I know I ought to write about the last part of my Stockholm trip, but right now I’m pissed, so I will write about that instead. I have no idea how organized or not this post will be, seeing as I’m ranting, but here goes:

*Walks into inner chamber, collapses into heap on the floor*

Early February: I receive a mail from my account officer for my French bank account, and she says I have no money left in my account and I must put in some money else she’d close it. I respond, telling her I will put in some money asap. I go to the bank some days later and transfer some money there. When I get home, I send her a mail telling her that I have put in some money, etc. The reason I am interested in keeping this account open is because I’m still expecting my rent refund, and it’s a nice sum of money in total. Anyway, she acknowledges the mail, blah blah blah.

Late February: I go to the website for my rent refund, and see that the refund was approved since late January, so naturally I skip over to my account, where my lonesome 20 Euros is staring back at me. Not quite the tidy sum I was expecting. I tell myself the French are quite bureaucratic (I’m being tactful here, what I really mean to say is not quite nice), seeing as it took over 3 months to get the payment approved in the first place, so the actual pay-out might take the same amount of time.

Late March: I check my French bank account, and discover that my cash account doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

A little back story here: In France, when you open a regular (savings?) account, you actually have 2 accounts, a cash account, and a card account. This makes absolutely no sense to me, but they are 2 different things and even if you have, say, 400 Euros in your cash account, if you don’t have enough money in your ‘card account’, you can’t use it to pay for stuff online. I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone else. Anyway…

So my cash account has vanished. I send an email to my account officer again, asking her why this account can’t be seen, and could she please ‘reactivate’ it? She replies the next day, saying “It is done.” I check my online portal immediately, but can’t find said cash account, and then I figure it would take a couple of hours to get it up and running.

Now, Early April: I didn’t check the account again till a few minutes ago, only to find that the account only got activated on April 2, about 10 days later. How? Further observation revealed 2 things:

1. she actually deleted my old account without my permission, and

2. she didn’t reopen it, she opened a brand new account, with an entirely different account number.

How the heck am I supposed to get my money if the account number has changed? HOW??? Why would she even delete my account without telling me?

I sent her an email, first thanking her for opening the account (which she had no right closing in the 1st place), then tactfully explaining how messy things could get as a result of what she has done. I really hope there’s a way to fix this that doesn’t involve me sending my new account number to CAF, because if I have to do that, I may as well forget about the money. I hope they have a system that updates relevant parties when details have changed. I hope. And I hope that my CAF details have been linked to my bank account, because that’s the only way I see this update working, if it exists.

I’m just going to have to wait till Monday to hear what she has to say for herself.

Why is the French system so bureaucratic? This could happen in Nigeria and I would get really mad, but I wouldn’t necessarily be too surprised, because it’s a ‘developing’ nation. This is France, in Europe for heaven’s sake. Isn’t it supposed to be efficient? Arrggghhh!

*straightens up, pastes smile on face, walks out of chamber* Rant over.

Cheers to your weekend. πŸ™‚


15. 16. 17.

Days 15, 16 & 17

I have a marketing class today. Funny, I used to and still despise the word with every fiber of my being. The reason is not farfetched; in Nigeria, young girls are hired by banks as marketers – and then given darn near impossible targets. How do you expect me to bring in accounts worth a total of 10 billion in 6 months? Anyway, so these poor girls soon find that it takes a lot of persuasion to get someone to transfer even 1 million NGN to a new account, it’s even harder to find people with that kind of money. About persuasion; sometimes these marketers have to sleep with their potential ‘accounts’, in order to secure them or seal the deal or whatever. Ugh. Whether or not you choose to classify that as prostitution is your prerogative. The banks threaten to fire them if they don’t meet their targets, and in cases where they don’t get fired, they get berated. Imagine what that kind of life does to one’s psyche. Of course the girl doesn’t want to get fired, do you know how many years she spent job searching after graduation? This job, demeaning as it may be, pays bills; and so she continues at it till she gets something better. These things I have said may not be completely accurate; I’m just narrating what I have heard several times, over the years. Enough ranting, it’s just that the word ‘marketing’ leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The class turns out to be very alright, and the way the lecture is presented makes marketing look/sound very glamorous. I like the fact that none of my lecturers so far are/have been boring.

My phone is still misbehaving. I’ve decided to purchase a new phone; this Bb isn’t making me happy anymore. First it had (and still has) push email issues, now this. It’s very sad, this impromptu purchase that I really can’t afford right now. And so I enlist the help of a friend – I’m very pragmatic, I have to carefully weigh all the pros and cons before making any purchase. We settle on the HTC One V and the Samsung Galaxy Ace2, but when I get to the Phone House, I find that these phones are not even available anywhere in France. Bummer. I need to get used to the French way of doing things: slow (most of the time anyway). Yeah so it’s back to the drawing board for me and my friend, and this time we decide on a Sony. I don’t particularly like this, but I don’t really have a choice – it’s the best of the lot for my budget. I go back to buy the phone, and I’m literally pained as I’m entering my card info. Why couldn’t my baby wait a little longer to get spoilt? One thing’s for sure though, I’m not getting rid of him. One day, he will wake up from his partial coma and he will be fine again 😦

So my new phone is not a 600€ ‘magic’ contraption, but there’s a lot of extra functionality that simply doesn’t exist on my Bb. While I’m grateful for that, it’s a bit too narrow for my hands in portrait mode, but also too wide in landscape. This is as you can imagine, very inconvenient. Oh well….hopefully I’ll get used to it soonish OR (dear God please o:) ) my Bb will encounter a miracle and begin to function again πŸ˜€