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Home Affairs decided my new name for me

I posted on my GIS blog a few months ago about the deal with names. This was after I had heard some stories about Home Affairs unilaterally deciding that women should be assigned their husband’s surname, regardless of what they indicated when they signed the marriage register.

Guess what? The same thing happened to me. I indicated on the register that I would be hyphenating my name, and have spent the 9 months 3 weeks since the wedding parading around as such. So it was a surprise to me when I went to FNB to obtain a bank account verification letter that during the fingerprint check, I came up as Cindy Jayakumar.

I was expecting Cindy Williams, since I still haven’t done my new ID yet, but the FNB lady told me that Home Affairs updates the info as soon as the marriage is registered. Fine, but why then was it not Cindy Williams-Jayakumar? The FNB lady tells me that they always put the husband’s surname.

This was backed up a week later when I spoke to the lady from the SAGC, when she asked me why I wrote my registration exam as Cindy Williams, when all my correspondence was Cindy Williams-Jayakumar. When I explained to her about the ID, she said her daughter went through the same thing this year. When she queried why her ID was issued under her husband’s surname instead of under her original name as requested, she was informed by the Home Affairs guy that she may as well not have gotten married if she was not going to change to her husband’s surname. Charming.

In any case, I have had a change of heart, and by that I mean it was taking super long to write my name out, so when I do go get my new ID, I will accept my new name graciously.

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Black Friday 2016

This year, I didn’t take part in Black Friday. Though I have done so previously, it became painfully obvious that this was the year that Black Friday truly jumped the shark in SA.

When I left for work at 05:15 Friday morning (yay Cape Town traffic) and drove past our local lifestyle Checkers, people were lined up with their trolleys. For what? To pay R75 for R109 toilet paper which comes down on sale to R79.99 every few weeks anyway?

Pfft. I was not impressed. The husband and I went to Stellenbosch that night, and picked up some of that paper in an almost empty Checkers. We didn’t need to take off work, or risk being trampled or pickpocketed. Checkers was restocking throughout the day.

I’m not even going to get started on the shameful deals by the online stores. I did end up buying my husband a pair of shoes which I added to my Zando wishlist in December last year. That’s because it was now R199 instead of R499, and it was the kind of thick, sturdy shoes he needs because my word, I have never seen someone destroy so many pairs of shoes just by wearing them normally.

We were holding onto our ebucks in case Makro vouchers came back but they haven’t and it’s been almost 5 months now *sob*. I took the plunge and converted some to Dis-chem vouchers, to get the husband the Mont Blanc Legend: Spirit fragrance he has been eyeing. We also bought a tower fan and a new microwave (desperately needed since my one from university has been making “explodey” noises for quite a while now) from the ebucks store.

Overall, a dismal showing from everyone involved. As I have been monitoring prices on things we want/need at various stores for over a year now, I knew that the “deals” were simply non-existent.

 

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Plotting the best course to Home Affairs

I seriously need to get to Home Affairs. I’ve been putting it off since March, but I’m tired of hanging around in between names. On Monday I got really fed up so I went to have photos taken.

The old me would have made sure my hair was styled, the makeup was on etc…so naturally I went there with my hair in a bun on top with the obstinate small hairs quickly flattened with my fingers, along with a slick of lip gloss. Yay for being super chilled and not stressing anymore!

Now that I’ve got those, the only thing left is to go to Home Affairs. Problem is, only select ones are open on a Saturday (and not every Saturday, mind you) and the information on the internet is often outdated, so you have to phone them to make sure of their opening times for that week. Yet they very rarely answer the phones…

I thought about taking leave to go sort it out, but then HR went ahead and deducted the shutdown period leave (3 weeks!) so now I’m technically in minus days until Dec, which means I can’t take more leave 😥

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The following distance: A revisit

I wrote this post over three years ago. The tone is ranty – no doubt I wrote it after some incident on the roads – but sadly the topic is still on point. Arrive Alive recommends a 2 – 3 second following distance as the bare minimum, increasing to at least 5 – 6 seconds during adverse road conditions when it rains.

I don’t think they realise that I would never make it home on time if I allowed that following distance. Certainly not in traffic – if you are not literally on the bumper of the car in front of you at all times, someone is going to turn their car into the 1/2 car gap you’ve left and force themselves in.

Even under “normal” road traffic conditions, it is unsafe to allow this following distance, particularly at off-ramps. As you are indicating and turning onto the off-ramp, someone is going to come from the fast lane, cross the solid barrier line and chip in next to you on the off-ramp. He (because without a shadow of a doubt, it will be a he) will probably have his indicator on though, because that seems to be the only time people use their indicators anymore.

We’re supposed to report bad driving because traffic officers can’t be everywhere. The other day, I watched a traffic cop sitting in his car, waiting two cars behind a taxi that had stopped in the left lane to pick up passengers. Why didn’t the traffic cop get out of his car and reprimand the driver for obstructing traffic?

Was he:

  • Afraid the taxi driver would shoot him?
  • Scared the passengers would shout out the windows at him for making them late?
  • Terrified that other drivers would get irritated that he was adding to the road obstruction?
  • Filled with apathy and laziness?

Who knows?

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Oh happy days

I arrive at work at 05:52, to find that someone else has been using my desk last week. He moved everything around and left his wireless keyboard in the middle of my desk. I’ve pushed it to the side now.

I then discover he has left a Takealot box under my desk. As I move to pick it up, two cockroaches sprint out. Oh yes, my floor has cockroaches now. Apparently they fumigated last week.

At least it’s going to be warm today.

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Sticking with eBucks…for now

After having a minor meltdown about the eBucks rule changes announced on 1 June, and then realising I was overthinking it and it was actually fine, I revisited the idea of upgrading to Platinum again.

With the new rules coming into effect on 1 July, it will be much easier for me to calculate my rewards since the Gold rewards are now capped based on fixed amounts and not percentage anymore.

For example: I ran my app on my June transactions this morning, and realised that my Checkers spend is currently sitting at 25% of my qualifying spend. Since the (current) Gold rule is capped at 20% of QS or R7000, whichever comes first, I need to get my QS up to get my Checkers ratio down.

Fortunately, since payday is on Friday, there are some bills I need to swipe, some additions to the home gym need to be purchased, and we should probably fill the jerry can and cars with fuel before the price increase.

From July, it will be nice not to have to worry about that kind of thing, since Checkers is now capped at R4000. The downside of these rules means that, based on our current (slowing) spend, the maximum eBucks we will get each month will be about R1100.

On Monday, I did a quick Excel analysis of our average monthly spend, and the rewards we could expect based on new rules for Gold and Platinum. Taking into account monthly fees, despite receiving more overall rewards on Platinum, we still lose out because of the cheque account fee (double Gold).

In conclusion, we will remain on Gold. There’s less hassle with more rewards and it aligns with our reduced spending habits.