Matched Pumpkin (1999)

Listen to Matched Pumpkin!

There are a lot better tracks that I could release — but I chose to dust off a dinosaur.  It’s left unfinished (there is no bass!) — it’s very over the top, although the main guitar riff and even the chorus as a whole, may have potential. There is also a somewhat ok ‘Twist-and-Shout’ like bridge completely to the end of this 2 min track.

This blatantly vitriolic track was composed while working for the KBC Bank — in this charming Italian palace in the most dreary part of the center of Brussels.

Bxl_KBC_Kredietbank

I worked there as a temp, “matching accounts.” Over the years, the department of stocks and shares had lost over €400 million worth of stock was simply gone missing.  Transferals had not been debited or credited on either side.  The only way to find out was to go back over the accounts and check the differences, and where they went. For the last years, this was on digital record, but before that there was a pile of paper records.  In charge of the whole operation was a very intelligent but silent civil engineer who’d programmed the digital interface, but had given up (perhaps even life itself) without complaining or saying anything.  Because the job was so tiresome and distressing none of the bank’s employees wanted to do it, so they hired me, a 20-year old mother and a complete retard who was a classical musical genius to do the task.

KBC Bank is 100% “black money” – black as the Flemish farmer’s soil it originated from, black as the blackjacket priests who used it to deposit the money they weren’t supposed to have (or keep) and the black as the skin of the Congolese people who paid for it dearly. (Maurice from Financial Audit Department – 25 years at KBC)

The rest of the bank employees were in fact transferred from the Bank van Roeselare, a smaller bank bought out and closed by KBC in 1996. It couldn’t be integrated into the big bank, these suckers didn’t even use computers yet. So the employees were transferred to Brussels, for financial manual labor. Which they eventually outsourced to temps like me.

After some months, I couldn’t take it anymore and told the manager that if he didn’t change his approach, this would be leading nowhere.  He said they were working on it.  No more than 6 months later, the department was closed down and KBC took their losses. €400 million.

The Kredietbank would be the only Belgian financial institution under Flemish control which would survive the financial crisis of the great depression of the 1930s. Fernand Collin, who became president in 1938, conceived the business strategy which would lead to the growth of the bank. He defined the Kredietbank as an independent bank with a decidedly Flemish character which would be an instrument to further Flemish economic growth.

Even if Flanders isn’t an independent state in itself, it does have a state bank. As was the case in the 1930, during the recent bank crisis the government again stepped in to save the bank. It gets away with it simply because almost every decent Catholic household is a client at this bank.  Or works for it… because from all over the country –from the mistly slopes of West-Flanders to the dampy field of Limburg– little nepotistic, Catholic protégées commute to the Havenlaan every day… because nobody wants to live in Brussels.  Still there are no jobs worth anything around the country.  Well, who doesn’t want to work in an office that looks the ones you see on TV?

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