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The earth spins on its axis, it produces night and day. This continual movement, albeit incremental, propels the earth's access into the orbital plane, which results in seasons. Every day, nature gives us a new beginning. Every few months it gives a new season.
Why? Because time is fluid. It is a perpetual motion bringing new opportunities for growth. Every second, minute, hour, day, week, month and season is an invitation for change. A reminder to take stock of where we are and make adjustments to propel us to where we desire to be.
Take your internal inventory. Are you living the life you desire? Are you achieving the goals you set for yourself? Is your life in the trajectory that you desire. If not, why not? What or who is holding you back? Some questions we are afraid to ask because we know the answers, but aren't ready to act on them.
Not everyone can be a part of your journey. There are people in your life who are there for a reason, or there for a season. In some instances, their season is over. Do not allow the comfort of familiarity to keep you from experiencing the ecstasy of the new; of what could be, of what is waiting for you.
Sometimes the things we need to remove are not external, sometimes we have to be brave enough to take a look at that proverbial man in the mirror. To paraphrase the late Michael Jackson, you have to start with the man in the mirror and ask him to change his ways. If you want to make your world a better place, take that hard look at yourself and make that change.
Change is hard, it requires discipline and action. We become conditioned to that which is comfortable. But when what you desire becomes greater than the complacency of where you are at, you will make the requisite change. Life is temporal, there are seasons, stages, and chapters. The fact that we are in a perpetual state of motion can be the greatest joy if you embrace it, or the most harrowing prison if you fear it. That which does not cause you to grow, you must be honest and brave enough to release it and let it go.
This is your time to reset, realign, restart, reclaim, reignite and live life limitlessly.
In the Bahamas, unlike other Caribbean nations, we do not have a patois or a separate language. What we do have, is what I affectionately refer to as Bahamianese; unique words or phrases that only Bahamians or someone familiar with the culture would understand. Buey, boungy, Juicing (not what you think it is), dem, potcake, switcha to name a few. But one of my favorites that so aptly encapsulated the emotion behind it is "I een on ya run".
The English translation of this phrase would be, I am ignoring you. I am not giving you any attention. But not being on "someone's run" is so much deeper than that. It means you cease to be. You are such a nonissue that I deny your existence. I refuse to give any gray matter or attention to you.
This morning, I received a WhatsApp message from someone. As I read that message my "whole spirit got vex" (some more Bahamianese for you, that means to be angry). I looked at that message, the contents of such brought out all the "Bahamian" in me. My response to this two-paragraph WhatsApp. Miss I een on ya run! Das (Bahaminaese for that's) all. The end. Period. Six little words but heavy with my sentiment.
Sometimes life, situations, and people are so toxic and damaging we have to learn to not be on their run. When someone is trying to take advantage of you, don't be on their run. When people do not respect your boundaries and your wishes, don't be on their run. The emotional toll of some people is not worth the price of admission into your life.
There are times when you cannot even be on "life's run". When going through a difficult situation, you cannot allow the weight of it to crush you. You cannot succumb to the depression, to the stress, to the hopelessness of your current circumstance. You cannot be on its run.
One of the greatest gifts we have in life is time and the knowledge that time is dynamic. That it does not remain static. Situations just like the seasons will change, if you give it time.
If you are at that point in your life when you are in a tough situation, don't be on its run. Acknowledge where you are, but don't dwell there. Devote your energy, your effort, your intention to overcome that situation. Create a plan, craft a strategy, look for resources to help elevate you from where you are to where you would like to go.
Your actions follow your intentions. Your intentions follow your thoughts. Your thoughts create your world. Don't devote gray matter to negativity or toxicity. Think and visualize where you want to be, and then implement the steps to get there. Don't be on anyone or anything's run that will prevent you from living life limitlessly.
I had planned to title this blog expletive expletive expletive, but the visual image of my mother reading that title, while I am sure literally, clutching her pearls, convinced me to change it. While I respect my mother’s puritan sensibility and the fact that she raised me to be a respectful lady. I may just have to disappoint her today because ironically there are NO OTHER WORDS but expletive expletive expletive. But I have created a more “acceptable” expletive "phuckery". Yes, add it to your lexicon. What I have experienced, over the past two days, with Scotiabank Bahamas, East Street and Soldier Road Branch could only be described as pure phuckery.
This phucktastic (lol new adjective) phuckery began about three weeks ago when Scotiabank Bahamas, sent me an email notifying me that they were making changes to their ATM cards and my current card would have to be replaced. I am currently not living in the Bahamas, so I contacted my local branch, East Street and Soldier Road, and made arrangements to have my card replaced. There was a litany of emails and a few forms to complete. But I completed the requisite forms, sent the accompanying documentation and so I thought, was all set. Now let me point out, that in our subsequent emails, I asked THREE times if my current card would remain active. I never got a response. The Director of Retail Banking forwarded my question to the Branch and she also got no response from the Branch. We both surmised that since my current card expires July 2023, it should be fine. I did not give it another thought. I received an email notification last week, that my card would be couriered via DHL to my current location. It is expected to arrive in 13 days. I have never heard of an international courier service taking thirteen days, but OK.
Now before I get to the phucktastic event, I need you to understand my history with this particular branch of Scotiabank and their incompetence. This is now the third, not one, not two but THREE times, I have had issues with obtaining an ATM card. In 2017, I wrote a letter to the then Director of Retail Banking for the Caribbean, voicing my frustrations about this branch’s ineptitude. He had to intervene with this same Branch Manager to have the matter resolved. But let’s fast forward to this latest incident.
Picture this, you are living in a foreign country, literally on the other side of the world. Just you, no family, all by yourself, in your latest adventure. You are down to your last hundred "dollars' in local currency, but you are not concerned you know you just need to go to the ATM and withdraw money from your bank account back home. First thing in the morning, 7:00 am, you get up, bathe, get dressed, drive to the bank with the international ATM, park, walk to the ATM. You put your card in the slot, enter your pin, about to make your selection for the amount of money you wish to withdraw, but are greeted with an error message; YOUR CARD IS EXPIRED. The machine spits your card out. Confused, you try the machine again. but get the same response. Now following the tenets of insanity, you try the card again, and again and again, with the same results. The ATM ceremoniously spits out my card, it actually falls to the ground. It is the ATM’s silent judgment of me. I imagine the ATM in my Bahamian vernacular saying “miss ya head jam aye, the card doon work”. Perplexed, I bent down and retrieve my card, dazed by this incident. I looked at my card, the expiration date day 07/23.. how can my card be expired? And then just like in the cartoons, a figurative light bulb ignites itself and in one breath I scream SCOTIA FREAKING BANK!!!
I don’t know how many of you have seen the movie, The Color Purple but if you have; do you remember the scene where Miss Sophia trampled through the field to confront Miss Cecily? Well, picture the 2021 version of that as I marched back to my car. I was fuming, I am sure the cartoon version of me would have had smoke coming out of my ears.
I am in a time zone that is seven hours ahead of the Bahamas, so I need you to understand, I had nine hours to sit and ruminate at the phuckey of Scotiabank. I wrote an email, I sent it to everyone, the staff in the East Street and Solider Road branch, the Director of Retail Banking, the Vice President- District Head, Caribbean North, my subject line: “Scotiabank has to be the most asinine bank in the Bahamas”, from that subject I am sure you can surmise the content of the email.
Finally, it was the magic hour 9:00 am in the Bahamas. I called the call center number, guess what, the call center and customer service center of Scotiabank are not located in the Bahamas. I was literally speaking to someone in another Country, that had no power to help me. The Call Center Manager told me she could not connect me to the East Street and Soldier Road Branch, the best that she could do was send them an email. They normally respond within one to two business days. Well, that was the first of the many times I screamed at a Scotiabank employee that day, a few I cursed out.
Imagine you are in a foreign country stranded with no physical cash on hand, all of your bills are due that day, your rent, your internet bill, you need to re-up your electricity, fill your car up with gas, buy groceries. All because of the Bank's negligence. You explain the urgency of the situation and the Bank’s response was I will send an email to the Branch and it may take one to two business days for them to respond. Now was wrong for screaming at the lady yes, was I wrong leaving an irate expletive-filled message on the VP's voicemail maybe, but when the English language cannot succinctly express your rage, when there are no words, those forbidden ones must suffice.
My interactions this week with Scotiabank staff members must have come as a complete shock to their systems; because every time I have had an issue with Scotiabank, I have written a well-penned letter or email. In my previous conversations, while stern, I remained a lady, using all of the Queen English, and upholding all of the standards and decorum of a polite civilized upbringing.
But Tuesday, societal niceties, decorum, and civilized behavior all went out the window. To use a Bahamian phrase my inner “jungaless” emerged. I was stranded halfway across the world by myself with no money, due to phuckery! No this was not the time to be polite and demure.
I do not know if have ever been in this situation, but just the stress of that situation became too heavy to bear. The most egregious part of this entire situation was that the majority of Scotiabank’s staff seemed to not care about the predicament that I was in. The predicament they created due to their negligence and seemed to not care, or to act with any sense of urgency.
That fact inflamed me even more. I started going back through my old emails, back to 2017 during the first ATM card incident and 2020 with the second ATM card incident and I found phone numbers, and then the calls began. It was just unfortunate that the Director of Retail Banking was out of town because I know, had she been there, this matter would have been resolved instantly.
I will be fair and say that the Assistant Manager for Service and Support, at the East Street and Soldier Road Branch was very apologetic and attempted to assist me. Maybe because she was one of the persons who ignored my three emails and now felt some semblance of guilt, but I digress. Since I now had a deactivated ATM card, I asked to have funds wired directly to my local account. The Assistant Manager emailed the forms to me. I completed the forms emailed them back to her, it was now 11:00 am (Bahamas time). Then there was silence.
For the next two hours, remarkably every number that I called in the East Street and Solider Road branch went to voicemail. Interesting that the same numbers that I called all morning and got an answer on the first ring, now all went to voicemail. The VP President’s public number, voicemail.
For two straight hours, I redialed these numbers nonstop and got voicemail. The Branch Manager’s number voicemail. The Assistant Manager's number voicemail. Unable to grasp this absolute level of callous, insensitive, unprofessional behavior, I shot off another email. This one with the subject line, Jesus must be testing my patience.
In the interim, I looked up the President of Scotiabank in Canada and emailed him. Each of the Executive Directors that has some oversight of international markets or customer service and contacted them. I direct messaged Scotiabank on Twitter and Facebook. I guess when the East Street and Solider Road Branch Manager received that message from Scotiabank’s Twitter account, that "woke him up". Miraculously after Scotiabank’s Twitter account responded to my message, saying they contacted him, I got an email response from him and wait for it, more miracles he answered his phone. Funny how that works.
It’s now 2:05 pm (Bahamas time) 9:05 pm local time, 14 hours since this all began for me. Now this Branch Manager and I have history, my two previous times dealing with this Branch’s boungy nanny (two more new words for your lexicon), I was professional and polite. After all I had already endured, Tuesday was not gonna be one of those times. The Branch Manager had the unmitigated gall to be offended by my tone of voice. My response, I am offended that you and your staff’s negligence and incompetence have left me stranded in this country with no money, great so now we are both offended. Did you wire the money? That was all I was waiting for the past two hours, a confirmation that the funds were wired. I am sure it does not take two hours to execute a wire transfer. He responded that the wire was sent. I hung up the phone.
Overwhelmed, exhausted, and mentally drained by the day’s events. I began to cry. Because when you have no more words and you just cannot take the weight of stress you are carrying; tears work. Tears are our unspoken words.
DAY TWO OF PHUCKERY!
I woke up, checked my local account, no incoming transfer. I then went to my local branch to ask for assistance in processing the transfer as quickly as possible. I explained the situation to one of the employees who told me to ask for Proof of Payment. Once the bank received that, they would be able to trace the wire transfer and would process it to my account as soon as possible. I withdrew all of the local currency I had in my account, put some gas in my car, went back home.
Now, I want to take a moment to highlight what proper customer service looks like. I initially called my local Bank’s customer service number, because I had no intentions of going into the branch until the wire transfer was received. I called the number, went through the automated queue, and then decided to hang up and just go into the Branch. Do you know the Bank called me back and said they saw that my call was disconnected before I was assisted, how could they assist? Maybe Scotiabank Bahamas, needs to send East Street and Soldier Road Branch Manager and employees here for customer service training.
Anyway, back to Day TWO of Scotiabank Bahamas, East Street and Soldier road’s phuctastick phuckery. At 4:00 am (Bahamian time) I emailed the Branch Manager and asked a very simple question. If you are a Branch Manager of a Bank and sent an “urgent” wire transfer on behalf of a customer, why do I now have to email you to ask for the proof of payment? I don’t know, wouldn’t it be common sense to send that document since that is the ONE THING I would need to trace the wire transfer.
At 10: 15 am (Bahamian time) on WEDNESDAY, I received an email stating that ScotiaBank needed the name of my intermediary bank? Wait What? So, the first thing that popped into my mind, if the wire transfer was sent yesterday, as I was told, why do they need to know the name of the Intermediary Bank. Secondly, every person by now in ScotiaBank East Street and Solider Road branch has my phone number and email address. If this information was pertinent, why not ask me for it yesterday.
Why, let me fast forward, the JACKASSES (sorry Mommy) never sent the wire transfer. The Branch Manager lied to me. So on top of erroneously canceling my ATM card, they lied and never sent the wire transfer.
I called the East Street and Solider Road Branch Manager. I asked him to provide me with a copy of the proof of payment. He asked me what that was. I am not kidding, he asked me what that was. THE IDIOT (and yes that is the nicest word I can call him) does know what a proof of payment is. I, me, the customer explained what my Bank requested. He told me it would take one hour to obtain the proof of payment because he had to request it and have someone scan it. Yes, that is what the BRANCH MANAGER, the most Senior Employee at ScotiaBank East Street and Solider Road said to me. At that point, it only confirmed what I already knew. He lied to me yesterday and did not send the wire transfer. I told him he is an idiot, I think I said moronic, incompetent, dullard, imbecile, and hung up the phone.
Sidebar the phuctard, yes that is the Branch Manager’s new name, sent me a copy of the wire transfer request form. Not the swift proof of payment. That was the actual confirmation that he never sent the wire transfer. You will not believe this, on the wire transfer form, I saw where Scotiabank Bahamas actually had calculated charges for the wire transfer. Seriously, I cannot make this stuff up. After leaving me stranded with no money because of their negligence, Scotiabank Bahamas actually planned to charge me, to correct their mistake. I HAVE NO WORDS!
To quote another Bahamian phrase, "that threw fire all up my backside". Livid, furious, outraged, cannot describe it. THERE WERE NO WORDS TO EXPRESS MY EMOTIONS, NO WORDS. I am stranded with no money, all of my bills are now, one day late and this phucktard is playing games. I was done. I know this could NEVER happen to Scotiabank Canada customer. I am positive about that.
On to the VP, District Head, Caribbean North. Someone slipped me his direct number. I called him. He said he was in contact with the Branch Manager ( not me the customer who emailed or left him a voice message, but I digress). He was in contact with the Branch Manager who assured him that the matter was being handled. Well I told him, his Branch Manager was an idiot and recounted my last conversation with him. How does one rise to the level of Branch Manager and not know what a Swift proof of payment is? The VP’s response was this was not on his calendar for the day, he had other things planned. I actually stopped and looked at my phone for about five seconds. I HAD NO WORDS!!!!!!! I eventually said well, being stranded in a foreign country with no money because of Scotiabank’s ineptitude and incompetence was not part of my plan for the past two days either, FIX THIS! He said to give him two hours.
I want you to remember as you traverse through life and encounter your own phuctastic situations, there will always be a ray of light within the darkness. God always sends a ram in the thicket. My ram on Wednesday was Scotiabank’s Director of Technology, who I would name publicly here but am not sure if he would want me. He is the true hero in this story. A true professional who understands what true customer service is. He was the person who drove to the East Street and Solider Road branch and resolved my issue. He was the person who behind the scenes, advocated on my behalf, someone that he did not even know me, but took the time to step into my proverbial shoes and show some empathy and concern. If not for his intervention with the incompetent Branch Manager and the VP, I would still be stranded with no access to my bank account. The Director of Technology ensured that my card ward was reactivated and access to my account was granted. The same card that the Branch Manager told me could not be reactivated, I guess that is something else he does not know. But whoosaah, let me get back to the positive in this situation. To the Director of Technology, at Scotiabank Bahamas, for him, I have no words. Thank you is not enough. My eternal appreciation is not enough, my gratitude is not enough. For you, kind sir I have no words.
At 7:38 pm on Wednesday, access to my card was restored, due to the Director of Technology’s intervention. Literally, 48 hours later, two whole days and $53 dollars in international phones ALL BECAUSE OF PHUCKERY. I expect to be compensated for my actually cost and distress along with with a formal letter of apology.
Rest assured the moment my feet touch Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport, my FIRST stop, OK I am lying after stopping to get a crack conch and vita malt, lol. But my second stop will be to ScotiaBank East Street and Soldier Road to close my account I have been a Scotiabank Customer since I was in College in 2002, but this third strike, was the final straw. I AM OUT!!!!!!!
I took you on this very long journey of my past few days, really honestly because I needed to vent. But more importantly to say, in life we will all go through time and experiences where you will have no words. Where your anger, your grief, your frustration will overwhelm you. It is easy to succumb to the emotion and allow yourself to be crushed by the weight of it all. I understand trust me. I have cried more in these past few days than I probably have in years. I just had no words. But I knew I could not remain silent. I let my tears speak for me. My tears released the anger, frustration, and stress. I had to release, keeping it all in would have made me sick. It would have weakened me. I released, so I could have the strength to fight.
When you are placed in a situation where you have to fight for your survival. Fight for what is yours. Fight for what is right. When are backed into a corner when you have no words come out swinging. Decorum, etiquette, and rules of engagement no longer apply. Throw away your lady mantle and pick up your jungaless gloves. FIGHT until you have won the battle and the war. Don’t quit, do what you have to do. Scream, curse, offend people, make a scene! ROAR! Fight until you are victorious. Fight until you get what is owed to you. Fight until you are treated as you deserve to be. Fight for your respect. Keep on fighting until you can live life limitlessly.
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