Shades of déja vu

6 12 2011

It’s been a while since I deposited cheques into my bank account; they have rather fallen into disuse since the demise of the Zimbabwe dollar. Nowadays we deal almost entirely in cash and bank transfers.

“You cannot deposit both those cheques on one day” the teller said.

I took a deep breath, “Why not?”

“Because they would add up to more than $500 dollars” she replied. “And the are both from the same drawer”.

We’d last been to this territory in the Zim dollar days when they were trying to limit the amount people could pay into accounts and thus by devious means change it into real money. This could not be the case here. It WAS real money!

“Oh. Well can’t you just put them through on different days?” I asked.

“Yes, but you will have to make out another deposit slip and anyway, you have missed today’s deadline so the first one can only be entered tomorrow”.

I inwardly surrended to the absurdity of it all; I just did not have the energy to argue which would have been futile anyway. I filled in the extra form, signed off the changes on the original, handed over the two cheques and went to the swimming pool to burn off the irritation.



25 07 2008

It’s like – wow! Well sort of, until I consider the snail pace of the page loading. I suppose I do have to get a little bit excited about being able to connect to the internet at home again. After all it has been 6 months so I guess I can put up with pages that take 5 minutes to load and some that don’t load at all. For a while at least the novelty will last.
There can’t be too many places in the world where wages are determined by how much is in the bank account but that’s how I do it. There were mutterings on Wednesday when I paid wages that some were going to refuse to take their wages. I said fine, if you don’t want it, I can definitely find something to spend it on. That settled it; it was all well gone by Thursday and today I got an across the board request for loans to buy maize meal that was apparently on offer in the area. Tricky one that; we have very little in the way of cash coming in and I am only allowed to draw 100 billion a day in cash. I should put that in perspective; 350 billion will buy a Coke. There is a way around it though. I found out that I CAN apply to draw wages on a weekly basis provided I submit the usual list of people with ID numbers (a fair few of which I concocted) and the wages they are to draw first. Yes, you guessed it; I do double the wages to cover “eventualities”. There have to be some advantages to having to put up with a thoroughly unsophisticated labour force! Apparently the Reserve Bank is reviewing the limit on cash withdrawals but until then I just have to fiddle the system a bit.

I had to back-track on my policy of only accepting cash. I prefer to call it “business flexibility” of course but I’d not really appreciated the meaning of “cash flow” until I had none. Even if we are losing money (definitely) it is still necessary to have money in the bank for some purposes. We do charge a 100% premium on cheques, which is VERY cheap by Harare standards, but there has been a veritable deluge of paper money coming in. It’s not worth very much but it is nice to have.