Friday, August 19, 2011

Sometimes It's Nice To Know You're Not The Only One.

As I have mentioned in the past, I use to be in banking. I also mentioned that, due to the poor handling on my part of some situations during that time, I was forced to leave it. It's okay, though. I'm over it.

As I've also mentioned, my wife works for a bank as well. She was lucky. She did data entry there and never had to see a single customer. There was a down side, though. She worked on evenings and our, then, routine was me leaving for work with her fast asleep and her coming home from work after I was already in bed. I used to joke that we were only married on weekends because that was when we actually spent any kind of time together. After multiple transfer requests, they got tired of her... persistence and now she's a teller, working the day-shift in a regular branch.

Because of my experience on the customer service side of things, I try help Mrs. C learn from the mistakes that I made. I warn her from time-to-time about the various perils and, especially, the crazies she'd inevitably meet.

For example, there was the time I had to decline someone's loan because his demands were impossible to meet and he wouldn't listen to reason. There was just no way to approve it.  He, however, said I declined his loan because I was racist. He neglected to take into consideration that we were both of the same race when he made the charge though.

Another time, there was this guy who would apparently come in every few months to complain about discrepancies on his credit card statements. Even though I was in loans, the person dealing with him decided to shovel him off on the next available person and basically conned me into seeing him. By the time I realized he wasn't applying for a new credit card, it was too late.

It was during this meeting that the customer confided in me that the bank was conspiring to hide the truth about his credit card info and that he finally had proof. That proof being his "real" credit card statement versus a "phony" copy the he was provided with.

Customer: You can see it right here! The bank's logo on my copy I got in the mail is red. This other copy they gave me has a black logo.
Me: Okaaaay... What else?
Customer: What do you mean? Mine is obviously the official thing because it's in color. The one they printed and gave me isn't so it has to be made-up.
Me: But the information on both is exactly the same.
Customer: *blink*
Me: Who gave it to you?
Customer: Them. Over by that counter just now.

He was pointing at the CSR counter across the floor. They only have a black and white printer there.

But, this past Wednesday morning was Mrs. C's turn. Like so many of my customers, her encounter had her a state of bewilderment that lasted for about half a day.

Customer 2: I'd like to make a withdrawal.
Mrs. C: Sure. One second... I'm sorry. You don't seem to have any money in your account.
Customer 2: But my disability comes in at the end of every month.
Mrs. C: Wait, please. Let me check the history. Oh yes. It did come in at that time. But it looks like you withdrew it already.
Customer 2: I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about this months payment. It should be there. It comes in at the end of every month, you know.
Mrs. C: Um... sir. It's only the the 17th.
Customer: *blink*
Mrs. C: It isn't the end of the month yet.
Customer: But... the full moon already passed...
Mrs. C: Okaaaay... (places hand close to panic button).

Luckily, her customer left soon after that without incident. I assume to consult with the moon again and make sure their schedules sync-up.

Knowing the crazies exist and actually encountering them are two different things and you almost never know what's going to happen next. Almost makes me nostalgic, to be honest.

Not really.


  1. I had a client once who was VERY demanding. She drove my staff so nuts that I decided to do everything for her personally. I spent about 8 straight hours on her project alone, let her know everything that was done, and she seemed thrilled. I went home. The next morning at 7am she called MY HOME PHONE and told me she didn't feel like we were working enough on her site. I told her I would give all her money back, even though we'd put about 15 hours of work into her web site, and she would have to go elsewhere.

    She said no, she wouldn't go because she loved us.

    As you would say: *blink*

    After that I had to have my lawyer add a "We're allowed to break up with you even if you're like some crazy girlfriend who won't acknowledge a break-up" clause into my contracts.

  2. I schedule ALL of my financial dealings around the moon. It's truly the only rational way.

  3. Clients are crazy sometimes, whether external or internal to the company. I deal primarily with internal clients, or essentially co-workers of the same company and they can be as demanding as any external client I have ever dealt with. And as far as boundaries go, I get calls on my personal cell constantly and they expect immediate resolution. Nice huh? You are not alone!

  4. i wouldn't last a day in customer service. but i have been known to blame the moon for some of my own behavior.

  5. And that is why I am no longer in hospitality. When I had to step away from a guest and loudly count to 10 was when I realized that I needed to get out.

  6. Can I just say that working the customer service in anything will eventually leave you baffled? So many goofy people...

  7. @ Amy: I had my share of stalker clients too. They're the worst, I think.

    @ Sugar Free: Then what happens during a lunar eclipse?

    @ Random Girl: My wife actually thought things would be easier when she left the night gig (and the 'mean-girls club' that ruled it). I think it was an even trade.

    @ pattypunker: Customer service isn't for the faint of heart. I'm surprised I lasted 5 years, myself.

    @ Nubian: That was my mistake. I kept on going even I reached the point of counting to about 700. Normally while hiding in the staff kitchen with another cup of coffee.

    I was away from my desk a lot.

    @ dbs: I'm sure I could think up worse ones if I forced myself to relive the nightmare long enough.

    @ paulsifer: I believe you. That's why I'm cutting my losses with banking & not trying it again somewhere else.

  8. Some people never get out of the Matrix.

    *furtive glance*

  9. @ AC: I'll send a red pill right over.

  10. You can have the best fun interacting with customers in public jobs and you can have the most serious bouts of wanting to break large sharp objects over their heads the rest of the time. I've been there. It seriously damaged my calm. :)

  11. Must be a farmer or a shepherd who lives his day by the moon and stars.


Go ahead, say it! You know you want to: