If you are a Kenyan you probably feel this, if not, just go to Nairobi’s CBD during weekdays and witness the rush and sense of doing everything with urgency. People here want to do a lot (including walking) in a short time. Impatience is of another level. Our public transport can help you decode the same. They overlap and can even create ways on top of water just to get to their destination. In a twist of events, one bank or should I say one bank branch, has blatantly refused to go with the speed needed in the Kenyan dynamic. This bank branch, located in Ruiru, a satellite town to Nairobi, still expedites it operations lackadaisically and with lethargy in this age of the Standard Gauge Railway.
With a much publicized SIM card that gets the bank into your phone, I decided to be one of those who carry the bank in their pockets. That’s a good feeling, isn’t it? On the counter of this brown and cream building, I was. Things are digital and according to their advertisements and promotional messages, getting the bank to my phone was supposed to happen in a very short period. I was ready to become a member. The process had two steps. I had to register and activate the line. All the instructions to do the same were clearly marked.
Acquiring and registering the SIM card took a relatively short period. True to their word, it was free. Next was activating the SIM card. The desk was empty. The attendant was activating something else, but clearly it was not SIM cards. “May be he/she is taking lunch,” I thought. I got my cool and decided to wait. 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes and the guy was still not active. All this time, the queue was lengthening and getting restless. I managed to inquire from the registration desk and the response was that the missing guy had the veto powers to activate my line, nobody else. By the 20th minute, I was getting irritated and I decided to quit. In my dual SIM phone, I had a line that was purposely supposed to be the fine link between me and the bank but I could not use it, it was not active. Raging with fury, I walked out to meet my angry friend who I had promised to wait for a maximum of five minutes but here I am, late by almost half an hour. To calm him, I took him for a burger across the street. I lost the damn SIM card and the bank is still on the street, not in my pocket. To the bank managers, times are changing and if you want to maintain the billions you announce every quarter as profits, you have to ensure everybody goes home happy, not with heartburns.