Saturday September 8 2018

Under duress


By Mark Kawalya

I sat on a plastic chair and looked around the room. An insurance calendar hung on the wall. It was the only thing adorning the ivory coloured walls. A young woman in a maroon blouse sat facing me before a wooden desk typing on a typewriter.

I was here to renew the car’s third party insurance. She had asked me to write down the vehicle particulars on a piece of paper. When I handed it back to her, the typing started. So I started wondering about some things since I was idle. Like why do they always use a typewriter to write out the policy details.

Where do they buy these typewriters because in 2018 you just do not walk into a stationery shop and buy a typewriter. Those things are from generations ago. And how much does a typewriters cost? Is it considered an antique and priced as one or they are sold reasonably.

“Can I have the money?” the woman in maroon asked interrupting my thoughts on typewriters. I reached into my back pocket and retrieved my leather wallet. I handed her the money and waited. As I was preparing to leave the room she slid a fuel voucher across the table towards me. She informed me that it came courtesy of the insurance policy I had just purchased.

Truthfully I was not excited at all that these guys were giving me a freebie. You see I am too cool for freebies.

I really hate them. I told her that I would not take the voucher and she shrugged saying that was okay. That I could leave it on the table. I stood up, threw my hands in the air before picking up the voucher. I only did this since she had insisted so much on me taking it. I was literally under duress.

Besides I heard that companies routinely take legal action against clients that decline freebies. Since I did not want to be dragged to court over this voucher I dejectedly took it.

As I walked out I could not believe how quickly this sales woman wanted to separate me from this fuel voucher. I mean she was all too eager to keep it for herself. She probably has a stack of vouchers in a back office from countless people she has hoodwinked into leaving them behind. She probably sells them on some sort of black market to the highest bidder.

I got into the car, reversed into the fueling point and handed the attendant the voucher. After he had fueled the car I drove off wondering what Kampala is coming to; there are way too many sharp people out there.