So in the banking hall the other day, we were asked to stay at the waiting area while they called our numbers.
I took a seat next to a casually dressed, middle-aged woman.
While customers were getting agitated over Ecobank’s long delay, the woman was in a world of her own.
One minute she was slouched in her chair, the next minute her face was buried in her palm, seemingly dozing off.
Almost like she couldn’t get enough of the AC.
The few times she managed to shake body were when customers needed space to pass, only to curl up again.
I usually get irritated seeing people who can’t get a grip on themselves in public places. And this one seemed like she had no purpose in the bank.
Two hours later, the number of people in the hall had reduced, it was almost getting to my turn.
Meanwhile, the woman I met when I came was still zoned out in the chair.
Along the line a female staff member looked over the counter and expressed surprise to see the same woman.
She said she’d been there since morning.
“Haba, madam please come let me attend to you.” The staff said.
The sixtyish woman dragged her feet to the customer service unit looking groggy and dishevelled.
Her story: She finished withdrawing big cash from the ATM. Young boys snatched it from her, including the bag containing her debit card, Voters card, everything.
Why didn’t you complain since morning?
That the incident rendered her weak.
Where’s your phone, let’s block your card?
They collected it too.
People sympathised with her.
She nodded with weak smiles, yet her face was awash with agony.
All the while that I thought she was idling away in the bank, she must have been grieving silently.
Probably overcome by thoughts of lack and how to explain the unfortunate incident at home to folks who might sum it up as ‘carelessness’.
Someone’s mother losing that much in these difficult times was just a lot to bear.
She was told to come another day and apply for a new card.
It was sad watching her leave with just an empty Bagco sack folded under her arm.