Saturday, June 20, 2015

Justine's Journal #44

52 Weeks 500 Words

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 44

"I have a serious issue with the banking system here in the south. It’s a minefield of frustration, that’s what it is.

I have more than one account and recently ignored one account (where I try and save) and when I tried to put in some funds via internet banking, it was to discover my account is inactive. Huh? It seems the fees put me in arrears and now it is inactive. I have to make a special trip to the branch and spend literally hours in line (I mean it, HOURS – it took me four hours in line just to open this account a few months ago) in order to fix it. I have to do this, for I receive money from another party into this account on occasion.

FEES! The bane of our lives. There are fees for every transaction, fees for just having an account, fees for using internet banking, fees for sms notifications, and FEES for being in arrears! For doing nothing, the banks here make money off us.

Elaina told me how the account she had in Ireland was bliss itself. NO FEES! On the other hand, no interest to speak of (which we do have here, although it’s not massive for saving – massive for lending, oh yes), but I would rather earn little interest and not have my money vanish into the ether the way it does here.

While frustration is an issue, as is the impracticality of sorting this out, my main problem with this affair is how it makes us feel unworthy.

We try to save. We try to keep our heads above water. And what happens? Without doing anything wrong, we are in debt to the banks. Instantly we feel debt-ridden and anxious and unworthy as a member of our society. Fix it, you say, and all will be well. I agree, but why is it necessary to put us through this gauntlet with regularity?

I am not going to start on the politics of money our leaders manipulate, for then I will be raving like a lunatic and it will destroy my calm … and it will help me not at all. But I do wish our leaders could wake up and affect changes that will aid in making every citizen begin to breathe easier … to feel worthy. This doesn’t mean freebies, merely less taking from us. A foolish hope, no doubt.

So next week I am off to stand in line cursing under my breath for a few hours. Wish me luck and wish me patience. Wish also for lightning bolt enlightenment to strike someone with the power to change things for ordinary people. Ha."

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