The Deposit Saga continues. After five weeks and what feels like three thousand phone calls, we managed to obtain the necessary documents from CEDOC. Our dossier is getting thicker and thicker, and it's now inside a fancy yellow CEDOC folder. We have a valuable signature of the Big Boss, and should thus get our money in no time. However, wouldn't you be surprised if things were this simple? Wouldn't you be disappointed? Relax, no disappointment in stock today. Instead, I will tell you a story of incompetence, flip flops and how I have to go shoe shopping.
We were informed at CEDOC that now we were ready to take our dossier to the next level, which turned out to be the Treasury. As the name itself suggests a place where money can be obtained, we were fairly optimistic. This morning, just before nine o'clock, we found out that fairly optimistic could easily be substituted with stupid and naive.
We arrived at the Trésor and were confronted by a queue of roughly thirty people. A few security guards (as usual, with their huge guns at the ready) were hovering about, so we asked one of them what one had to do to get inside the building. He, in turn, informed us that the machines were out of order and thus no work could be done. Wondering if the Treasury was employing state-of-the-art robots which did all the work, we asked if we could maybe talk to someone inside. He said yes, but insisted on the fact that no work could be done whatsoever. Robots got broken, yes, we get it. We entered anyway.
Money money money
Inside, there was a number of people queuing in the general direction of a cubicle, where three women were sitting, staring into space. Clearly, as no work could be done, no work was being done. People were just sitting and waiting. We approached the three ladies and politely explained our situation. Shouting from behind the glass pane, they told us that yes, indeed, it was here where we could pay our deposit. Now it was clear to us how unusual our demand was. We patiently explained the whole thing again. Another lady started shouting to us, which quickly evolved into shouting at us. Indignantly, she said she had no idea what we had to do to get the deposit back and that we should go to the Ministry of Home Affairs and ask them for a special document, which later we should take to the second floor in the Treasury.
We left the ladies in the state of extreme agitation, as we had made them work, even though the machines were out of order.
No flip, just a flop
Still full of positive energy, we decided to head straight for the second floor of the Treasury, happily ignoring the whole Ministry recommendation. We thus walked around the building and reached a parking lot. We continued towards the entrance and, of course, as all other obvious terrorists, were stopped by several heavily armed security guards. The one who talked to us was sitting at a desk, on top of which there were several coffee mugs and lots of snacks. Professional that he was, he leaned in his chair and began:
Mr. Big: Yes?As Jandro disappeared behind the door, I was told to leave the premises. I couldn't even wait outside with the guards, as it was security zone, where accidents happen. I wanted to make things crystal clear though. I insisted:
Jandro explains our business.
Mr. Big: The lady cannot come in.
Me: Why is that, exactly?
Mr. Big: The lady is wearing flip flops and they are not allowed.
Me: I wear these flip flops to official cocktails with ambassadors!
Mr. Big: Flip flops are not allowed. The gentleman can go in.
Me: So, if I'm wearing sandals but not flip flops, can I come in?While I was waiting for Jandro outside, it struck me what great satisfaction it was for the guards to send me away. I probably made their day! And just so you know, I had made a special effort that morning, and I wore a fancy dress (which ended right above my knees), a matching necklace and elegant flip flops.
Mr. Big: No, you can't. No sandals. Only closed shoes.
Mr. Big 2 (looks me up and down): And your dress should cover you knees!
Me: As in church, got it.
Jandro managed to pass our dossier to the secretary of the chief of Treasury. My charming boyfriend must have flirted away, for she gave him her number and we're supposed to call tomorrow. The experience left me thinking that I had absolutely no closed dress shoes to speak of. Conclusion: in view of the fact that Jandro is leaving for two weeks and I have several visits to Trésor ahead of me... must go shoe shopping! Soon!
The previous episodes of the Deposit Saga are: Out of the Territory, The Odyssey Continues and Show Must Go On.