Not So Closely Guarded

| CA, USA | Working | January 22, 2015

(Due to some robberies in the area the bank has hired additional security guards to patrol outside of the building. I’ve just finished going over some paperwork with an accountant and am walking to my car when a vagrant in a dirty coat ambushes me. Note that I’m a woman who is 5′ 1” and weighs less than a hundred pounds.)

Me: “Hey, let go!”

Thief: *slurring* “Listen, I just WANT some WINE!”

(Stumbling, the guy grabs at my purse and tries yanking it out my arms.)

Me: “Help! Get this guy off me!”

(I spend the next several minutes fighting off the drunken thief. Finally I manage to get free, only to find he managed to steal my car keys and phone in the scuffle. My hair and clothes a mess, I stumble back into the bank so I can call for help. The bank manager instantly spots me and rushes over.)

Bank Manager: “Oh, my goodness! What happened? Are you okay? Did you contact one of the security guards about the attack?”

(I explain the situation when the security guard who was supposed to be watching the parking lot wanders in.)

Guard: “So, my shift’s over in three minutes. Is it okay if I clock out now?”

Me: “Hey, where the f*** were you when I was being attacked by that crazed bum?”

Guard: “Oh, calm down, lady. Don’t be so melodramatic. It’s not like you got jumped by a gang of people.”

(I’m literally stunned by his flippant regard about not helping me.)

Me: “So, you didn’t think you should have gotten involved when one of your bank’s customers was attacked by someone twice her size?”

Guard: “Look, it’s not my job to protect bank customers. Now if—”

(The bank manager, who had been silent during this exchange, finally speaks up.)

Manager: “Then what the f*** is your job, [Guard]? Because from where I stand protecting our customers from random thieves in our parking lot sounds like exactly the kind of job we hired extra security for.”

(The manager asked me to review the parking lot footage with him and the guard. The footage showed the guard actually stopping and watching the entire fight from a safe distance, never interfering during the 10-minute-long fight or even after when I dragged myself inside. Despite his iron-clad defense that it ‘wasn’t his job to help people’ the manager fired him on the spot.)

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Making You Feel Very Small (Talk)

| NM, USA | Right | January 9, 2015

(This was a few years ago when I was a receptionist at a bank. Sometimes people would come in and ignore friendly conversation. After a while, this gets on my nerves. I had a few ways of dealing with people like this.)

Me: “Good morning, sir! How are you doing today?”

Customer: “Karen.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Karen.”

Me: “Are you dropping something off for Karen? Picking something up from Karen? Does Karen have paperwork for you to sign? Do you have paperwork for Karen to sign? Does Karen need to notarize something for you? Is Karen opening an account for you? Do you need Karen to do a Signature Guarantee for you? Is Karen closing an account for you? Do you have a meeting with Karen? Would you like to speak with Karen?”

Customer: “Uh… meeting.”

Me: *with a sigh* “Okay.”

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The Quality Of Service Decreases From Here

| London, England, UK | Working | January 8, 2015

(In my local bank branch, there are advisers who meet you on the way in: middle-level ones that work behind the counters and higher-level ones that work in offices downstairs.)

Me: “Hello, I’m looking to decrease my overdraft limit. Can I do that at the counter, or do I need to see someone downstairs?”

Greeter: “Oh, that’s no problem; you can do that at the desk.”

(After a ten minute queue for the counters, I arrive.)

Teller: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Me: “I need to decrease my overdraft limit today. Here’s my card.”

Teller: “Oh, you can’t do that here. If you want to borrow more money, you need to see someone downstairs.”

Me: “I’m not borrowing more money; I need to decrease my overdraft. So I’m borrowing less, you see.”

Teller: *blank look* “I don’t understand you, sir.”

Me: “DE-crease. To borrow LESS money.”

Teller: “Hang on a mo. I need to call someone.”

(He presses a button. A manager arrives shortly.)

Manager: “Good afternoon, are we having a problem here?”

Teller: “I told him that he needs to go downstairs if he wants to borrow money.”

Me: “Excuse me, that’s not what I asked for. I need to DECREASE my overdraft limit on my current account.”

Manager: *puzzled* “Oh, of course you can do that at the counter. Only takes a minute. [Teller], do you know how to do that?”

Teller: “But you told me to send people downstairs if they want to borrow more money!”

(At this point the manager’s arm makes a jerky movement like he was about to facepalm himself.)

Manager: *patiently* “Why don’t you take a break?”

Teller: “Great!”

(He leaps up and walks off. The manager sits down, takes my card and ID, and types for about ten seconds.)

Manager: “That’s all done for you now, sir. Sorry about that.”

Me: “No problem. He seemed a little confused.”

Manager: “I’ll admit that people borrowing LESS money isn’t a request we get that often…”

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An Overage Of Politeness

| USA | Working | January 7, 2015

(I call into my mortgage company because they’ve made several mistakes in paying my property taxes, resulting in my taxes being overpaid and them demanding I pay a large additional sum into escrow to cover their mistakes.)

Representative: “So how can I help you with your property taxes?”

Me: “You’ve been paying the property taxes on my home without considering the owner occupied deduction for over a year now. You’re paying the first line on the bill, not the ‘amount due.’ That has resulted in my property tax account being overpaid by several hundred dollars. I’d like you to only pay the ‘amount due,’ as well as file for a refund of the overpaid taxes from the tax office, since they won’t release it to me or you unless you request it.”

Representative: “I see your property taxes were $X this last half-year. We paid that as scheduled.”

Me: *sharply* “No, you’re not listening to me. You’re paying the wrong line item on the bill. Can you see the actual paper bill that the city sends to you?”

Representative: “Yes, I see electronic copy of the bill here. The first line is…”

Me: *again sharply* “Just stop right there. Look down at the bottom of the page. What does it say beside ‘amount due?'”

Representative: “Looking at that it says… oh, dear, it says that you owe negative $700. We screwed up, didn’t we?”

Me: *still slightly sharply* “Yes, you did. Now, can you please request that overage back from the city, and start paying the actual amount due?”

Representative: “Yes, we can fix this. I need to place you on a brief hold to talk to our research department and get them to fix this. Can you hold?”

Me: “Yes, I can hold. And thank you for actually listening to me.”

Representative: “I’m sorry, what did you just say?”

Me: “I said thank you and I will hold?”

Representative: “Sorry… I’m just not used to people saying thank you to me. Your tone was somewhat angry, and most people who call in like that just curse at me. Sorry, you just confused me with that. I’ll put you on hold now, and get your problem fixed quickly!”

(She puts me on hold and comes back after a minute to tell me that she’s submitted the request, who to call if it doesn’t get fixed, and when and what I can expect.)

Representative: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Me: “No, that’s my only issue. I’m sorry for being short with you earlier, but this isn’t the first time I’ve called in about this issue. Most of the people I talk to act like I’m trying to get out of paying a bill I owe and are extremely rude to me, so I gave as good as I normally get. All I wanted was for this problem to be fixed.”

Representative: “No apologies needed. You were angry, but polite. Honestly, you’re the first person to say ‘thank you’ to me today, so you’re my number one customer in my book. Please note my name, and if this doesn’t get resolved, ask for me if you call back in. I’ll make sure it gets fixed.”

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Lack Of Touching Sentiment

| Kansas City, MO, USA | Right | January 7, 2015

(I am working on the teller line when a customer comes into the lobby. He smells like he hasn’t bathed all week, and his hands are filthy. Also, our bank requires customers who don’t have an account with us to put a thumbprint on the front of any checks they cash. This is a fairly common procedure at many banks.)

Customer: “I’d like to cash this check.”

Me: “Okay, if I could just get your thumbprint on the check…” *holds out ink pad*

Customer: *raising his hands and backing away* “I am NOT touching THAT. I don’t know where it’s been. It could have Ebola. I gotta protect myself.”

Me: “You do realize the cash you are getting has been more places than this ink pad has right?”

Customer: “Well, yeah, but I don’t have any idea who’s been touching that pad. They could’ve picked their nose and then touched it for all I know.”

(I count out his cash, and right before he leaves he grabs a pen off the counter, that EVERY SINGLE other customer has touched, and says:)

Customer: “Is it okay if I take this?”

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