Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Common Criminal

It is a rare window that my blood boils and seethes for very long. Not so yesterday, as the day got off to a troubling start. My daughters and I were handling a financial transaction that required a simple legal formality. The formality on our part had been handled with precision, and, important to this story, we had accomplished numerous times prior without incident.

I recall the look of suspicion that befell us as we walked into the institution, but it didn't phase me, as we were not at the branch where I complete my transactions routinely. A simple conversation, verification that I was a long standing customer (of 16 years, no less!) would erase the furrowed brow, and we could move forward.

To my dismay, the transaction was slogged through a series of checks and balances outside of the normal routine. We were subject to hierarchical phone calls to supervisors of supervisors, only to be met with tremendous resistance and finally, a no deal.

I was angered at what seemed to be silly hoop jumping, but I did my best to simply express my frustration, then walk out of the bank without making a scene.

Errands were up next, and I was glad that I would have something to focus on so that I could channel my energy to a positive task. Time continued to move forward, but instead of easing my upset, I found I was increasingly angry over the situation. I decided to lodge a formal verbal complaint.

Now in the vicinity of my regular banking facility, I entered and asked to speak privately to the manager. We entered his office, and I said, "I am here to vent, and to lodge a formal complaint. This is what happened . . ."

The phone rang. From my vantage, I could see that the caller ID indicated that the call was from the bank I had left earlier in the day. He deferred answering, to listen to me. I continued.

The phone rang again, same locale.

I yet continued.

Again, insistent ringing.

Again, the call was ignored while I persevered.

Yet another call, this time from the teller line. He responded.

The teller began to tell him the reason why I was there.


He hung up, and I looked around the room, stating, "Where are the cameras? Who has been watching me?"

The manager shrugged his shoulders as the phone rang AGAIN.

It was the original branch phoning. He answered.

The supervisor who had disallowed our transaction earlier in the day was on the line: TELLING HIM WHY I WAS THERE!

Obviously, since I was already mad, this only served to anger me even further.

All conversation stopped as I demanded: "So, have ALL the bank branches been informed of our attempted transaction, and been warned that we might arrive?? WHY AM I BEING TREATED LIKE I'VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG? My transaction is legal, and I haven't done one. thing. wrong."

Apologetic, yet unwilling to budge on the executive decision, the bank manager continued to listen to my vent.

At the end of the day, the issue was resolved in part, but the scarlet letter remained.

Being treated as a common criminal was my lot, and no push against a big corporation would change that.

I've now shifted gears to being saddened at the knowledge that Customer Service has been relegated to 'protecting our assets' at all cost.

While I'm still not happy with the way things went down, I have decided to rejoice that, in a very small way, I was treated in like manner as Jesus: as a common criminal.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? Mark 14:48

I know, I know . . . the analogy isn't perfect, I have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin as He did. Yet the feeling of being tracked in fear of my [legal] request has left its' mark on me.

No longer will I be offering referrals to others on behalf of this institution with pleasant voice. Instead, the long trudge toward the reestablishment of trust between us begins.


HS said...

I. would. be. peeved.


A new bank is in order, perhaps?

--Mary Grace

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Something similar happened to dh once; we were young (newly married), and he went to the bank on a Saturday morning dressed in his usual beat up old jeans. He was depositing a bunch of coins I'd rolled from his change jar - some of the coin rolls were old ones I'd had around since my sister had given me a bunch in college. The teller looked at the rolls of coins and narrowed her eyes, saying, "Where did you GET these?" She was very suspicious of him and assumed that he must have stolen them somewhere, apparently. This was the bank dh's grandfather had worked for at a high level for his entire career. Dmil raised heck with them when she heard about it, and we switched banks.

Cindy in GA

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, we were disgusted with the new fees our lifetime bank was putting on us. My MIL had already had words in there to no avail.

I went in calmly, w/o words, and just asked for all our savings to be put in the checking. ??? She asked why (and I think buzzed a higher-up at the same time) and I said we were changing banks. Snap. Snap. And the fees were all dropped.

We remain there.

{They bought JP's fair pigs in the last 2 yrs. The president of the bank goes to our church now.}

They will want you to stay, I would think. I would encourage you to look into changing banks if you can.


Sorry for the ugh!!

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