Don’t Blink

21 06 2007

I was buried in software yesterday and when I emerged my bank balance had depreciated 30%. I blinked and paid the price. Today I set about rectifying the situation though in reality it was just fire fighting. There was an obstacle to overcome first; the phones. Our land line at work has been stolen again (well about 3 weeks ago) and the “service” provider is not replacing the lines. Cell phones do work but one needs a lot of patience. Never mind, I had the wages to keep me busy in the interim. Legally we only need pay our staff a minimum of Z$207000 a month. That’s about US82c. Obviously that is a ludicrous sum so they get double that which at the time of writing this actually is slightly useful. I’d love to pay them more but we have had no significant orders in the last 2 weeks so that would be a little foolish. We are after all trying to survive. OK, so having calculated the wages and determined that I needed to get Z$13010000 from the bank there was another obstacle in the way. With a corporate account I can only draw Z$3000000 a day so I then had to make up a list of names, ID numbers (not all have ID’s so I invented a few) and the amount they are to be paid so that I can draw the requisite amount. Or so I thought.

On arriving at the bank I had to wait to see one of the manageresses. I have dealt with Maria for a number of years now and she is a pleasant and helpful person. She did some simple maths and said that yes, as the average was less than Z$700000 (less than US$3) per person, we could apply for permission to draw the amount (all of about US$50).

-Oh? I thought the bank could do that?
-No, it has to go to the Reserve Bank, and it takes 24hrs. We might be lucky.
-Right. So what happens when the amount exceeds the “limit”?
-Oh, your staff have to get accounts.

She admitted that this was daft (well, actually she said impractical). Especially considering that some of my labourers are illiterate and probably only have a sketchy idea of what a bank account is and would not be able to provide proof of residence (lights or water bill) as part of the requirement to open an account anyway. I was fuming at the injustice of it but there was little I could do. Or maybe not. I could always just draw the Z$3000000 limit every day but I do that anyway for all the other purchases that I need to do. I could always apply every week for the wages limit but that will only keep the wolf away for another month at most. Then what?

And all this is handed down from the morbidly obese fat cats at the top who continue to do the Marie Antoinette cake walk while getting ever fatter. Mind you, the masses could always do something about it but they are still waiting for somebody else to throw the first stone.

The train is definitely coming.

The tracks are awry.

The wreck is going to happen.

There will be casualties, certainly.

Will I be able to walk away afterwards?

I don’t know.



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