Dealing With People…Why I Hate It

Or more specifically, dealing with people who work in call centres. Although I find personal interaction quite irritating from time to time I do usually enjoy it; talking to people who can’t answer the most basic of enquiries however is just a frustrating experience from start to end. No offence to any of you who happens to work in one of these centres for a living, but I do hope there is a special area in hell awaiting them. Preferably one that involves them being passed between useless person to useless person with only the intermittent clips of muzak breaking the merry-go-round of ineptitude. I understand it isn’t the easiest place to work but at the same time it isn’t difficult to fathom out why so many people shout at you. It was only my British reserve that stopped me from giving the blithering idiot I was talking to a piece of my mind.

It started last Saturday when I contacted my bank (I’ll keep names out of it but people on my Facebook will have probably already guessed) with a routine enquiry about my statement. To start work I need two official documents that prove I live where I say I’m living. Because I don’t pay any bills, I don’t have a credit card and I’m not on Jobseekers, finding two valid documents has been rather difficult. What makes it even harder is the fact they want them from the past three months. I’ve barely been in the country in that time. How can I possibly have anything I can use?

Nevertheless I’ve persisted and managed to get one item of proof. All I then needed was a bank statement but because I’ve shredded all of mine I would need them to send one to me. The other, quicker option was for me to go to my local branch and ask for them to print off a statement and stamp it with my address. Then I could just pop up to the admin department at work straight after and I’d be sorted. Good plan right?

Unfortunately my bank disagreed. I decided to call them beforehand to make sure it could be done. On Saturday I was told it depended on the branch but she (the call centre woman) told me she’d email them now and I could expect a call on Monday letting me know whether it was possible or not. In the meantime she’d also arrange for a statement to be sent in the post just in case it couldn’t be done. How kind of her. As a result I was quite satisfied with the call. The next step was to see what would happen on Monday. Either I’d be waiting for the post to arrive or I could head up to work via the bank on Tuesday. Hopefully everything would go through by the end of the week. Sorted!

But as you can imagine, no, it wasn’t sorted. The branch didn’t call me. Of course they wouldn’t.

So I called the bank helpline again because I wasn’t quite sure if the woman had sent me a statement in the post or not (that part of the call had been somewhat vague) and I wanted to know why they hadn’t called. I explained my situation to another woman and asked again whether the branch could do what I wanted or not. After a brief consultation with her manager she told me in her very thick European accent that ‘it vould not be possible, ve vill just send you a statement instead’. All right then. Well at least I got an answer. Hopefully I’ll get that from the postie by the end of the week. Remember I made this call on Monday.

Tuesday. Nothing.

Wednesday. Nothing.

Thursday (Today). Nothing.

Oh joy. Another call to the bank. First woman sent me off to some guy in a different department who wanted my account number and sort code. I countered by saying this wasn’t really relevant to my very basic enquiry (I didn’t have the numbers with me either). Once more I explained my situation. The guy blathered on about nothing before telling me he’ll send me a statement in the post which would arrive sometime next week. Fed up I told him this wasn’t good enough and asked if he could please just put me through the local branch. Perhaps they could answer my damn question. He obliged, the phone rang…and then an automatic voice told me the number was invalid and I should contact the helpline that I’d already been talking to!

So after a quick conversation with someone at work (to their credit they have been very understanding of this whole situation) I decided to ring the bank again. And again I explained my situation. The woman understood my issues and told me, just like the first one did, that she would email my local branch and they’d get back to me before they finished for work.

It has just passed 5pm. The branch closes at 6pm. If I don’t get a call in the next hour I will not be pleased.

I don’t think my British reserve will be as tolerant if I have to call them tomorrow. Oh no. My call will indeed be used for training purposes, as they’ll be using it to teach new employers what will happen if they balls up the most straight forward question they could ever wish to get, second of course to ‘are you a bank’, as a way of motivating them to do better. I’m talking scorched earth mother *******! (kudos if you get the reference)

It’s not going to be pretty. Let’s just hope they call in the next *checks watch* 44 minutes shall we?


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