as if reading my mind, one eye on his paperwork and the other glaring at my conscience, I said to the policewoman, “you can have the pen”.

I had cupped my hands to express the sincerity of my gesture, though it took some serious coaxing.

She politely refused, with a warm smile. I told her “I insist”. She was about to politely refuse again, when the policeman interjected that he will gladly take the pen.

To put her at ease, I said: “I’m going to spin the pen, and it will go to whomever the inky end points.” I spun the pen on the counter and it pointed directly at the policewoman. We had a nice giggle about it. I wished I had an extra nice pen to give to the policeman.

I thank those cops at Wierdabrug police station in Centurion, Tshwane for putting a smile on my face in such a solemn place. Thank you for your service.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here.

Sunday World

Latest News