After a particularly disastrous time playing Standard Bank on-line banking.
I called the help line, which it appeared was having an opposite day.
The only option left to me was to go in to Standard Bank.
Explain that I have been using internet banking for about 10 years. Have used the same account number, user name and password all this time, and now it did not work. Could they fix what clearly I did not break.
I got particularly alarmed when red uppercase letters appeared on my screen telling me to go to my nearest branch.
Going in to a branch of my bank, often feels more painful than when I visit Vera who gives me my monthly brazilian wax. With Vera at least I get a cup of tea, a chat and the benefit of feeling baby smooth.
With my bank, the sensation to my the hair being ripped from my outer labia is probably a good indicator of how it goes. I get irritated, it is never ending, and I pray it will be over soon.
Partly because there are signs and posters everywhere of happy people who are getting serviced by their bank. I have never been serviced. By my bank. Like that. And have never been that happy. At my bank.
I am thinking it is either a different bank. Or I am at the wrong branch.
I stand in the queue at the Help/Information desk, and I explain my problem.
I am already feeling irritated, and the queue wait is doing nothing to soothe my mood. Banks, how about serving coffee, tea, little sticky donuts? Anything. Instead we stand there and wait — and the anger in the group is palpable.
The bank assistant decides that this will be made all better by changing my account number.
Please bear in mind I have used this number since before I had children.
I am quite fond of the account number and I able to remember it more easily than I am able to remember my children’s names. I never call my bank account by another bank account’s name. For instance.
I have long since learnt not to argue logic with people at the bank. Or at home affairs or at any place that serves you pizza in a bucket. It really is a futile exercise in things that are futile. I tend to stand there, smile, nod and just say “okay” in that way that everyone does when you feel their soul dying.
I duly stand and the lady – let’s call her Ursula, her name escapes me right now – is typing in reams of information.
I think “shit balls this is taking long” but then Ursula smiles and says that she has to move all my beneficiaries over, and that is just under 100 records.
Same bank, same account, same internet banking I have been using for a decade. I really do not argue.
I stand some more. Again, why question why she is changing account details that have always worked. What ever makes her happy. What ever makes me get out of here.
If she wants to call me Doreen, I will actually agree at this juncture. Just what ever I can do to get the fuck out of here. I really think Dante was describing a bank in his little short story way back then.
I can see Ursula is nearly at the end of what ever it is that she is doing, because now she is printing something which no doubt I have to sign three times with a black pen.
Ursula looks at me and smiles.
I smile back.
What else am I meant to do? She has direct immediate access to my financial records!
She goes: “Do you know what you are expecting?”
I look at her.
The little hamster in my head tries to make a connection to what is coming out of her mouth, her relationship to me, and what she is doing.
Then I remember that I actually do not have a head coming out of my vaginal passage AT THE FUCKING BANK!!
She is not exactly a candidate for a gastric bypass operation, but she could be on a short list – should I ask her when her gastric bypass surgery is booked for? Or maybe that they have done a super job on fixing her hair lip, I can barely see a scar!!
No, because that would an inappropriate comment to anyone I did not know. ESPECIALLY FROM A CUSTOMER SERVICES PERSON AT A FUCKING BANK!
I am being asked if I am pregnant by the biggest girl at the help desk counter. Irony much?
In retrospect I could think of a dozen things that I should have said.
Instead I opted for the rather pedestrian: “Fuck you, I am not pregnant. Thank you fucking much for suggesting so, as now it is clear I cannot pop next door to eat a Sausage Egg McMuffin – which I have been craving for the last 45 minutes as I stood in this STUPID FUCKING QUEUE. Not only have you fucking made me feel body conscious and I will never wear this shirt and fucking scarf combination again, but you have now totally fucked my decision to pop next door for breakfast! How stupid are you to make this fatal customer error 101? Has the last +25 years on this planet taught you nothing?? Can you get Steve (or what ever his name is) on from FNB - I need to talk to him about moving my account!”
Well that is what I said in the car. To my self. After I left the bank.
Because Karma is my friend. I get home and my internet banking is still not working. Phone the call centre, and guess what? Had to go back to the bank. Well done Standard Bank. No one said. Ever!