D – for a dreadful and dreary day

I got the news on Friday evening that I needed to get to South Korea by 6th Feb for a meeting. Now the visa process takes about four working days and since I need to start on the 5th from here to reach Seoul on the 6th, I was beginning to get a tad worried.
To top it, the administrative staff at the Chennai office refuses to get involved in the process- “Oh madam, that is all Bombay work. If you want we can arrange for forex for you”.
So after frantic calls to my Mumbai office, I finally sweet talked an old acquaintance in the admin department into handling the process for me. Getting the documents to the Mumbai office however would be cutting it too close, so I decided to check if I could not do it from Chennai itself.
The required documentation also included an original bank statement for the past six months and this stumped me. For some time now, I have been relying just on emails sent by my bank to my account and so called up to confirm if I could just take a print out of these statements and submit them. Unfortunately, the person replying was not too enthusiastic about the idea and asked me to go to the nearest branch and get the statements from them. I called up customer service of my bank and put in a request for my statements, which I was told would cost me about Rs 28 per page, so the total of 10 pages would cost me 280 bucks and of course that was exclusive of the service taxes they would charge! Being an emergency, I asked them to go ahead and after registering, the agent confirmed delivery of the statements would be in 8 working days!!!
No arguments about it being a life or death emergency would sway them and I decided to go to the branch directly.
I logged on to the net and the Tamil Nadu government website provided a list of consulates in Chennai and their addresses and I was happy to read that there was a South Korean Consulate in Chennai and that was on Kothari road in Nungambakkam, which is pretty close to my office.
I called Harry and asked him to help me out and he, being my knight in shining armour for perhaps the zillionth time, came to my office by around 12 in the afternoon. We first went into the bank for the statement, waited there for about 30 minutes while I enjoyed the novel experience of actually entering a bank for business, all my contact with the bank being through ATMs, telephone calls and the internet. The statement was printed at the same cost, Rs 28 per page and I was wondering whether they did that to try and get back the depreciation cost of the printer, paper definitely does not cost that much!!!
Once I got the statement, I called up the customer service to cancel the request I had made earlier and was refused on the grounds that they had already started processing the request!!!
(So now I pay twice for the same information and that is information on the cash flows in my account!!! No wonder the private banks are showing such neat profits, they make their money in all these small ways.)
We then proceeded to Kothari road and started to search for the consulate. The odd thing about Chennai is that you keep coming across house/plot numbers that seem to change, when you ask for number 28, they ask you – the old number or the new one? and its impossible to find out the place you need unless you have a contact number.
Since we did not find any number, we went ahead asking security guards of different buildings and not surprisingly, we came up with zilch. This meant that I needed to get things done from Mumbai then.
It was 3 by then and I still needed to track my tax returns. I came home and began to rummage through my files and they had disappeared too….finally had to call human resources and ask them to fax me the copy they had.
Then returned to office at around 5:30 and then sent my courier to Mumbai with my original passport in it…keeping my fingers crossed since I know that is like the worst thing to do, but desperate times call for desperate measures!!
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