Monday, May 19, 2008

Withrawal Syndromes

Banks are institutional equivalents of purgatory. You voluntarily fork over your cash to them, watch it diminish before your eyes, and expect assorted shades of torture to hit you back. Doing banking transactions might as well be classified permissible masochism in contemporary civilization.

OK, now, that's a sour note for a comeback entry but I just can't help it. Banks never cease to get my goat. Here's why:

Being up till five in the morning beating deadlines three days in a row didn't put me in a sterling mood. I was practically walking around with nerves made of bundled dynamites waiting for a trigger to detonate. And the charming bank people are just a bunch of beaming lighters too eager to ignite my fuse.

Bleary eyed and surly from the back-breaking deadline-meeting spree I rushed straight to "You're In Good Hands Of Satan Bank" (from hereon referred to as YIGHOSB.) I was ready to collapse from the exhaustion but I need to pay some bills and cash a cheque. After a lengthy wait my transaction number dinged at the electronic wall counter and I was ready to burst into tears from sheer joy.

My exhilaration's short-lived. As we all know, it is engraved somewhere in the gold bouillon of banking code that it is the prime duty of bank staffers to wipe the smiles off the faces of clients. Failure to do this requires mandatory disciplinary action of being imprisoned in time-delay deposit boxes with Celine Dion Greatest Hits looping till you peel the paint off the wall with your molars.

Anyway, I shoved my cheque for encashment and the charming teller shot it a quick glance, continued punching God knows what in her fucking keyboard and without looking up mumbled:

“Go to counter 4 for the bank manager's approval.”

You know that shower scene in Psycho? My thoughts exactly.

I waited for my blasted turn and the amount of time I spent was enough for me to scale the Great Wall of China! Only to be told I have to slide into another queue. I can hear my teeth clenching under my breath.

Eaaaaaaasy, Hannibal. I know you're upset, but please do not snack on the cheerful teller.

After almost two hours where my lower extremities evolved into another life-form I was face to face with the bank manager.

“I have encashed so many cheques from the same clients before how come this one requires your approval?” I said in a struggling-to-be-calm manner.

Charming manager replied “Let me check.” then casually stood up, walked away and approached a steel cabinet in another corner, rummaged through files, pulled out a client sheet and stared at it intently like any given moment words like Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin will suddenly appear. That, or the Secrets of Life itself. Or the winning Lotto Combination. My paranoid suspicion had another slant: she's doing it to know how long can she hold me hostage before I meltdown or disintegrate into a quivering protoplasm.

I was sitting there, huffing and puffing, battling to contain the leakage of my homicidal tendency.

After another lifetime, she returned to her desk, and with the proficient skill of professionally avoiding eye contact grabbed the desk phone. Then she kept on dialing and dialing digits like she's too determined on sending Morse codes to Jupiter.


“Is there a problem?” I asked, my voice slowly belying impatience and annoyance.

Again she mumbled about trying to contact the client.

“I'm not cashing in the entire Bill Gates Foundation Trust Fund!” I quipped to dispel my aggravation.

The humor is lost on her.

Finally I snapped.

“Look,” I said slowly, emphasizing the syllables, “There is a very good chance that they are not in the office yet. Ever thought of dialing their cellphones?”

Her face lit up like the belfry on the Vatican on Easter Sunday. Then she scanned through the client sheet and dialed the cellphone number in it. My nerves assumed the condition of grated Mozarella.

She then talked to the client's finance person and after the alien babble scribbled Martian scripts on the cheque at hand and declared the most wanted instruction of the day:

“Please fall in line in counter 6 for encashment.”

It's fortunate for both of us that I don't own or carry an Uzi.

The day is determined to escalate my aggravation quotient, obviously. After encashing the cheque, I had to rush to a nearby branch of "We Find Ways To Screw You Up Hahaha Bank" (WFWTSYUHB) to deposit the cash into my current and saving accounts.

This is where I am fully convinced that the Banking Industry is Satan's tool for even the most pious of people to effortlessly violate The Lord's Sixth Commandment.

(continued...)

2 comments:

Misterhubs said...

I feel your pain. Just the other day, it took me a whole hour to deposit money in my savings account. A whole hour! I wish I deposited something else on their couch. Something brown and wet.

Ignoramous said...

Wow.. For me, that would've been exciting 'coz I don't have a bank account.

"That, or the Secrets of Life itself. Or the winning Lotto Combination" - Can I borrow? hahaha