RAK is an acronym for Random Act of Kindness. So the idea is to go out and do something kind for someone else.
So we all got together and decided that while everyone else was doing stuff for charities (and we do stuff for charities on any other day), why don’t we try do something awesome for the real heroes. The ones we overlook. The people we don’t really understand but know are always there. The ones who form part of our shopping experiences every single day. The till packers and the car guards.
Our idea: Buy them all lunch, and while they enjoy their lunch we do their jobs for them for an hour.
I pulled the tag that said I was to be a car guard. “What a treat!” I thought.
After an hour of playing Car Guard, my observations were this:
– People are arseholes. More than half the people I greeted never returned the greeting. Half of those even looked right at me, said nothing, and continued walking.
– Most people need parking lessons. It’s shocking.
– Out of the 48 owners of cars I guarded, guided out of or into parkings, helped pack their boots or returned their trollies, only 7 of them gave me a tip.
– Car guarding is actually an art. I almost got ridden over twice from not paying attention to my surroundings while trying to get old ladies to reverse without killing anyone.
– A hand in the air signalling for someone to STOP means absolutely nothing. Ever. I’d recommend a shotgun aimed at the driver’s head for a better effect.
After an hour, I made just over R30 (the 7 tippers were generous, one young lady even giving me a shiny R10 note).
After speaking to the head car guard, Nixon, he informed me that on average they make about R10 an hour, most days less. A shift from 7am to 6pm will earn them roughly R100.
After doing a mere hour of Nixon’s job I realised just how incredibly difficult his workday is. Having to smile at people all day, helping them with groceries or parking, dodging speeding armed vehicles, while no-one really appreciates what you’re doing, has to be one of the most soul-destroying things to do. Yet he does it. Every day. Over and Over again.
I have huge respect for him and what he has to do to earn money for himself and his family.
If you could do one good thing this week, generously tip a car guard. It’s much tougher than you think.