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The Quality Of Service Decreases From Here

| 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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