Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When a holiday is not a holiday

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I don’t think God wants me to take a holiday, He rather have me to continue to be a workaholic. I guess so because every time I decide to go on leave, something will come up.

I took the day off yesterday, not because I had something urgent to do or a function to attend to but rather because I needed to finish my leave for the month. Having nothing to do on that day (other than play games, watch TV and sleep, so what’s new?), I decided to be productive (I can foresee some people blinking their eyes on this). This was my plan…go to the bank near my house & open a current account and then drive up to the National Blood Centre in KL to donate my blood (been planning to do one for a long time, my last blood donation was in March 2003). I should be finished by 3.00 pm – come back and sleep. The planning was perfect but the actual outcome was not.

First, let me talk about the trip to the bank.

I wanted to open a current account with a bank nearer to my house because the existing account is with a bank in KL. I don’t want to drive all the way on a working day just to collect my cheque book. So, I went to the EON Bank which was nearer to my house to open the account. I already have some saving & fixed deposit accounts with the bank and I double checked the requirements in their website before going. I filled up the form and passed to the lady at the customer service with a smile.

She asked “Do you have an introducer?” I said no and she said that they need an introducer before she can process my application. She gingerly asked me to look for an introducer before she can do anything. I said to her “Look here, I am existing customer of the branch and I have checked your website and there was nothing mentioned about any introducers”. She looked cold and insisted on an introducer. After some thought, she said “ok, you have a current account with another bank? Get me the last 6 monthly statements”. I thought “ok, finally - a compromise”. So, I rushed back home and guess what, I only managed to find the last 2 statements. I needed another 4 more statements. Damn! I checked and there was none. Then I thought maybe it is at my drawer at the office, so I rushed to office – a short drive from my house.
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I knew it…there is nothing mentioned about any f*&king introducer in the website!
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The first thing that the receptionist at office said when I walked in was “You are on leave and yet come back to work. So good lah you - customer called is it?” I gave a weak smile and rushed to my table. Some of the guys in my department were also surprised. I reached down and pulled the drawer. Nothing! There was no statement in the drawer. Damn again! I have wasted the trip (and the precious fuel) to the office. I rushed back to the bank and told the lady about the statements. I had to wait for a good 20 minutes because she was with this “dungu” customer. I say “dungu” because the customer kept asking her to explain the simple terms and conditions of an insurance policy that he just took. I told myself that if I don’t get to talk to her in 10 minutes, I am walking out from the bank. Luckily the customer left before the 10 minutes was up.

I told the lady about the statement and said “hey look, I have 2 months statements here; you can always call the other bank and check on the conduct of my account”. Things are online these days and all she need to do to pick up the phone and call. She looked at me and said it is either an introducer or 6 months statement. Nothing else will do. I was frustrated. I looked at her and said “Ok, just pass me back the forms, I may just hop in to the next bank and get my current account done”. Only then she started to get panic. She said that she already keyed in my application in the computer pending the confirmation on the introducer or statements. The parting words as I was walking out of the bank were “I will see what I can do about that”.

I was furious as I walking out of the bank. Since I had time, I decided to go to donate blood. It was the 2nd item in my agenda for the day and I do not want to screw that up. Before I go for my blood donation, I dropped by my house because my wife wanted to follow too. It was already 12.15 pm by then and she was busy preparing lunch. I told her that we leave at 1.00 pm which was ok with her – she would have finished cooking by then.

At 12.55 pm (talk about wrong timing), my dad called my wife and said he is having difficulty in breathing. He just had a heart bypass surgery and was recuperating at home. He could not move and we suspected he had an asthma attack. We quickly called the doctor from a clinic nearby (thank god that the doctor knew my dad and his medical history too). The doctor managed to stabilize him and called for an ambulance. I could have droved him to the hospital but he was too weak to move, beside that, driving through the rush-hour during lunch time is not going to get us fast to the hospital. An ambulance was still the preferred choice. The ambulance reached my house in less than 15 minutes and quickly took him to the University Hospital (The paramedics were highly trained, polite and professional but it comes with a price – RM170).

I looked at my wife and she looked at me and said “it looks like you have to cancel your trip to donate blood”. I said “ya, what to do”. We picked my mom from her work place on the way to the hospital and we reached the hospital to find my dad was resting. He was ok but the doctors wanted to run some test just to be sure.

Sitting at the emergency waiting area, I told my wife that I want to walk around for a while. I felt bored – there was not a single magazine on sight at the waiting area. She felt bored too and so she joined me. We walked around and I had an idea – I am in a hospital and I am sure they will need my blood right? So, I walked to the enquiry counter to ask about how I could donate blood and I was directed to the Blood Transfusion Department. The place was packed with people donating blood. Good, I was back in business!

After a quick fill of forms and checkup by the doctor, I sat down for my turn to donate blood. There was old people and young people casually donating their blood. When my turn to donate was up, I was excited. After lying down comfortably, I was waiting for the moment I could donate my blood away. Don’t get me wrong but I figured that this is a good way to reduce cholesterol rich blood from my system (the blood will be filtered anyway by the hospital staff).

The entire process only took about 4 minutes to complete and within 15 minutes, I was up and walked to the hot Milo and sandwich that the hospital had prepared for the blood donors. I did not feel dizzy – just had a small stinging pain at the place where they poked the large needle to draw out my blood (I closed my eyes when they poked it – it felt like a small mosquito bite despite the size of the needle). To tell you the truth, I felt better after donating 450 ml of my blood. To learn about donating blood, this is a good site to visit (much better than our Malaysian version).

I managed to complete at least one of the two tasks I set to do. I am still pissed off with EON Bank but opening a current account is not urgent at the moment, so I putting away the application for a new account for the time being. For rest of the day – I spent driving back and forth to the hospital to check on my dad and to fetch my mom back. My dad is ok, just need to rest and he will back home in couple of days.

What a way to spend a holiday, huh?
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(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Personal)
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