Sunday, September 28, 2008

May I help you?

That was the sign at the help desk of one of the popular, plush, high-end, prestigious, and seemingly over-friendly banks in the city.

I stepped into the bank on a bright Saturday around 11:00 A.M. After I got my bag checked at the gate, I waited like most other educated, civilized professionals in the long queue to collect the service token number at the desk that said : May I help you? Finally, when I got to the head of the queue, I gave my reasons to be there and got the Service Request Token number plus a few forms to be filled and taken to the counter.

A lady with the sweetest of smiles ( I would prefer to call it stapled smile) came over and asked if she could help me. I repeated my reason for being there and she said, " Please take your seat in this bay or the other side, watch out for your token number on the monitor over there. " The bank was packed with people and I had no choice but to stand/walk around waiting for my number to be displayed on the monitor... I am still looking for some writing desk or a seat to start with my forms.

Another gentleman walks up to me and says, 'Ma'am, yes, what brings you here?'.. I repeated the story to him and he said, "Please wait for your turn. The counter clerk will come here to announce the number in case you miss the track on the monitor."...

Then, finally I managed to find a comfortable seat.. Filled up forms.... Then sat back and looked at the monitor.... My number was not seen anywhere.. The prefix on my token didn't match the ones on the display, so I had to continue the wait.....The only thing that was missing was a steaming hot coffee or tea to make you feel like you are there to relax or to spend your excess time-off from work that weekend...

Watch was ticking... People came, gave you that brief ten minute company, found their counters. finished their brief!!!!!!! work in the counter, and were directed to a different counter, the phone banking booth, the online kiosk, or back to the bay. If nothing of these, they went to the Exit door. I sat there watching the latest trends in clothes and accessories, the gentle men and ladies with stapled smile, the counters.. and of course the monitor too....

After quite a long wait, I approached a 'May I help you', smiley girl and asked her if she thinks my number has crossed the queue, and she says, " Looks like it has... Were you filling up some form? I guess you missed your turn.." Now, that was not very helpful.... I did fill up a form, but then if its something I could have done at the counter, why didn't someone tell me earlier?..

Well, I had to wait until two others finished their work at a specific counter, and while the clerk was trying to take a break, I had to jump in and help myself to a seat and get my work done....My watch smiled: 1:45.P.M.. My stomach grumbled: Find something to eat in another few minutes....!!!!! and I rushed home immediately...

Murphy's law says : When something can go wrong, it surely will... By a modified version of Dr. Murphy's law: If you don't want something you will surely get it..., I didn't want to visit this bank at all any time again, and I ended up having to go there for four consecutive Saturdays between 11:00A.M and 1:00P.M to resolve some banking issue or the other.

Agreed, the bank intends to be customer friendly, but sorry to say, work just does not get done as easily as it should, in most cases...If I had known that I would need to make these repeated trips, I would have attempted to strike some conversation with all others with me at the bay and make some new friends/contacts..... I saw more than a few of the same faces every weekend... All of us were clearly not very happy about the shuttles to the bank every Saturday morning....

I remember reading this quote : Help ever.. Hurt Never... Will bank authorities do something about getting work done efficiently more than making life easy for the bank?

1 comment:

Nishita Kumar said...

ha..ha..ha...faced this same situation last week at the bank. Spent half a saturday trying to get the bank officials to complete a most basic task. Unsuccessfully :(

Will be making another visit this weekend, I think.

Wonder if we are both thinking of the same bank :)

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