Staying on top?

4th January 2021

Monday. Getting back to normal week. In a manner of speaking. Whoever knows what normal is these days? It’s surely not going to be anything like the old normal was, and probably it needs not to be, because look where that got us!

First order of the day was to get my bank account sorted.

The person I spoke to on Saturday had promised to take care of the error “first thing” and call me to confirm, but I think I can be forgiven for being a tad skeptical. I waited till 11 am:

My local branch referred me to the teller who made the error, in a nearby town, “because she needs to fix it.”

I thought “well she’ll be pleased to hear from me.”

But then, the world is changing. If I had made a mistake like that, when I was working, I would have been mortified and fully expected to get screamed at.

However, except in the case of the medical center ladies who treated me like an elderly half-witted annoyance, I do not scream at people. When I spoke to the bank teller whose finger trouble caused my problem, she checked her computer and said “oh, let me put you on hold while I sort this out”, then came back and said it was taken care of.

Grant was lurking nearby growling, so I pushed a bit: “supposing that amount had drained my account and my bill-pay had bounced?” “Oh we would have taken care of it.” Not quite the point, is it? Who would have had to make the calls to explain and apologize? Who would repair my credibility? I am appalled that this can happen so easily. And just be so casually dismissed with no clear explanation.

An hour later, I looked at my account to ensure all was well and found myself obliged to call the lady back. “Em, it’s Carolyn again. We spoke about $5500 earlier?’ Oh yes, it’s all taken care of.” “Yes, but it got done twice, so now you need to take $5500 back.” Put me on hold again. I hate being put on hold! At least they didn’t have irritating music to annoy me. “It’s all done. Oh. I’m so sorry.”

Finally the “sorry” came.

At British Airways I said “sorry” a lot. Often there isn’t anything else you can do, but at least it’s a acknowledgment that the customer has been inconvenienced. It’s a small courtesy, but perhaps courtesy is old-fashioned?

You have to be on top of everything these days but as we get older, we all know we don’t exactly get sharper, so it is somewhat disconcerting.

Earlier, I was reading the blog of a 30-something Canadian who was writing about how businesses and even many charitable organizations are transitioning to digital-only forms of payment.

Paper money is one of the filthiest items you may ever encounter. Which isn’t surprising if you think of how many times it changes hands and people’s sometimes extraordinary habits.

Quite often, when I worked at the check-in counter, passengers would arrive all discombobulated, carrying things in both hands with their passport clutched in their teeth.

They would then plop the disgusting, wet item on the counter and expect you to pick it up. You see what I mean about odd habits. So I shudder when I think where paper money may have been.

However….technology is not something everyone has access to and it is far from being perfect for many that do have the privilege. What about people who can’t afford technology? People in nursing homes? What about the homeless? What about all sorts of people…

And the more people are forced onto technology, the more will have their identity stolen.

Look how many times it’s happened to me.

This is not where I expected to go today.

But what with the bank, and fighting with the pharmacy website….have they really thrown my account out, or is it just their computer again?

Maybe there’s something up around here, as my pc is still not cooperating either. “Up” being the wrong word.

Some days it really is hard to stay on top!

4 thoughts on “Staying on top?

  1. Barclay’s Bank once made an error which placed $10 million in my account. So many zeroes they didn’t fit. But they didn’t tell me until afterwards. No internet then…I could have bogged off to the Pacific and disappeared!

  2. I understand that phrase “I’m sorry” totally! I was in customer services for 11 years (in a hospital) … have you ever seen a happy patient 😳 … but I do know that it helps when you say “I’m sorry” (and you mean it). Don’t they teach youngsters these days how to apologise … 😒

Leave a Reply