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So utterly exhausting

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I was at Newlands Stanchart this afternoon getting my one green note of the day. It is less than a month after its introduction. But to just leave it there is tantamount to watching the animal called inflation gobble up all your savings without at least trying to salvage the little you can. Next to the ATM, there was a table that has been there since the beginning of the month and on it are photocopied forms that account holders are supposed to fill in and sign. Each time I have only managed to just glance at them. If they contained something to make my relationship with the bank a lot friendlier, I’d probably have already filled one in.

Today next to it stood an ‘official’ from the bank who was asking people in the queue if they had filled and handed in the form. He was practically ordering everyone who hadn’t to take a copy, fill it in and sign it. I was trying to remember what the form contained and I was sure I hadn’t filled it in because I simply felt it was not important. I walked over to the table and picked one up to refresh my memory. Oh yes, the Addendum to the General Account Terms. I was supposed to ‘hereby consent to Standard Chartered Bank disclosing information relating to me, including but not limited to details of my facilities, transactions undertaken and balances and positions with the bank to professional advisors, permitted parties and any court, governmental or quasi-governmental authority’ among others.

What a load of bollocks. Consent to what? What an insult. I mean, these guys do what they like with our accounts anyway. How often have we heard Gono saying he’s let loose his dogs to sniff out suspicious account holders? Doesn’t that entail delving into the account databases? Whose consent have they been seeking then?

Both myself and others dropped the forms and rejoined the queue. The surprised ‘official’ now literally demanded that we fill them in, saying that it was a requirement and there were serious consequences, but he wasn’t telling what. Seeing that wasn’t working, he changed tack to say we lose nothing by filling in the form. He rambled on and on to deaf ears. Well, the bank also loses nothing by taking those forms and shoving them you know where. What’s the worst the bank could do that we haven’t already seen? Close the accounts? They are practically useless anyway. You withdraw a useless $50 000 which by the way was my one trip to work with the new bus fare today. And you cant use the VISA swipe anymore because all the shops now demand straight cash or forex.

I am reminded of what Dr Alex Magaisa implied when he asked why don’t they negotiate in Mufakose? Individuals that are positioned to make critical decisions concerning the lives of the ‘people’ waste a lot of time and resources focusing on the insignificant things that don’t matter to the rest of us. They purport to represent us, pretend to consider our opinion yet unashamedly shove their wishes upon us. It is utterly exhausting. You’d think the least they could do is just shut up because they are beginning to irritate us like hungry mosquitoes.

Although it may be a far-fetched analogy, but the Stanchart form – like the agreement – to me is just a useless piece of paper that somebody wanted to make official but whose provisions they will manipulate and do what they like whether we sign it or not. I’ve chosen to not be insulted all over again. I also sincerely hope, that they who’ve ‘signed’ before are cognizant of the idiom – once bitten twice shy.

One comment to “So utterly exhausting”

  1. Comment by Miriam:

    I am trying to remember when I last got money from the bank, I need my money but the hassle of trying to get a cheque book had me in tears. I felt like pulling all my hair out, how do I give printers a coupon or hard sort green.

    The madness the is digging deeper into my mind reminds me that nothing is normal in Zimbabwe, its extraordinary. I can’t afford to do my groceries, get clean water or power. These are extra special times I have learnt to be patient and as insane as everyone else if I am to get by.

    The only thing that kills me now is knowing that this is 2008, we have people dying from cholera because of water that is polluted because someone s******** the system. We have gone to the dumps, the sewers and we are descending further, who knows give it a few more weeks we could be living in hell itself.