Procrastinate I will, as much as I can. Avoid I will, as much as I can. Till such time my father drives me up the wall and nags me at least for a week to go to the bank and get my finances sorted and all pending errands done, I will not initiate or show any signs of matured forthcoming behaviour or volunteer myself to go to bank. Means the nagging has to reach a level that the scales start tipping in bank’s favour, for me to overcome my sloth-ish behaviour and be motivated to get up and just get it done with. Will it suffice if I say, I.hate.going.to.bank? And to think that I almost took Finance as my specialization in MBA! Thank God, good sense prevailed. Thank God, I took Marketing.
Today was one such day. I had to go to bank. I wanted to apply for a bank locker. And I realised the following about Banking at a nationalized (read slow, outdated, and government run) bank:
- I need to have a Savings account with the bank to get a locker(which is reasonable)
- And if I am neither “Working”, nor a “Student”, then I am a “Housewife” (??!) Even if I am not married. Yet that is :). I tried to defend my status. I swear I did. I argued, I debated. So Ms. Pissed-Off-Banker told me that essentially it is one and the same only, right? You’re not doing anything at the moment, so that is close to the option “Housewife”. Hence, I am ticking there. WTF? All housewives: Go ahead, you MAY definitely take offense for this obnoxious little remark.
- I realised no kind of urgency works with bankers. NO KIND WHATSOEVER. They will do a small one-min task as leisurely as possible.You have to wait endlessly while
- They attend many hundred phone calls
- Go looking for a missing stapler
- Chat up their neighbouring employee
- Try to correct the paper jam in the Printer
- Take agonizingly slow minutes to cross check your details
- Fuss over colour of the ink you filled the form in
- Murmur under breath in some code language or their mother tongue about how irritating a particular customer is
- Eat the snack offered to them by the co-worker
- Look at you like you are a burden
4. No matter how accurately or correctly you have tried to fill the required forms, you would have goofed up somewhere for sure.
- Either you would have misspelt your name (in the nervousness and pressure of getting it right and error free, you always make errors, don’t you?)
- Or you would have missed out an important detail
- Or you would have submitted the wrong identification proof, or an outdated identification proof
- Or you would have forgotten some supporting document back home
You will get enough snide remarks and you-fool-you-can’t-fill-this-simple-form-correctly looks for this. If you know what I mean?
5. Average age of the employees there is 45-ish. No wonder then they are mostly slow with computers, slow to respond, have patience of the highest order, and have vowed not to smile ever. At one point, I felt that I should just take the damned keyboard from Ms. Pissed-Off-Banker and type the two lines myself, for which she took what-15 minutes?
6. Most of them are irritated because of their same mundane duties. Do we blame them?
7. I realised you must not squeeze in a bank visit amidst a busy day where you have lined up a series of meetings, and still expect to be on time for any succeeding meeting.
8. You need to have expert time-killing and wall-staring abilities if you have to get your work done in a single visit at a bank.
9. Knowing the regional language or the language of the employee attending you may also cut the deal for you. It helps.
On a less sarcastic note, opening a savings account in a nationalized bank today has made me wiser in so many ways.
- I now know what it must feel like to do the same clerical job, day in and day out, over months, over years, over decades and still love it enough to go every single day to office.
- I now know what a virtue patience is and that I am lacking this virtue.
- Introspection-ally speaking, I now know that I am not so-cool-headed after all. And till date I thought I was.
- I now know how it must feel like to be at the front end of a banking job, do the same job over years, have 10 customers peering over your desk at any point of time and asking 100 questions and you still are expected to keep your cool, answer nagging customers, help slow retarded customers like me and still do the job without errors and without losing your cool.
Two hours at the bank (for a 5-min job) made me question my patience, delve deep into my mind, go philosophical, realise I am not cut for a front-end banking job, made me understand why private banks are so popular over nationalized banks in India, and made me thank God that I didn’t take finance.
Any wonder then why I have bankmares? This is not what a to-be-bride needs to go through!