Why asking for the washrooms is like demanding a loan without collateral
By Undercover Reporter
Money has ways of making one feel like visiting the toilet. Kwanza when withdrawing something like Sh1 million in cold cash and you’re not sure whether your neck might be rinsed by a ngeta guy and the dough changes ownership before you can say “Ngai Fafa.”
You could be holding Sh10 million in your prestige bank account but ngoja until you are pressed to find out how asking for the bank’s urinal is akin to demanding a loan bila collateral.
What is it about banks and toilets for customers?
When you insist, considering it might be the onset of imminent diarrhea, the bank guard who by virtue of proximity to money has more airs than the guards at the supermarket- directs you self-importantly to the customer care desk.
There is a long queue being served by two young women who appear to be on their first job. You can always tell. The simple hairdo and nicely pressed ‘Camera One’ mtumba skirt suits, a fresh face that has not been creased at the forehead by the vagaries of dealing with crying toddlers at the dead of night.
You inch closer and customers, who also appear pressed but squeezing back the bladder, shoot you those dagger looks reserved for queue jumpers. Holding back diarrhea while standing is harder than holding pee. One move forward, and the skitters could find an opening.
Kenyans and fear of terrorist. But it’s your bowels that are about to explode
Your eyes are turning red. There is gnashing of teeth, and when your turn finally comes, you hurriedly explain the issues with your bowel account. The customer care execute gives you direction by extending her lower lips at another ‘executive’ on the far end of the banking hall. She has the key to the toilet. She is the toilet key keeper. She shoots you that side look to size kama you could be having explosives. Kenyans and fear of terrorist. But it’s your bowels that are about to explode. You swear never to touch that mutura roasted by Mwas at night by the roadside. And why is mutura never sold on credit? And why is it sweeter eaten under the cover of darkness?
When you finally get the key, the door to the gangway leading to toilets needs an access card. You wait sheepishly hoping the executive who gave you the key will notice you are not a staffer and rush to your aid. But she’s speaking to her phone with cupped hands.
Have you noticed that once inside a church, people speak in whispers? It is the same experience when inside a banking hall where people hardly shout or speak in high tones!
There is a connection between churches and banks. Besides sharing near similar architectural designs of high ceilings and long windows, money before mainstream banking was kept in churches. Priests and bishops were the most educated. Some were clerks hence the name clergy. Today, some communities of Asian extraction still keep money in temples.
Then there is the teller who has been working for five months behind a counter reading ‘closed’
And so, there you are still holding on to the toilet key with the diarrhea threatening to embarrass you (yet you’re withdrawing Sh1 million) and the executive who gave you the key is still speaking to her phone with cupped hands!
Besides toilets, Kenyan banks have tellers with peculiar characteristics.
There is the teller who is always disappearing to a back door for long periods. There is the other who does paper work while standing. There is the one who counts the money ten times with the hands and five times with the counting machine. There is the other who is so fast you doubt the transaction will go through. There is the other who is so meticulous with your account details you expect cops from the Anti-banking Fraud Unit to tap your shoulder any minute.
Then there is the teller who has been working for five months behind a counter reading ‘closed.’
Then there is something about banks and dressing. A bank teller with beards can hardly be trusted. So all male bankers have baby bottom chins. Some colours don’t go with money. Like a screaming red suit. So does excess bling. A banker has to be understated in grey skirt suits and other earth colours. Dreadlocks and ornaments for men are a no-no too!
One Reply to “Nataka kuendesha: Of Kenyan bank tellers, toilets and diarrhea”
Hi, the Nataka kuendesha: Of Kenyan bank tellers, toilets and diarrhea –
is very good, congratulations to undercoverafrica.com’ authors.