Wednesday, May 11, 2005

It Shouldn't Be This Hard - I

I have moved to, and i have also migrated all posts and comments. YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE SO CHANGE YOUR BOOKMARLS/BLOGROLLS ACCORDINGLY!!!!
Kenya is composed of 31 million. 30,999,740 of these are human beings. The remaining 260, while closely resembling human beings, are nothing of the kind. I'd call them beasts of the field but even swine and bovines would object to such a crass generalization so I shall call them what they are normally called, MPs.

Out of those 30,999,740, let's say half of them are supported by the other half, either by parentage, guardianship or other such relationships, voluntary or otherwise. In summary, 15 million of us support the other 15 million, providing food, shelter, clothing, education and medication, as well as tickets to Shaggy Concerts. Those 260 provide the 30 million with hot air and manure, so we cannot say they are totally useless. But ii digress.

It is jolly hard waking up at 6 in the morning, getting to work, working and going back home. You risk being kicked, stepped on and pushed. You risk stepping on substances that have only recently left the confines of a dog. Your risk being splashed on murky water by passing motorists. You risk getting run over by said motorists.You risk having thoughtful Kenyans relieving you of the contents of your pockets and handbags. You risk arriving at your office and find someone sitting at your desk with your property neatly piled on the the floor by the door. You risk getting typhoid from tap water.

In summary -- life is not easy (at least for 31 million less 260 of us). This we have come to expect. Adam and Eve had a picture perfect existence reclining happily in their nakedness and watching Chris Murungaru's sheep gallivanting with his goats, watching lions laying with the lambs, but they had to go on and ruin things by craving fruit salad and here we are, struggling through day and night as we rush towards old age.

Life is hard, but what we DO NOT NEED is it being made needlessly much harder for us by people like

The Nairobi Water Board

Those of us who don't live in Muthaiga generally share the same fate as those who live in Korogocho. When it comes to filling 50 litre containers I can modestly say in a competition I would come first, second and third. The taps in my house have become a woodwind orchestra. They produce nothing but whistling. The tank at the top of my house is dryer than Kiraitu Murungi's resevoir of wit. The only two taps that work are directy connected to the mains and even then that is no guarantee that they will produce water.

To make things interesting, water comes at seemingly random times, to relieve the monotony of continous water supply. The times chosen by these gracious officials generally tends to be 2 AM in the bloody morning. Solid bonds have been made between men and women of goodwill dozing sleepily as water trickles into their buckets, tanks and assorted containers. Couples have met over the water bucket. At two in the morning no one is in the mood to put on sophisticated acts so people are themselves. They appear in their pyjamas, night dresses, different slippers and brown stockings on their heads. Those who do not wear stockings on their heads appear in their real hair, if any. It is failry common to see good ladies blissfully fetching water with veneers of cucumber on their faces and gentleman in what look suspiciously like high school P.E. shorts doing the same.

Next to taxes, death and asinine politicians, nothing is more certain than the bill arriving from these clowns. Without fail you will find that white stapled letter in your mail just before the end of the month. They will expect prompt payment, and actually use words to that effect for the bill, for services that they appaarently rendered.

Last month I personally went to their offices to settle the bill. They were unwilling to accepty my argument that since they pretened to provide water it was only fair for me to pretend to pay the bill. This was at their office in in Town Center, but when I complained about the supply they informed me that the people in South B with water complaints should take up the matter with their Karen offices.

This month I have a suprise for that snide clerk and her immediate supervisior. I shall pay the bill entirely in 50 cent coins. I'm also going to enlist the services of mine Pater and get his advice as to the bigget water pump I can get my hands on


If you look in a modern thesaurus under audacity, Safaricom will feature prominently. It takes quite some cojones to offer a service, allow customers to request said service, attempt to render service, fail to render service and then go on to charge the customer anyway. That's right. Safaricom will merrily tell you that they were unable to deliver your messages but they will go on to charge you.

This leaves me speechless. It actually tells you message not delivered but your balance has dipped.

Once in a while I could let slide. But daily, or every other day? No way. On Tuesday alone I lost 11 internatinally bound SMSes. That's 110 bob up in smoke in just one day.

Perhaps if ii put it in figures. Safaricom has round about 350,000 customers. Assuming each loses one SMS a week in this fashion, and a local SMS is 5 bob, then in one week Michael Joseph and his merry bunch have made a clean 1,750,000/- or doing precisely nothing In a month that's 7,000,000/-. And in a year that's 84 million shillings.

Now, that is a best case scenario. For Safaricom at any rate. I can wager that everyone loses an SMS a day. So that's 12,250,000/- a week and 49,000,000 a month. In a year our friends in Lincoln Green could pocket 588,000,000/- a year on those dud SMSes. That's right, 600 million shillings for doing precisely and absolutely nothing. Damn thieves! Robbing the poor to pay the rich.

Then they have the temerity to donate money to good causes like the Lewa Marathon and the Sportsman of the Year awards, ostensibly tightening their belts in support of good causes. With money sourced for doing absolutely nothing, donations are not a problem!

The only emails that Safaricom will answer are those asking for prices. Ditto with phone calls. Anything else is ignored. If you want to be told "thank you for wasting five minutes of my life that I will never get back" in a sweetly seductive voice just call Safaricom customer care. But I shall solder on and keep you posted.
If your system is smart enough to tell it did not deliver the service, why the heck isn't it smart enough not to deduct my damn money?

I am strongly tempted to write a program that will dial customer care and either hang up immediately or read to them the contents of a file of my choice. I just happen to have War And Peace in a text file. Or one of Mwai Kibaki's speeches. As soon as they hung up it will dial again. And again. That ought to irritate them at least half as much as their bollocks service irritates me.

In the meantime I shall see what the CCK think of this, and if indeed they have a spine. And teeth.

A Ghetto Cowboy prepares to do his thing shortly before hospitalization with stomach troubles from partaking too much from the pleasures of the dining table


Craig David - Fill Me In