I stay in Blantyre. So, it happens that most of the banks I go to lend money are in Blantyre. Also when I have a cheque to cash, I will often cash these in Blantyre. The same goes with deposits. I deposit money in “customer service” centres in Blantyre.
There are times when banking in Blantyre is acceptable for me. Let me say that I am not ‘that so busy’ a person. I am pressed for time, but not all the time. This has made me to be patient. I go to the bank and expect to transact business in under 30 minutes. Lately however, I am starting to think that I may have grown unrealistic about the industry. I should reserve an hour or more to get things done in the banks.
There was this day I went to a bank and noted the time I arrived in the banking hall. An hour passed while on the queue. Then I saw a notice on the wall saying that if a customer was unhappy with the service, they should see the service centre manager. I hesitated on this advice as I wondered whether I was unhappy with the service or the lack of it. I reasoned that in Catholic theology, there are the sins of commissions (you sin because you have done something wrong) just as there are sins of omissions (sinning by not doing something good you were supposed to do). In any case, I knocked on the manager’s door and walked in. One thing I have noticed about offices is that if you knock on the door, you walk in. It is embarrassing to find another meeting going uninvited. On the other hand, even if there was no other meeting going on, the owner of the office rarely yells out a “come in.”
To the manager, I explained my frustration. He explained that it was taking time (so he thought) to get the bank contact the signatories of the cheque I was carrying. I then explained that we had not even reached that stage. I had not presented the check as yet and that was what I was dying for. The officer explained that there was a problem with network or something like that. Then he also said: “Did you have to come in here to tell me that.” I thanked him and left; for I knew I could not have any meaningful discussion with an individual who was misplaced in his job. I felt sorry for him. Going to work each day, but not enjoying it. n