Put on best face for visitors
NOTICE all those foreign accents around the city during the week?
Must be an international sporting extravaganza is about to hit the streets of our town.
The event's full title is the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship - Rally Australia - Coffs Coast ... but to all and sundry it's simply "the rally";.
The shop in the Palms Centre selling merchandise is going gangbusters and a steady stream of visitors has been filtering in during recent days, the probable explanation for all that Yankee, Pommy and North European lingo I've been overhearing.
For the next 10 days this region will be wide open to the world via the international sporting press and news media and the impression made (apart from motor sport activities) will totally depend on the welcome given and all-round attitude of the people living here.
So let's put on our best face.
We should start our welcome in the retail shops - with maybe, a positive spin-off or three for the locals as well.
Is it possible that all employers might call their staff members together for a special discussion on how to greet the visitors and make a positive pact to refrain from using that most horrible of expressions, "Are yooouuse roooight?";
Once all are in full agreement, a second plan should be made how to handle the action when a big crowd is waiting to be served.
Never, oh never - ever - walk up to the counter and ask, "Who's next?";
How the bloody hell is the customer supposed to know 'who's next?' without cheating when it's your job to know?
Incidentally, many overseas visitors are used to tipping and you never know when a friendly smile and a bit of extra effort will be repaid with "keep the change"; or better still, repeat business.
And another thing.
It is evident the rally doesn't have universal approval and some people may choose to use their democratic right to express their views.
By all means do so but please use a little commonsense.
Take the easiest, safest option and write a letter to The Coffs Coast Advocate and if your case 'against' stacks up our editorial folks may be happy to publish your statement on its merits.
On the other hand if you are inclined to hold up a placard or shout a few slogans, make sure your actions are not only respectful to the opinions of others but are mindful of your own safety and other citizens as well.
The last thing ... we need is vision of an 'incident' beamed all around the world.
Now if you'll pardon me, I'm off to chew some dust.
Enjoy the brrrm-brrrms.