Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Banking fiasco

I am always fascinated by the way a simple task in this country can turn into a mini drama. I could never emigrate – the sheer efficiency of the First World would drive me insane. South Africans are addicted to adrenaline and we don’t have to bungee jump to get a thrill – a simple trip to the bank can do it.
Today I find out that my savings account had been suspended. After three hours in the queue at the bank, I am told they have closed my account because it has less than R100 in it. The woman at enquiries says it was too costly for them to administer.
These days, all banks operate on self-service – they practically do nothing and still charge us service fees. I notice that they have recently done a branch makeover and the bank was now gleaming with shiny tiles and Perspex.
But instead of it resulting in the bank being made more efficient, it is now a complete disaster area. They are now short of five staff members, who have probably been retrenched to pay for the glossy refurbishment, and the queues are long. Queues for various counters are not demarcated and people have to change from one queue to another, which is the cause of expressions of aggression, as some customers try to jump the queues.
The actual banking hall is now the size of a large toilet cubicle and they have employed a deaf and dumb teller. I am all for employing people with disabilities – but placing them in job appropriate situations would be helpful.
This teller takes twice as long to process transactions as his clients battle to understand him as his hand signals became farcical. His colleague becomes irritated as people shuffle into his queue to try to avoid any interaction with the first teller.
The level of aggression in the room is at boiling point and I wonder about storing my money under my mattress, as banking visits are sure to damage one’s mental health.
I do recall a newspaper story published a few years ago about a man who let loose a number of poisonous snakes in a bank ... I know a whole queue who would sympathise with him.
Adrenaline thrill for the day .... tick.

Keeping up with the Kardashians

Get terse email from Neville-the-ex, complaining that I must keep a tight control on the children’s access to movies and Internet. He overheard Cheri and Greg discussing Kim Kardashian and her rise to fame.
I roll my eyes. Neville is the most anally retentive person on the planet. Surely everyone in the Western world KNOWS why Kim Kardashian is famous ... and it is not for her IQ.
I would worry if either of my children decided to make a sex tape – but at this stage I don’t think that is going to happen. Greg is more interested in rugby than girls, and Cheri thinks the whole idea of sex is disgusting ... long may it stay that way.

Home executive

I sign up for online motivation course.  It is grandly called - “Seize your personal success” . I must become a success so I can motivate my children to make something of their lives.   
I suspect they think I am a glorified taxi driver and my only job on this earth is to do their bidding. I do work ... I am CEO of my own business (sounds more important than freelance scriptwriter).
 It is just that they are at school when I work.  I don’t have to dress all corporate and act busy – I am one of those under the radar people. Besides success is really over-rated.
I can be a super efficient and fabulous happening person in my tracksuit and slippers.

Murder mystery mayhem

May 12th
I am invited to Annie’s 45th birthday, this year she has decided to have a murder mystery evening and we are all going to play characters in a murder mystery plot.  I am quite keen on this idea as I have always fancied myself as a drama queen.
Annie is quite beside herself with excitement and I hope for her sake that the whole evening goes off without a hitch. She has invited me (the best friend) and two friends from work and their husbands and Raymond her husband and his brother and wife. Of course as I am a single I have caused a numbers problem, so they have invited a neighbour along to make it an even 10.
Annie has tried on a few occasions to play matchmaker and I am always appalled at her choice of men – or rather I am appalled at her choice of men for me. 
I have warned her that if “Mark the neighbour”  is like her previous choices he will have to be the murder victim in the game.  She laughed nervously. I was serious.
So here I am playing Francine the slutty heiress ( I have a blonde wig on, fake plastic boobs, and a red velvet dress) I really am enjoying this alter ego. The problem is that Mark the neighbour, a six foot three ecologist is in character too, he is playing Greta (the mysterious and sultry secretary).
 It seems Mark is perfectly in touch with his feminine side – he arrives in a shimmering silver dress and matching shoes and had a sleek black bob.  Well I have to say he has better legs than I do, and all the other blokes spend the whole night ragging him.
Annie is playing the part of Tristan the gallant and misunderstood genius.  I wonder if there was some deeper psychological component to theses games as it seems to me beneath the obvious joking and laughter that goes with the whole game as we delve into the plot and the characters, certain people gel with aspects of their alter-egos. It would be a case for investigation by Dr Freud ... not Dr Holmes.
After many glasses of red wine I decide that I would not be comfortable dating a man who had a pair of size eleven silver sandals in his closet. I mean I could add transvestite to the long list of wierdos I have dated – but I think perhaps I should err on the side of caution. Not that he has asked me out ... but I just think I should tell Annie before she tried to pull one of her matchmaking attempts.
Annie has by now sunk almost two bottles of wine and is slurring. She sidles up to me in the kitchen and said in a not so soft drunken whisper : “So whaddaya think of Mark?” 
“I don’t think so Annie ... he’s just too pretty,” I whisper.
She gives me one of her best exasperated looks and then shrugs dramatically saying at the top of her voice, “Well now you’ll neverrr get laid!”
This could have been one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, but fate intervened and she tripped over the hem of Raymond’s trousers and flew headlong into the glass sliding doors.
She split her lip and broke her nose and the party descended into general chaos, we had a body for our murder mystery – not a dead one – just a drunk and hysterical hostess. 
It was a 45th birthday we would not forget in a hurry.