Breaking The Break Cycle

, , , , , | Working | April 13, 2018

(The loan officer at the branch I’m at has a bad habit of going on 30-minute “smoke breaks” and not telling anyone. It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m working with him and another teller. It’s a half-day. Due to seniority, I’m in charge, even though he is older than me. This starts before the branch opens.)

Me: “Okay, [Loan Officer], there’s only three of us today, so can you please tell me when you’re going outside to smoke? That way, I can cover your side of the lobby.”

Loan Officer: “Sure! No problem.”

(We open the branch at nine am. Not even thirty minutes later, I see him disappear out the back door. Twenty minutes later…)

Customer #1: “Hi, I’m here to see [Loan Officer], please.”

Me: “He’s not available right now. Is there something I can help you with?”

Customer #1: “No, I’ll wait for him.”

(He walks back inside five minutes later, saving me the need to go get him. However, this happens again. And again. And again. By 11:30, I’m pissed. He’s been outside four times, and I can’t even get away to use the bathroom.)

Customer #2: “Hey, is [Loan Officer] available?”

Me: “Oh, I thought he was at his desk.”

Customer #2: “Nope!”

Teller: “Guess again! He’s outside.”

Me: *in my calmest voice* “If you’d like to have a seat in the lobby, sir, I’ll get [Loan Officer] for you.”

(I have had it. I exit the teller line, walk down the back hallway, and stick my head out the door. He’s playing on his phone, with his ear-buds in.)

Me: “[Loan Officer]!”

Loan Officer: *jumps* “I was taking a smoke break!”

Me: “We only have a half-hour left to work today, so get your behind inside right now and stay there! Got it?!

Loan Officer: *defeated* “Fine.”

But Who Manages The Managers?

, , , , | Working | April 12, 2018

(We’ve just gotten a new district manager, and he is traveling to the different branches in the area to learn the “flow” of how we operate. He’s started at my branch, and is standing with me at my window. I’m talking to a customer about our accounts.)

Me: “…so, we’d love to have you as a customer! Are you interested in talking to [Banker] about opening an account?”

Customer: “Sure! You guys are always nice when I come in to cash my checks, and I’ve got some time.”

Me: “Great! Please have a seat in the waiting area, and I’ll grab [Banker] for you.”

(As she goes to sit down, I see [Banker] weaving his way through the line of customers in the lobby. He does this at least once a day — when it gets busy, he goes somewhere unknown and hides from customers.)

Me: *waves at him* “Hey, [Banker]. Can you come over here for a minute?”

(He waves me off and continues walking. All of a sudden, I hear a big, booming voice from the back of my window.)

District Manager: *at full volume* “[Banker]! GET OVER HERE!”

(He stops, pivots, and comes running over to my window.)

Banker: “[District Manager]! What can I do for you?”

District Manager: “[My Name] has been talking to the customer in the waiting area about opening an account. Take care of that.”

Banker: “Absolutely! Thank you, [My Name], for sending me more accounts!” *heads over to the waiting area*

District Manager: “I’d say we make a good team! Well done, [My Name].” *high-fives me*

Someone Bought A House Of Card-Fraud

, , , , , | Working | April 11, 2018

(My friend is 16, with a specific bank account which does not allow card transactions or payments over £250. She rarely uses the account, and has about £100 sitting in there. She gets a rather nasty letter from the bank one day, stating she’s £900 overdrawn and will incur high fees with it potentially going to court. She’s extremely upset. I go with to the bank to try to get it sorted; I’m only a little bit older, but I look like I’m in my early 20s and people genuinely listen to me more because of it.)

Friend: *to the bank teller* “I want to know how I’m £900 overdrawn.”

Bank Teller: *condescendingly* “When you buy something, it uses money from your account. You have to make sure you have enough in there, or you owe us money.”

Friend: “But I didn’t buy anything.”

Bank Teller: “Well, you obviously did.”

Friend: “But I didn’t! I had £100 in it a couple of days ago.”

Bank Teller: “Which you obviously spent, and then some; otherwise, you wouldn’t be overdrawn. Get lost so I can do my job.”

(I step in.)

Me: “This is your job. Your client has stated that there is an unknown transaction, which means there’s possibly fraud involved. You have to look into it.”

(My mum works in banking, so I know that if I mention fraud, the teller has to look into the account. The teller scowls at me, but brings up the account.)

Bank Teller: “On [date a couple of days ago], there was a transaction of £1,000. Is this transaction familiar?”

Friend: “No!”

Bank Teller: “You’re a liar.”

Friend: “I’m not; my bank account doesn’t allow transactions over £250.”

Bank Teller: “Well, obviously it does, as you did.”

Me: “She has your student account, meaning it’s a cash-only card. Cash-only cards can only be used for taking money out, and you can only take out £250 a day. It has also been set up so you can only do payments of £250 via bank transfer. Who’s the money to?”

Bank Teller: “Erm… [Real Estate Company].”

Me: “It’s a deposit for a house?”

Bank Teller: *now looking sheepish* “Yes?”

Me: “Do you really think a 16-year-old is putting a deposit on a house?”

Bank Teller: “Well… She could.”

Me: “Not with a student account that has only had a £100 in it from when it was first opened, they don’t. How would she pass the credit checks, firstly?” *to my friend* “[Friend], we probably should also contact [Real Estate Company], as I reckon it’s their error, or a digit in the wrong place.” *to the teller* “You need to get the £1,000 refunded and make sure the overdraft fees are taken off, and you also need to issue some kind of statement of apology explaining how you could let a thousand-pound transaction go through on an account without £1,000 in it, and why my friend shouldn’t just cancel her account with you, period. You also need to apologise to her personally for being so bloody rude.”

Bank Teller: *meekly* “I’m very sorry. I’ll get this refunded and make sure any fees are removed. I’ll talk to my manager, too.”

(We did also contact the real estate company, who were extremely apologetic for the account error. They gave my friend £500 for the inconvenience! The bank also contacted her, putting £100 in her account as an apology for letting the transaction go through and for the nasty letter.)

When Fraud Meets Stupidity

, , , , | Working | April 11, 2018

My grandmother just turned 82 and had a check lost in the mail. This started a chain-reaction of fraud. First was an attempt to charge on a card, which the bank stopped. Then, there was an attempted wire transfer which was also stopped by the bank. You’d think this is where we were most vulnerable, but no.

My grandmother lives in California. The thief went into a bank, in person, in New York, and managed to open the ATM account. Mind you, this account was on stop due to the fraud. Whoever they were, they must have had acting skills, because without any ID, the banker in New York and the banker’s manager reopened the account and rushed a new ATM card to the thief. In one weekend, the thief stole over $10,000 — basically all the money my grandmother had — all because two fools in New York believed some crap sob story and didn’t enforce the ID rule!

On the plus side, the bank is getting all the money back to my grandmother. Also on the plus side, she was advised that while the thief will likely get away with it, the New York banker and bank manager will likely lose their jobs.

Listen To My Voice, Not The Voicemails

, , , | Working | April 6, 2018

(For some reason I can’t access my voicemail. It rarely tells me I have any, and there are plenty of messaging options, which is pretty much always the first alternative if I don’t answer, so I never bother to get it fixed. The past few days, I’ve had at least two voicemails a day, which is extremely unusual. I go to my provider and ask about it. They don’t have an immediate solution. The next day, I answer my phone at my office, with my boss’s permission.)

Bank: “We’ve been trying to reach you, but you never answered and never called back. We left voicemails.”

Me: “Sorry, I can’t access my voicemail.”

Bank: “That’s not an excuse.”

Me: “I’m sorry? It is a technical issue.”

Bank: “Fix your voicemail, so you can get your messages properly.”

Me: “Sorry, but I never needed it before. People rarely attempt to use it, as there are other options. The number of voicemails you left the past few days is more than I’ve gotten in the past two years.”

Bank: “Not my problem. Maybe you need to give us another method of contact.”

Me: “I have my email listed. Use that if I don’t answer.”

Bank: “What about phone?”

Me: “This one.”

Bank: “But it doesn’t work.”

Me: “No, only the voicemail doesn’t work. I will answer if you call and I am available, but you have been calling while I’m at work.”

Bank: “Not my problem. Do you want to remove the mobile number or change it?”

Me: “No. It is my mobile.”

Bank: “But it’s not functional.”

Me: “Yes, it is. Only the voicemail doesn’t work, as I’ve said.”

Bank: “That’s not functional, then. We wouldn’t know that.”

(This bank has sent me emails before when I didn’t answer. I had to ask another bank representative who understood.)

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