Wednesday, May 10, 2006

SHiT and Shiny Stuff

The SHiT guy came round ridiculously early this morning. He wasn't thrilled with prospect of climbing a 40 ft. building to install a satellite, and he didn't exactly speak glowingly of my comedy partner from Monday. Then he marked that there is a satellite next to one of the other flats, the one my comedy sidekick assumed was mine, and thought that was better. However, being a contractor, he was liable so refused to install until I had permission from the landlord. Which I now have as long as I don't invade the privacy of the young lady who lives in the flat above.

This begs the question about the satellite. Is this some spy satellite sending messages to SPECTRE? Is it controlling the weather patterns for the western civilization? Or is it some old dish the old tenants forgot about?

Whilst on the way back from getting approval from my landlords I made a mistake.

I fell hopelessly in love...

I went to the Bank of Scotland today to pay in my deposite cheque. As you might know this sort of thing is bad for my blood pressure. Really bad.

You see the BoS only has a business branch in Leicester. You go in, find the express pay-in, pick up the envelope to put your cheque into and then realise there is no form to accompany your cheque. In traditional BoS branches, nay in every other frickin' branch I've ever been in you can just pick one up, fill it out, put the cheque and form in the envelope, post it and leave. No need to queue. No need to talk to anyone.

In the Leicester branch there is a suspicious gap between the paperwork where the aforementioned form is supposed to sit. This then causes you to join the queue for the teller, wondering why there was an express pay-in drawer, 'cos this is certainly not proving to be "express" in any sense of the word. Not counting any forms of public transport in the Greater London area between 5pm and 6pm that use the words "express". In most cases this is pretty much on par with them.

The teller, or B.'s grandfather*, is a fellow who puts me on mind of the bank teller in the last episode of Twin Peaks in terms of haste. Despite there being a queue he subscribes to a form of Zen-Bank Telling. This usually involves him sitting in the bank offices, not at the desk. He hobbles over eventually, making you feel really sorry for every step you made him take, every bead of sweat on his forehead and every breath he is going to waste transacting with you.

You try to explain you need the form to place with the cheque into the pay-in envelope.

He explains that you should have a book of forms that were given to you when you opened your account.

You riposte by explaining that you did not open your account here. You opened yours at one of the other branches of the BoS that don't subscribe to this little known practice. You then ask politely if you can have a book of these forms for future use.

He slides past your riposte by saying that you cannot have a book of these forms because you are not opening an account.

You counter by explaining the principles of banking, whereby you give money to the bank and they invest it, make money, keep some for themselves and give you a pittance in interest. You explain it may be in the BoS's best interest that they take the cheque from you and place it in your account.

He mutters something, wanders off, comes back, brings the form and fills it in slowly, in copperplate hand-writing, refuses to let you use the Express pay-in service and does it all for you. With an average completion time of 20 minutes or so.

Today was different however.

Today I fell in love with the teller.

No - not the decrepit guy! They had a young, blond chick on the desk. One with radical notions in customer service and the need for speed that only the young get. She was even pleasant, asking what on earth the C. on my card means when it says "C. Stuart Kerrigan". I actually came out of the BoS smiling.

It's a miracle.

* It's a running joke in our office if we ever encounter anyone who offers poor customer service, is unnecessarily rude or simply makes it clear to you they consider talking to you an unfortunate part of their job that appears on their hate list way below "Scrub urinal kegs in men's toilets" we assume they're a member of B.'s extended family. For example B's father used to drive the 20 bus from the city centre to Casa Al. You could tell - he didn't consider stopping for passengers part of his job.


Jamalen of Zetland said...

so... what DOES the C mean?

Anonymous said...

You're in there mate.

Write a glowing letter praising her to the branch manager, taking care to sign it C Stuart K, then pop in the Friday after and see if she's free.