27 04 2008

The geeks will recognize this as Blind Carbon Copy in Windows Outlook or some other mailing application. Yesterday as I was counting out the contents of my gym bag (Zimbabwean portable safe deposit box) I thought wistfully of the time Before Cash Counters, when we had real money, not Bearer Cheques, and there was a maximum of two zeros on any note and yes, we even had coins! All the same I was grateful for the technology that allowed me to count wages for 20 staff in all of half an hour.

 The wage negotiations had degenerated into the usual squabble at the beginning of this week. The NEC (National Employment Council) for Agriculture (the negotiating body between the employers and unions) could and would not give me an idea on what the new minimum wages were likely to be so we had to go our own way. There is only so much squabbling that I can put up with, even if I am part of it, so I readily agreed to 900 million local dollars a month which I suppose is around US$10. I did warn the labour that they might have to wait a few days while I sourced the cash as I am still only allowed to draw one billion (1,000,000,000) dollars a day from my corporate account and frequently the bank only has it in 200,000 dollar notes. As it turned out I had just enough in my gym bag for the 14.3 billion necessary. I had proposed paying half fortnightly so that the money would have considerably more value but they turned that one down. They’d rather have more physical cash in their hand at the end of the month that was actually worth less. They can draw a certain amount of cash half way through the month and it is deducted directly from the wage but somehow this is different. I did not press the point.

 Oh, and the cash counter cost 50 million two years back – which is 50 of the current dollars!



3 responses

27 04 2008
Susan Kishner

Nice writing style. I will come back to read more posts from you.

Susan Kishner

27 04 2008

How long will you keep putting up with all that shit? Or is it just the challenge of staying ahead of of the competition? We think we are hard done by here, inflation about 4% I think but with diesel now £1.20/l and rising,property market flat and trade in general very slow perhaps a re-evaluation is about due!

10 05 2008

Well, that remains to be seen. Inflation now well over 500000%. Have applied for a job in northern Afghanistan but don’t even know what it entails just yet. That guy Clive whom we met in Bulawayo is looking into it for me.

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