We live in horrible times where your job is not secure. I know many reading here would have no idea what I mean because you are lucky enough to have full-time employment and believe it will last forever. Yep your life will not change; you will get up, drive to work, do your bit and come home tonight. You probably have a good track record and are a hard worker...besides the time you take to read my ramblings now and then. It is for your amusement if nothing else I hope.
The legal fact is you have no job security in law. As long as the labour law procedures are followed, you are at risk. You can be fired today and given a month or two salary and then what? How long before the phone calls from the hounds of hell (my word for debt collectors) arrive? And then the not so polite letters from your trusted bankster mates who once beseeched you to take an increase in your credit card limit. Why do they do that? What is the motive behind an increased overdraft limit? The fancy bank packages which include a petrol card, credit card (in a fancy colour to impress your date if you can find one, legal people being boring people at best), a cheque book (yes, 400 year old technology that one) and so it goes on and on.
The word is money and greediness - banksters exist only because they are money lenders and will be gone from our shores within six months (good riddance too) if no one lends anything from them. And let me tell you, well you can read my book Your Worst Enemy, they are not doing you any favour at all. They are turning you into a slave of the rat race. That pittance and fake smile comes with a terrible price tag called "interest." It is never worth it and you seldom really need money for that kind of trouble anyway.
These days, when you open a newspaper you have to do the old Madiba Jig to avoid the heavy brochures of advertising falling out and onto your feet. I am at times so bored that I take the time to glance at them and you know what, they all sell the same crap and the same price (very suspicious) with different brand names. How much of that do we really need? Almost nothing, and yet you are bombarded with it and offered "store credit" and the owner's mom so you can buy and buy and suffer later on being a rat now and living in abject fear of not being able to meet commitments.
How large is the problem? Well, fifty percent of us have a bad credit record or so say the clever lads at the statistics department. Why is that? Well, you get several types which I have seen in my years as an attorney when we still did debt collecting for banksters and others. These days I wouldn’t touch it, that type of work is contaminated with satan.
First we have those who just have to buy happiness and cannot believe someone may love them if they don't give them something materialistic in return. Now anyone who bothered to read my books, tens of thousands, thank you, would know our Roman forefathers said clearly that "a man is not allowed to buy his wife a gift." I love this part of the law but can tell you my late wife, known to you as "my American Patriot," took a rather dim view. Being very logical and smarter than me to begin with, she pointed out that Roman law does not apply to her, an American citizen, and secondly, K, are you perhaps insane? Ok, so that did not work out well for me and I have a whole box full of gifts here I would have given to her if 21 May did not happen. However, the point is that love from your wife (and yours to your wife) should never come with a price. It is not a reward system but a giving system - you give because you love.
Then we have the lads with no self-confidence who must have the latest gadgets and cars and sometimes wives and girlfriends. They make good money but spend a lot more than what they make. Without the car and the earthly goods they are actually a zero on a contract in terms of personality. Well perhaps a full stop but you get the meaning, I am sure. I have long held the believe, wrong probably, that any man who does not have a decent beer belly at 45 years has inclinations, very unnatural ones according to my old drill sergeant who was as thin as a bean pole himself. Somehow he never got it why I would smirk and then the push ups would start for "f laughing when not f asked to f laugh. Only f hyenas do that, not members of the South African Police Force, blah blah blah." These days I only frown when I see a sergeant of the police within ten miles of me. However, you know what I mean, if you cannot get a girl and keep her happy whilst poor your chances will dramatically decrease when you are rich because you will attract gold diggers. And a gold digger my friend, can never have enough to be happy, it is a lose-lose situation.
And then we have the common Joe like you and me. One day you arrive at work and you are retrenched or made to resign and you simply cannot find another job. You try hard, you send resumes and you contact every one you know but you are white, male and quite senior. No one wants you and your gold digger wife leaves you (good riddance but it hurts) and you end up with not even a car because it was not bought with cash and after two months your friendly worst enemy has taken it back. Man, you are now complete screwed because you have no money for anything and death becomes a friend waiting for you. I feel sorry for this fellow, been there myself and I know the feeling when you lose everything and your so called mates, who owe you favours, money and loyalty, turn their backs on you. Yes it hurts.
But there is good news, you also realise you don't need the crap being offered by the electronic good stores and your life becomes so basic you are actually happy. You cannot afford a psychologist or a bottle to comfort you. Oh yes and now you know who stood by you. Who bought you coffee when you had R2.76 in your pocket and who was kind to you and listened to your bitter complaints. Such things make you look at life in an entirely different way that what the rat in his new Mercedes does. You learn to turn to God for salvation because your worst enemy won't help you and you have no other friends left. Then one day you get an IDEA and that idea brings you some money and that restores your pride as a man. You will never buy the advertised crap again, you will never not be grateful and you will never take your job or income for granted. In fact, you will now know that working for yourself, is the only way. And you will help others because you know how it feels to be trodden upon. Yep, falling for these ads is never worth it.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.