Retrenchment Recess: Episode 8 – FINALE

Retrenchment Recess:

Episode 8

The Finale

So, as it turns out, eye-roll-initiating sayings like, “There is always hope.”, do tend to be true.

There certainly is always hope. Thanks to ONE helpful friend who passed on contact details, ONE helpful UIF employee, and countless other ones who couldn’t give a damn, my UIF claim was eventually paid out!

A big victory for me – but I have to stop and wonder for how many people the light at the end of the UIF tunnel never becomes a good thing.

It saddens me to know that we live in a country with so many people being retrenched, cost of living going up, taxes going up, companies closing down; unemployment and crime are higher than ever, the ANC hosts events, and Dear Ol’ JZ builds mansions with taxpayer money. Of course, this topic has been discussed ‘to death’ in the media, the courtroom, and Joe Citizen’s house. Alas, as has become apparent when it comes to the ANC, nobody is accountable for their corrupt actions, their crimes, or their blatant disrespect for the people of South Africa.

asinghlife alfriendo retrenchment recess finale

Let’s consider the details of my UIF claim:

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Retrenchment Recess: Episode 7

Retrenchment Recess:

Episode 7

Sitting in the UIF line online…

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Following my previous post, a few things have happened.

One of these was not the UIF fulfilling their pretty basic function and paying me the money I’m due. One would ordinarily start a sentence like that with “sadly” or “unforunately”, but I don’t even have the capacity to feel sad or unfortunate at the moment. I am enraged, in a strange calm and calculating kind of way. The UIF and its incompetence is an utter disgrace, and the people who work there should be ashamed of themselves and their superiors. And we should all be ashamed of the government, because they are letting us all down!

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Let’s be clear – this post is not essentially about me and the money I am owed by the UIF. It is about a matter in principle. It is about the fact that there are countless poor people out there who are shoved down and trodden on by the government when they’re at their most vulnerable.

So, despite the fact that I started every conversation at the UIF centre in Randburg with, “I’ve applied online, but…”, it took multiple sessions of wasting-of-my-life there before I was told that they can’t process online application queries there and rudely sent away with an email address scribbled on a torn-off corner of paper. This address was for Deon van Niekerk, Assistant Director, e-operations…

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Retrenchment Recess: Episode 6

Retrenchment Recess:

Episode 6

Sitting in the UIF line…

Sitting and waiting for an undefined period of time is certainly not one of my strong points.

I think that the day of The Voice auditions was proof enough. Wake up repeatedly, terrified of oversleeping. Unable to sleep since 04:00. Arrive 06:40. Audition 15:40. Me = NOT a happy camper (since about 08:30).

However, it seems that the South African Labour Department’s UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) wants to prove it to me repeatedly, just for the sake of it. I’ve spent about 10 hours queueing there and have not yet actually gotten to the counter. It’s amusing how there are SO many unemployed people and SO many people getting retrenched in the last 5 years but the process is still an absolute disaster, stunted in so many ways.

alfriendo asinghlife retrenchment uif

Despite the fact that you can apply online, things are halted halfway through with senseless reason codes stated, which delay everything further. You then have to launch a query simply to understand the reason stated for the unsuccessful online application. Then you get told the employer didn’t submit the right document. You know, I don’t know whether the tail’s wagging the dog here, but I think that with the frequency of retrenchment cycles in South Africa, the large companies know EXACTLY what to submit. I’m not sure who’s fooling who here!

So, here I am, it’s almost the end of November. I’ve been out of work since end of June. I applied for UIF online in July. And… nothing! Someone somewhat officially involved in the process told me it’s like hoping to win the lottery.

This would probably be funny if there weren’t UIF contributions going off my salary for years, like clockwork, only for it to be impossible to claim when I need it back… I hear that some of my ex-colleagues got their applications in and done within 5 minutes by using (quite possibly paying off) someone’s connection. This is where I truly get irritated. Everyone is against corruption and fraud until it makes life easier for themselves.

I feel like there are people in South Africa who go out of their way to make things complicated. It’s a personality thing. There are people who want things to work, and to make South Africa a better place. And then there are people who don’t understand or care how simple a process like UIF application could really be. If your thinking is angled one way or the other, I think it’s quite difficult to cope with the opposition.

alfriendo asinghlife retrenchment uif

I try really hard for my posts not to become bitching sessions, but I’m viciously struggling to see the ray of light regarding UIF at this point. I suppose it’s quite simple. I’m going to have to change my strategy, take some music with me, and go try again. Attempt 4…

So please, pray for me. Think of me. Send me good vibes. I will go back next week. I will go and stand in the Randburg CBD at 05:00 hoping not to get mugged. I will wait for the place to open at 07:30.

I will not be unnerved.

And

I WILL BE SERVED!

photo credit:

caged growth

More Than

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The world

The world

This is the world: it is upside-down;

a smile is a frown,

a verb is a noun,

a hamlet is a town.

 

This is the world: it is inside-out;

a whisper is a shout,

a grin is a pout,

a good man is a lout.

 

This is the world: it gobbles you up;

you deserve a goblet, you get a tin cup;

you deserve a palace, you get locked up;

you deserve a fair trial, a conspiracy is cooked up. Continue reading

Turmoil

Turmoil

Turmoil rules my mind.

A cloudless orbit through this life I can not find.

Choice and circumstance

form an avalanche:

waves of confusion engulf my serenity.

The end of the stream is concealed somewhere that I can’t see.

 

I wonder whether I shall care to search for my objective

while the only thoughts slithering through my mind are interjective?

I haven’t yet received orders from above me in the chain of command;

I surmise it is something I am supposed to demand.

But I crave to be free from this bureaucratic conglomeration

that everyone calls a new and independent nation. 

Continue reading

The sunrise melts my bones

The sunrise melts my bones

 

The sunrise melts my bones;

creates in my heart inspired tones

of the deepest love one can’t deny

for the African sun in the African sky.

This beyond-beautiful sighting

is due to more than merely glorious lighting

in the air… it’s this deep-rooted feeling of Life:

this place is so alive… the feeling is rife

among the happily-trotting antelope,

the busy badgers that stumble and grope,

looking for rivers of honey

wonderfully sweet, golden and runny.

The fish-eagles soar and scope the waters, sapphire;

and dream of endless flights of freedom for all time; entire.

  Continue reading

Disruption

Julius Malema, what’s your disruption really worth?

Disruption - Julius Malema

We arrive at this disheartening split in the road,

singing a melodic chorus of grumbles and groans.

At the very mention of route decision
we crumple up our tired faces in disgust.
The mediocrity of behaviour makes us recoil
like the sight of a ruptured boil,

onto which the casual gaze was abruptly thrust.

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Criminals: who are “they”?

A big question not often pondered; Criminals: Who are they?

Not too long ago, I was robbed of my most prized possession – my late father’s wedding band. And it was really due to my own stupidity, as a driver in Johannesburg, sitting distracted; staring at the sidewalk with the car window wide open. These criminals… who are they?

After the initial cloud of disgust and trauma dissipated, I was left, as one is, a powerless victim, receiving little help from the Police service; just another statistic (actually, not even a statistic, as I was unable to report the case!)…

Then I got annoyed with myself that I didn’t at least scream something profound to the criminal as he made his escape, “This is not what Madiba worked for!”

All in all, an unnecessary event most likely caused by someone living in poverty just doing what he thought was necessary in order to get by.

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