Story of a lost journalist

April 17, 2008

Really Bad Thursday

Filed under: Personal — Cris @ 14:58
Tags: ,

Sweaty day. It all started when I decided to visit a bank to get a Demand Draft. Lets pretend the following incident happened 10 years ago, better 20 years ago and not 20 minutes back. Banks are bad organizations. You know why? Cause they make you fill forms. And filling forms are bad, really bad! I wonder why there is no law against it. Actually, before today I had nothing against forms. I always thought them to be harmless sheets of papers making a lot of fuss about names and numbers no one paid attention to.

As I entered the bank, I thought this was such a nice place. A few fellow humans just like me, sitting behind desks and working, a few others filling forms, and some in queues. The world was looking perfect. I went to a deserted counter and saw a nice warm gentle lady. “Hi … eh “, I started and then said something that appeared like I knew what word to use but made it unclear. And then I said the magic word “DD”

She didnt seem concerned about my vocabulary set. “You will find forms at that corner, fill it and bring to me”, she said without looking up and went on with her work. She was missing a pretty angel in blue, I thought, and felt an invisible audience laughing at me.

I went and got the forms. Hmmm “Want a … on …”

I had my pen in hands. This had to be simple. I wanted a DD. Or does she want me to fill ‘draft’? And On? Err on what? Did I have to fill the bank’s name? Naah. I thought I’d better keep it for the lady.  Ahhh “in favor of”. I liked that part. Cause I had it all ready in my huge notebook. I brought out my bag. Took out my notebook, pen and formed my little workplace. I spend the next few minutes, with my best thinking expression – folded forehead, tongue out by a good 2 inches, pen moving about my ears and head and everywhere except on the paper. I found that I left most of the columns for Lady No-Looker to fill.

But I had faith in human brotherhood and knew she would love to help another human in distress. I went to her and asked “What do I fill in here”. She didn’t seem surprised; she probably saw hundreds of people like me everyday. “Want a DD on – the place you want it payable at”. She scrolled down and told me what to fill in every blank space. I smiled with heartfelt gratitude, thanked her and put back my tongue-out face on and went to it. This time I felt proud as I handed her the pink forms. She looked at it, then looked at me and calmly said “no this has to be filled here”. Apparently I misplaced something. I said “oops” and smiled not knowing why I found it so smile-worthy. She then proceeded filling many of the columns I still missed filling.

I felt like a 4 year old who couldn’t get her abc’s right with her teacher filling up her xyz’s. The lady behind the desk, lets call her Ms Helper, however looked calm and threw her hand out at me. Obviously she wanted something. I very willingly, gave her my pen. I wanted to give all the help I could. She paused to look at it, then looked at me and said “the cash please”.

“Oh of course, sorry”, I said stupidly and handed her the money. She did a lot of things in a few seconds, sealed my forms, tore some part of it and gave them to me. I took them and felt a brief moment of pride. “So I finally did it. My first DD’s”, I thought and looked around for applause. The invisible audience showed their presence only to contribute to canned laughter, it seemed.  Ms Helper looked at me and pointed to some sofas and said “Please wait there I will call your name”

Wait? There was more? No problem. Waiting was one thing I was good at. I meant to do that very efficiently. As soon as I sat down, I felt drops of perspiration all over my face. There were ceiling fans, but none of them were revolving. Switches, switches I looked all around the bank. My head went right, left, up and down. Other wait-ers didn’t seem to mind the non-revolving fans. I felt eyes from all around me falling on my strange movements. But a perspired me was worse than a trying-to-behave-normal me. So I finally located the switch board, took my time finding my fan’s switch (I chose my fan by then) and proceeded to stand under that beautiful 3-legged creature in full motion. Ahhh finally, this was life. I looked around and saw newspapers. I always liked seeing them when I waited for things and knew I had to wait for things longer. I took the first paper I saw. And bang, the rest of the papers flew in all directions. Sheesh no paper weight. I went and collected all of the papers, adjusted them on the table and started reading one. The first line in the editorial, after I read for 5 times was starting to make sense. I was happily proceeding to the second line. Enter old man with specs. He took a paper from the pile I neatly arranged on the table and the rest flew away. He seemed unconcerned about this. I frowned and took the papers and crumbled it on my lap, put my paper on top of it, held them down with my elbows and sat in a very difficult position to read. My name was called. Bingo perfect timing!

I looked at the direction the call came from. It couldn’t be Ms Helper; whatever bad qualities she had, she didn’t have a masculine voice.  I saw a man at his desk and went to him, all prepared for my next set of embarrassing moments. I was rewarded. The man looked at me wondering what I wanted. It was of course the wrong man. The right man was standing nearby and waiting. I went to him, collected 2 thick sheets of paper, which I later learnt to be what real DDs are (pretty looking things – its worth a 10 minute wait after all). I wasn’t sure at the moment, if everything was over and if I was actually holding DDs. But I couldn’t afford more embarrassment for the day. I walked slowly calling a friend so that I was still in the bank and didn’t seem like a totally lost stupid female knowing not what to do. Ms Helper was under the attack of a huge queue by then. I wonder if she will ever remember me. I believe I will not forget her. In a few minutes, she has entered my list of people-to-be-admired with her calmness and patience I wouldn’t show to myself!

The friend I called confirmed that I was infact holding the DD and I stepped out of the bank. I somehow didn’t feel proud anymore.

The infinite moments of fuss at the ATM counter, when the card just wouldn’t insert properly while impatient men waited outside and knocked at the door was an add-on to this wonderful day.

Yet another add-on was when I went to pay a phone bill, the guy handed me the receipt, I took it politely, thanked and asked very brilliantly “Can I have the receipt now please?”

I made a post office visit and a stationary store visit later that day.  But I don’t remember how things proceeded there. Whatever I did or would do, the day couldn’t possibly get any worse!

Thursdays – I hated them when I was a kid, I hated them growing up and I am going to hate them my whole life. Banks too, from today.

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10 Comments »

  1. But why Thursdays? What has Thursday got to do with it :).
    I am sure that you know why they request you to fill forms – They act as documented evidence that you wanted something and you were issued that something 🙂

    Comment by Anoop John — April 18, 2008 @ 01:56 | Reply

  2. It was just meant to be funny. I almost never say or do anything seriously :p

    Comment by Cris — April 18, 2008 @ 04:02 | Reply

  3. beep beep beep some error detected towards the last part of your entry.. i think its somewhere here – ” … hated them growing up and …” 😀

    Comment by rose — April 18, 2008 @ 11:04 | Reply

  4. @rose
    You feel I liked them when I was growin up?

    Comment by Cris — April 18, 2008 @ 13:33 | Reply

  5. nopes ..i meant u are still a kid .. so that line was totally unnecessary hehe [:D]

    Comment by rose — April 18, 2008 @ 22:18 | Reply

  6. oh damn why did i put the square brackets ..lemme laugh again ! 😀

    Comment by rose — April 18, 2008 @ 22:18 | Reply

  7. hahaha…ithaayirnuu alle kaaryam

    Comment by justajester — April 19, 2008 @ 19:45 | Reply

  8. hi hi hi
    i can imagine you in this situation….
    well… i think icici is to blame for pampering us with the so called A-T-M

    It has practically destroyed the term called manual labour. Infact when i went to SBT to get my first DD, i too faced the same issue… felt like a joker standing in court and awaiting capital punishment for a crime that i didnt think of!

    hi hi..
    well, i hope u dont need to go to any of the sarkaar aapis (govt offices)

    my oh my, they can convince anyone to commit suicide!

    take care,
    ta

    Comment by bwo — April 21, 2008 @ 19:27 | Reply

  9. @justajester yes, thanks for confirming it was a DD I finally got in my hands :p
    @bwo, so true!

    Comment by Cris — April 27, 2008 @ 08:41 | Reply

  10. It is a nice post, as my signature never is totally mutated every time I sign, I also have had hard time with Banks. So I am happy dealing with them online. 🙂
    ****
    Thursdays, actually I love Thursdays, I used to be a Thursday vegetarian for a long period of my life. It is special day as far as my belif is concerned.

    Comment by Javed Miandad — January 24, 2012 @ 02:56 | Reply


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