Friday, 16 September 2011


I love mints. It just feels good when I want to bring out money from my wallet and it's all crispy new notes. I also like the fresh smell. I understand why a lot of people want it when they come to the bank to withdraw, but some people really crave for it. I once had a boss, "Frank" and whenever he wants to withdraw, he would call on the intercom and say "CD" (the name my Hop gave me), I need to withdraw and I want mints in different denominations. Inform the Head of Operations (Hop) to make it available for me. I always used to laugh when he says this because he knew that we can't print mints if we don't have it in the branch. When I ask him why he always insists on having mints, "Frank" would say it just feels good to have them. I agree with him. Some weeks ago, I was at  home preparing for work when I received a text message. It read:

"Morning Che, last night I dreamt that you were giving out N100 mints. Please come to the office with mints in lower denominations if you have. Cheers, "Felicia". I started laughing while thinking to myself, Chai, na so the mint dey do dem, so tay dem dey dream about me. Ok o. On getting to my cash center, "Felicia" comes to my office and we have the following conversation:
"Felicia": Babe, morning. How far? Did you receive my text?
Me: Yep, but pele, we don't have mints now.
"Felicia": *Insert sad face*, Ahhhhhhh, i really needed to use it this weekend o ehnnn.

Sorry  to disappoint you dear, but maybe when next you dream about mints, somehow we would have it. :-)

We had a customer in my former branch that just loved to be identified with the bank. "Oga Cosmas" could walk into our branch 20 times in a day (not exaggerating) to transact business. That was fine by us. What used to annoy me was that whenever he comes, he would always ask for the date and his account balance. Donning on his sunglasses and feeling like one nna man with loads of Igbo swagger (I am Igbo o, so i'm not hating :-)), "Oga Cosmas" would approach my cubicle and say "Sister, please check my balance (in a gruff Igbo business man voice). After I check his balance, if he wants to withdraw, he would ask "What is today's date?" And after paying him, he would ask for his balance again. *Insert tired face*, please my people, what is the essence of the debit and credit alerts you receive on your phone? What is the essence of having an account officer ehnnnn? It didn't help matters that his office was two buildings away. So he could just stroll in and out of the branch. At some point, I told my Hop that we would get "Oga Cosmas" a portable talking calendar as part of his christmas present from the branch, so he could always hear what the date was.

"Oga Nduka" feels like he is the landlord of my cash center. His transactions are mostly carried out there and i don't have a problem with that. But what irks me is the way he shouts when talking. He is an agent and in a way, I think it comes with their job. You need to hear him when he is on the phone or even talking to the young men that work for him. I always cringe and feel sorry for them. "Nna, how far with my container, has it landed? Emeka, go and sort out the assessment fees with the custom people. Don't you know that delay is dangerous and we are accumulating dummorage. Have you gone through the consignment that just came in to be sure everything is intact?" It's even worse when he is gisting with his friends. It seems to me as if they are in a competition to know whose voice is the loudest. More often than not, I give the award of the loudest voice to "Oga Nduka". I also feel for his heart and other vital organs, because I feel he strains them when he shouts all the time. He needs to understand that life is not all about hustling and making money. One also needs to learn to relax and stay alive to enjoy the money. Of recent though, he seldom stays in my cash center, so I now have some peace and quiet.

I don't appreciate when customers walk up to me in the banking hall and start to speak Igbo or Yoruba. I just don't get it at all. When did any language apart from English become the official corporate language. Whenever any customer speaks any other language other than English to me, I just keep a straight face and allow him or her to finish  and i will say, I'm sorry, but i didn't understand what you just said. Of course I do understand Igbo, but people shouldn't go assuming that everyone does. Most times, the customer will then ask, Ooo, so where are you from? And with a sweet smile on my face, I would say I'm Hausa. My ID card is not always visible, so the customer won't be able to verify. But I'm sure they would just know that I am kidding. There was a time an elderly woman came for money transfer transaction. On realizing that the money was not yet reflecting in our system, she started speaking Yoruba to me. I had to use sign language to explain to her that I don't understand Yoruba and referred her to another colleague.

That reminds me of another yarn. Why do people abroad send money to their aged parents using the parents name? Why not just send the money in the name of a sibling or relation who will then deliver it to Mama or Papa. I always feel sorry for the elderly people when they stress themselves to come to the bank. I guess the children or relations cannot be trusted to give the full amount of money to the aged beneficiaries.

Enough for now, the post is getting too long. I will be back later with more gist. :-)

Friday, 9 September 2011


As is the norm with me, when I closed from my cash center at Kirikiri, I boarded my dispatch man's bike and we left for the main branch in Apapa. Thankfully, my route was free to an extent until we got to Tincan. We were following a Keke Napep behind when we saw an oncoming trailer loaded with two containers. It was a normal sight for me so there was no cause for alarm. The driver of the Keke however decided to misbehave.

Maybe it was the fear of the oncoming trailer's size compared to his tuke tuke that made him unsure of his lane. Instead of him to focus and continue on his lane, he was heading straight for the trailer. The driver of the trailer while moving forward, started to sway from side to side. This was all in a bid to avoid the Keke and other vehicles following it. The containers on the trailer were also shaking (most of the time, these containers are not properly hinged on the trailers and that is why they sometimes fall off ).

We were getting close to the trailer and since there was no way to manouever around it, the dispatch man said: "Ahh, e be like say we go jump comot for road o since this trailer and keke dey act drama for here". When we were almost close to the trailer, we did some Jackie Chan moves and  jumped off the okada to the other side of the road. Thank God the other side of the road was deserted. I don't even want to think of what could have happend if there were moving vehicles on the other side of the road. Thank God also that I was wearing a pair of trouser suit. I for hear am if I was wearing one of my sisi like straight skirts.

I don't know where the speed came from to move that fast and whenever I recount the incident, I always tell people, that I must have been carried by an angel to the other side of the road because the distance was much. There was a tear on my jacket and my bag, but I wasn't injured, just a slight bruise on my knee. My dispatch man was also ok.

The Keke swerved and the driver and his passengers also jumped out to avoid been hit by the trailer. The trailer hit our now empty bike down and screeched to a halt. To say I was in shock would be an understatement. Some passersby and passengers in the cars behind us quickly ran towards us to know if there were any casualities and also to render help. Shouts of praises to God could be heard all around us because there was no fatality.

 We were helped up, I dusted myself and tried to steady my nerves. I had never been so scared in my life as I was that day especially because of all the gist I have heard about accidents caused by trailers and some I had seen. After a while, when I was more composed, I got a ride to complete the last lap to my office. My dispatch man chose to continue the trip to the branch on his bike since it was ok.

I have always known to be grateful to God for life, but that day, I was reminded that life is fleeting and everyday is a precious gift to be savored. As I go through my day's activities, or whenever I go out and come back home, I thank God for His protection, mercies, faithfulness, love and so much more.