Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Banning Porn? WTF?

Some weeks should come with a mandatory warning that reads “This week your patience will be tested, brace yourself and make sure you’re well stocked up on Valium – you are going to need it!” Today is only Wednesday and already I had quite enough. Several fights with certain institutions, whose sole purpose is to support the mental health’s pharmacology industry, drove me nuts. Another gay club closed its doors after lying to me saying they were only revamping it and now my government is considering banning pornography. Seriously! What the hell is going on?

For the last month I have been trying to close down a bank account I have in the United Kingdom through Old Mutual International. One would think the process should be rather easy, even straightforward. After all it’s my account and it’s my money. The exercise of closing a bank account in a foreign country is equivalent to applying for a United States VISA while you’re on their international terrorist watch list. In the last month I had to complete several sets of forms.

According to the bank you are homeless and don’t exist until you can proof the contrary. I had to go to great length to show proof of my physical address. All the documents I presented finally convinced them I wasn’t homeless and two weeks later they accepted that I really do exist. All seemed fine until I received a call stating that my signature on one form didn’t look original – I had to come into their offices and sign the form again this time in front of a witness. Seriously, I am not messing with you! Already annoyed due to yet another delay I complied. The following week I received another phone call – the same problem different document! Livid, this time (thinking to those damn people only work on Wednesdays) I made an appointed and went back to their offices.

As I walked into their open plan office my account consultant saw I was in no mood for idle chat. As she placed the document on the desk infront of me she apologized for the inconvenience, I grunted and signed. Before leaving I double checked to make sure this was now indeed the last delay and she reassured me it was. It was no surprise when I phoned them this Monday that I learned that the 5-10 working days, to close the account, now 20 working days later would be another 5-10 working days as from next week Monday -the documents were still being reviewed for authenticity. I lost it!!!I am not fucking homeless, I am a real fucking human being and all the goddamn signatures on all the forms are mine and bloody original!!! What is the goddamn fucking problem?!” Silence followed. An apologetic and somewhat scared voice broke the silence “Sir... I do apologize... the matter will be escalated to urgent, I’ll phone you on Friday, and once again I do apologize” I hung up.
To further ruin my bliss, I currently also have two mobile phones, one for private use and the other for work. The work phone’s contract is with Nashua Mobile and was due to expire last week and I was not planning on renewing it. At least two month ago I decided to be proactive and contacted the service provider informing them that I don’t plan on continuing the contract. They reassured me the contract would be cancelled. Being a bit anal retentive about a paper trail I insisted on getting this in writing. I was ignored. Numerous phone calls and e-mails later the end of May came and to my disbelief the phone was still working. Quite surprised I phoned the service provider only to be informed they never received my instruction. How convenient, six phone calls and three e-mails later and no one at their company knew I wanted the contract cancelled. All my proactive efforts were for nothing.

As I explained to the voice on the other side of the phone about my “paper trail” it was clear he was not interested as his system was saying “no, contract not cancelled” Clearly his system was more powerful and important than my little e-mails that apparently got lost in the Intrawebs. After telling him I don’t give a rat’s ass what his “system” was saying explaining I had proof, I also had to explain the difference between a computer and a real human being to him. It fell on deaf ears and inevitably I told him to shove his keyboard up his computer’s cooling fan’s vent which seemed to catch his attention. Only then did he finally realize that his liar system meant nothing in my world, he caved and asked me to forward the e-mails I sent previously to him and the contract would be cancelled with immediate effect. My phone is still working; I guess his system still says “NO”!

On Tuesday I learned that one of my favourite gay club called Legends closed its doors and my government is considering banning pornography. The two is not related but both pissed me off. Hubby and I were at that club on Friday and were told they were busy revamping it and we believed them. No wonder the drinks were so damn expensive and the fact that only 10% of the club was actually open and the rest covered behind curtains should have tipped us off.

The news that some religious group presented a draft bill to government proposing pornography is filtered out thereby preventing it from reaching South Africa outraged me. My first thought was what bullshit is this? This group claims to be fighting for the highest moral standards for South Africans and justifies the writing of this bill by claiming it’s to protect children. Can anyone say censorship? If this group is so concerned about morality why don’t they start with our president who allegedly fathered his 21st child, have multiple wives, clearly is promiscuous and not to mention his bastard children? I highly recommend that these self-righteous people focus on religion and leave politics to the politicians and leave my damn Internet alone! Don’t think we don’t know where all of this will end if they succeed: Today they take away our right to watch porn and freedom to information on the Internet, tomorrow they take away our civil rights.

Still traumatized about the club’s demise and the proposed banning of pornography I finally made it home last night being irritable, tired and angry – traffic also didn’t help my mood. I hated the bank, loathed the mobile phone service provider, was sad because the club closed down and angry because my gay rights may be in danger. All I wanted to do is sit on the couch under a warm blanket have a glass of Chardonnay and be left alone.

Then my phone rang. It was telemarketer from a bank wanting to give me a credit card which I rudely declined. Ten minutes later my phone rang for a second time and it was another telemarketer this time from a mobile phone company offering me a free phone and a contract. As I impudently tried to explain my mobile phone situation he would have none of that and was insistent that I should hear him out. I lost it! (The language I used cannot be repeated for fear of having to put an adult warning on my blog and maybe having it banned in South Africa).

It’s only Wednesday and my week have been sucking ass, and not in a good way. Maybe I should start attending anger management classes but if I do I am afraid I may hijack the class and could stagger the progress of the other participants. I think I am just a tad bit stressed and in desperate need of a holiday. If I make it to Friday without any further casualties it will be a miracle. Happy thoughts and remembering to breath...

Till next time


Miss Swan at a gay bar

7 comments:

nothingprofound said...

Wow, that's a lot of aggravation all at once. Sounds like it's time for a mental holiday.

Pierre said...

nothingprofound, I couldn't agree more I so need one!

Lyle said...

I am tired of working with government agencies. You are not safe anywhere. Some of the dumbest people must be working at some of these places. Now it seems that banks, phone companies, and others are plain crazy. Where will it end?

Pierre said...

Lyle, not all government agencies exhibit complete and utter stupidity - some are actually competent but those are few and far in between.

I think private companies are hard up for business and that's why they harass us. It's annoying and unnecessary. If I want to give them business I will go to them.

Luckily my little tantrum with the bank yielded results. My UK account finally is closed and I received conformation of the money transfer this morning.

GrahamFinlayson said...

i recently spent a lot of time with a gay friend and his partner, and have become significantly more tolerant as a result. I am making a huge effort to understand their world and inadvertantly came across your blog which is absolutely brilliant. Keep the fantastic work up.

Elani said...

The pools have gotten a bit crazy as well. I'm the only homosexual there and most of the guards won't talk to me or just try to avoid me in general. Those same guards are racist as well. Sadly, there is no place to just relax.

Pierre said...

@GrahamFinlayson, I am glad that your friends are opening your eyes to our world. See we are not so strange most of the time ;-) Love the fact that you are enjoying my blog as well!

@Elani, don't let that bother you. Stay strong and remember there are load of us out there - you are never alone. What do we care what life guards think anyway, that's why there are something called swimming lessons!

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