IMAGINE the scene: “Howzit, Mr Pistorius. Welcome to Kgosi Mampuru Prison; we’ve been expecting you.

“How long will you be with us, Mr Pistorius? Oh, I see, at least 300 days. Well, we do hope you will enjoy your stay. You will be pleased to know that you’re on full board: lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast, all inclusive.

“I see you’ve been assigned to Cell C, in our executive wing.” (Rings the reception bell and bellows over his shoulder):  “Radovan! Radovan! Please come here and take Mr Pistorius’s bags up to the executive wing, there’s a good chap.

“Please note the honesty bar in the communal area. Ha, ha, only joking. This is a prison and I hope you appreciate the irony. Ho ho. In truth there’s no honesty bar. A bit of prison humour — you’ll get used to it.”

Scholars of my work will applaud the fact that, to date, I have not breathed a word in this space about the redneck jock who shot and killed his beautiful girlfriend but, whether we like it or not, the Pistorius/Steenkamp saga has been doing a great job of selling newspapers for months on end.

What brought the Blade Runner to mind was a visit I made last week to a big industrial company. Arriving in my corporate luxury German sedan (which, admittedly, is getting a bit long in the tooth), I was met at the boomed-off entrance to the parking area by a uniformed security guard.

The uniformed security guard kept leaning on his right forearm and, without looking up, waved his operable left hand to signal that I should move said luxury German sedan a metre or two forwards, which would be much more convenient for him.

MDs, CEOs, please note: you’re wasting your investors’ money on these people. Just let us in. Why we are visiting is no business of the guy at the gate and if we were really in the business of leaving your premises with three or four laptops stuffed under our passenger seats, those okes would be the last ones to know.

I bit my tongue at what I thought was this fellow’s peremptory rudeness and proceeded to wearily fill in the visitor’s form and laptop declaration which were thrust at me in the most surly fashion imaginable.

While doing the banal paperwork the thought struck me that Oscar had quite possibly received a more welcoming welcome at Pretoria Central (it was on the same day) than the one I was being accorded.

The banal two-piece paperwork took me perhaps two minutes (I had been there before and knew the ropes) during which time Security Guy disappeared somewhere. I hooted to signal my readiness to hand over my completed paperwork and was met with a shouted demand of “Why you hoot? Why you hoot?”

Companies pay hundreds of thousands of rands for security guards to lounge inside little booths all the livelong day and thrust those annoying little tear-off slips at you on which you have to state who you are (to which I regularly state “B Obama”; no one has ever noticed), where you’re from, what your registration number is and whom you’re visiting.

And, gimme a break: “Reason for visit” (to which I sometimes write “Frottage with the hot receptionist”).

And only 2.4% of the grunts manning the booms ever smile at the visitor and only 0.09% ever say anything like “Welcome”.

MDs, CEOs, please note: you’re wasting your investors’ money on these people. Just let us in. Why we are visiting is no business of the guy at the gate and if we were really in the business of leaving your premises with three or four laptops stuffed under our passenger seats, those okes would be the last ones to know.

At least get them to smile. The fat bloke in the uniform with the tattered old visitors’ book who cannot find a pen although his job description consists of not much more than having a ballpoint pen at the ready is the person who creates the first impression we have of your business. And first impressions count.

See more articles