In training this week, learning about the company’s network management software. When I learned that courses would start at 8:30am, I was sure that I would always arrive late, since it takes me a little over an hour to commute. Get in Monday morning to find the class is composed of two other co-workers and a fella from Praetoria, South Africa, a client of the company.
The trainer asks us what time we want to start for the remainder of the week, everyone happy with 8:30, but Mr. SA asks for 8am. No problem. As the weeks winds on, however, it becomes more and more apparent that this guy epitomises some of the darker (or should that be “lighter”?) stereotypes of a “evolved” South African. I.e. he constantly makes disparaging remarks about what he terms “Africans,” going on and on about how really dumb they are. You can almost hear the muscles of everyone else in the class cringing whenever he opens his mouth.