September 04, 2006

A Bank Manager Called Amanita

Usually, I think of bank managers as people who have reached that level of responsibility and maturity wherein they can think out of the box as opposed to other bank employees and security guards wherein their decisions are based solely on their Manual of Standard Operating Procedures. From past observations, bank managers are there to smoothen out transactions and make the daily grind more efficient. This is natural to many, but this afternoon I had the privilege to experience the most inept and inflexible of all managers.

1:30 p.m.

I went to PCIB bank at the Roxas Blvd.- Ermita branch for the procurement of my sister’s (Thank you!) remittance. This branch I really love because they are efficient in processing my cash, making the experience very agreeable. Unfortunately, they just had a computer upgrade so they could not process remittances but gave me a transaction form to fill up which I can give to other branches.

I remembered that there was another branch at Pedro Gil & Mabini, fronting the new Hyatt hotel, so I hurried there immediately.

2:00 p.m.

I was directed to the manager’s desk where upon I sat down holding my completed form. I was informed that the manager was out so I had to wait for a while. Fine. After five minutes, this lady with Chinese features appeared looking very harassed. Let us hide her name as Amanita Chewbacca. Amanita flitted here and there looking for a printer to finish her “urgent” transaction. Only after which she attended to our needs; “our” means me and a man with an elbow contracture who was withdrawing what seems to be a bundle of $100 bills. With such an amount, it was surprising to see the bank’s head honcho and Amanita verrrry deferential to this customer.

After the rich customer left the bank, Ms. Amanita had the stupi… I meant, the “audacity” to persuade me not to pursue my transaction because according to her, it’s a Monday, so there are tons of transactions and it would be “verrrry difficult” to get through. What she means is that she’s not interested in entertaining me. She then suggested that if I will leave my form, I can get my cash the next day. WTF? She means to tell me that I just wasted my time waiting there for nothing? How impertinent of her to suggest that my time is not valuable. Of course, stubborn as I was I did not heed her suggestion and instead smiled at her and told her, “It’s fine. I can wait.”

I think she became exasperated because she proceeded then to call the PCIB call center. Fine. The quicker I can get out of this bank, the better. I thought we could connect immediately but no, the line just looped and looped with “Please hold on, our lines will be available soon” voice with no end in sight. She asked me to hold the phone and wait for an answer.

“Just press ‘2’ until someone answers you. Then you give it to me,” she said. I complied thinking at least this way I can increase her efficiency.

After several minutes, Amanita’s big honcho went to our desk and complained that the bank has only one line and that there might be transactions that can’t get through. In simpler terms, she wanted me to drop my queue, and wait for the sky to fall. I am not sure this is a bank’s SOP to cut-off transactions because it was difficult to reach their call center. So, we stalled perhaps ten minutes until the coast was clear. Then, she tried again to connect. Suffice to say that in the end, she was able to talk to a call center representative.

Here’s the kicker: After less than a minute on the phone, she told me that she cannot do my transaction. WTF? I waited here for nearly an hour and that’s all she can say? She told me that my name on the form did not match the name on the computer. For instance, if the name on my form was “Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus”, the call center told Amanita that the name on theirs was “Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Wolfgang.” Because of that clerical error, Amanita Chewbacca denied me of my remittance. I really wondered if she took (or even passed) Logic 101 in college for any college graduate would agree:

1. That a customer who holds a unique transaction number means that no two persons with different names can hold the same number;
2. That a customer who had a matched “secret word” means that he/she is privy to that transaction with the sender;
3. That my name was just repeated at the end means that it was near impossible that I was not the same person indicated in the computer.

But since Ms. Amanita has an IQ equal to that of a sea cucumber, she cannot fathom the logic. She may be right and strict with the name game, but any person can see that she was very inflexible and incorrigible. Usually, I do not complain with that rudimentary kind of logic in circumstances that needed my correct name, such as board exam applications, visa applications, or legal proceedings. But with a simple case of getting remittances, she had gone overboard.

In a stroke of utter brilliance, Ms. Amanita Chewbacca gave me these options: a) to produce another identification card showing I was “Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Wolfgang”, and b) to call the recipient to amend my name. The first choice was plain dumb. I don’t know how she was able to think of such a dumb idea. What you sow, you reap I guess. And her second option entails more wasted time and circumlocutory red tape. I do not have the patience for that.

This reflects badly on Ms. Amanita because her brain (which is presumably clogged with fat from her thighs) tells her that customers’ time is not a valuable commodity. It also shows that she’s so bereft of imagination that she can’t think of anymore ways to find a solution to such a logical problem. She’s like a frog that immediately stops jumping because a high wall is placed in front of her. It’s infuriating that someone in that position can be so narrow-sighted and unimaginative. I don’t think she deserves to be in that job.

She could just convince the call center that I was the same one on the latter’s computer and go ahead with the transaction. But no, she just reclined in her chair and repeatedly said, “I cannot do anything. You need to have that name amended.”

Sensing how futile this has become, I stood up, collected my things, and curtly thanked her for wasting my time and added that perhaps other PCIB managers have more imagination than her in conducting transactions like this.

3:00 p.m.

In a huff, I went out of that branch while cursing that poor excuse of a manager. Good thing the bank’s security guard heard my plight and directed me to another branch at Robinson’s mall. Full of trepidation, I entered the third branch thinking another mentally imbalanced manager will find ways not to do her job. I was wrong. I should have gone here instead of that awful Mabini branch.

I sat down again at the manager’s desk with my completed form in hand. She was a bit busy explaining to a MidEastern man something about his remittances not appearing on paper. After she had settled that, she took one look at my form and logged in into her computer. She punched in my name and in a matter of seconds, approved my transaction without reserve or suspicion. This cool manager took my identification cards and had it photocopied and subsequently I was directed to the teller where I can get my cash. Talk about efficiency! I noticed that in the printed form she attached to mine, the same "repeated name” was shown, but since she has an IQ befit of capable bank managers, she must have concluded that it was just clerical error. It was a clear sign that she was USING HER HEAD unlike the former manager. This was the way the 1st branch would deal with me. Seeing that it was next to impossible to have different persons having the same transaction number, my “suki” manager would go right ahead and approve the transaction. Perhaps, if I was a VIP client with wads of $100 bills, then such awful managers will do everything to have my remittance cleared.

Moral of the Story: Be kind to animals.


cyberpunk said...

jeez, just reading about her is infuriating...some people are so dumb...

you should have posted her real name, but with the same format, e.g. Chewbacca, Amanita Amanita...if she finds out and sues you, tell her it's not her, even if she's working in the same bank branch...unless she can show a valid ID showing her name is really Chewbacca, Amanita Amanita...

Anonymous said...

bwahahahaha....I am sorry but I couldn't help but laugh...really funny how you wrote this blog...and to think I used to work in a bank, not where Amanita Chewbacca works I can just vividly imagine. *sigh*

Jules said...

cyberpunk: hahahaha... oo nga no! i can't believe she got to have that kind of job. scary.

anonymous: i was recovering from the flu during that time so i was really pissed off when she told me to produce another identification card... actually, she's the first manager who got me pissed. all the rest were very helpful.

TinTin said...

Very entertaining post. I know you were frustrated, I feel your pain. But entertaining and well-written account nonetheless!

rina said...

thanks jules, i totally owe you one on the calea's tip. yup, i'll go there and blog about it with pleasure :)

as for chewbacca - the idiotic bureaucratic mindset is one thing, but the suggestion to produce an ID with the anomalous name is just - bizarre

Jules said...

you're welcome rina. you owe me a whole ice cream pie for that! ha-ha!

as for ms. amanita, she should brush up on Dante's Divine Comedy to learn which circle of hell she rightfully belongs to. (that is presuming she knows who Alighieri is!)

slim whale said...

cyberpunk is right. you should've written the sea cucumber's name here to forewarn those who dare enter that bank. don't look for the animal named "Eusebia H.Cantuchas" or whatever stupid name she has.

i don't intend to laugh at your misfortune, dude, but i really found this post amusing. i was both infuriated and entertained.

Jules said...

slim: if you go to that branch, you'll know who AMANITA CHEWBACCA in an instant. she's really quite a character- much like the way government agencies do their job.

Anonymous said...

Juls, I will try to send an email to the place I send your money eery month. Let me know her name and I'll make sure PCI bank knows about it. Totally unacceptable! ==Manang Joy

ade said...

What the hell?! Talk about dumb! That was unprofessional of that bank manager. I think she just wanted to get rid of you.

Jennie said...

"Be kind to animals"? Don't insult the animals, naman. They have far more intelligence than that buffoon. :p

missP said...

I can totally relate to your frustration in this entry as i have had an almost similar experience at a Security Bank, Espana several years back. I called the hyena, ms. Medalya as in award winning kasi ang kabobohan niya.

I had a problem with my name, since in my ID's my name is written without "u" in the end. My aunt who authorized me to withdraw a certain amount, unfortunately wrote my name with a "u" at the end, since that was how I used to write my name when I was still going to school. The name story is quite long, so I won't elaborate). Suffice it to say, the bank manager also asked me to produce an id with the same name or get my name changed first. And no, for her, an affidavit of discrepancy in name was not enough. Until now, I still remmeber the face and real name of that bank manager. BUt my aunt closed her account with them.

Dr. Emer said...

Jules, I have to congratulate you for the voluminous amount of patience and composure you have shown to those anemic people. I'm also glad you are noticing the degradation of service extended by most service-oriented companies. Buti ka nga, bangko pa lang. For the past several weeks, I can provide you with a litany of complaints I can assign to veritably ANY institution/company/restaurant/etc., even hospitals. My most recent brush with cretins involves PLDT. You can read some of my complaints in Sassy's blog. She has also been victimized by these imbeciles. Misery loves company, as they say.

Pero, ganun na lang ba? Puro misery na lang tayo? 2 months na akong walang dial tone, but hey, they efficiently never neglect to send me my monthly bills.

Where does the ineptness come from? May epidemic na ba ng kabobohan at katamaran na di natin napapansin? Hindi naman dating ganito.

Dr. Emer said...

I swear I can remember there's a poisonous mushroom somewhere that has a scientific name of Amanita


Yes, Dr Emer. She is a poisonous one alright. I hope she doesn't spread it to her employees.

Jules, this is totally hilarious!

Jules said...

ade: she's really stupid. it's a wonder why Equitable would want a manager like her.

jennie: that's right, she's not an animal. she's a virus.

missp: hehehe... good for you. banks should take care of your accounts, not be obstructionists.

dr. emer: that cracked me up. i guess there's always a bad apple in every bunch.

genius: well, her names really sounds like Amanita Chewbacca.

Kiko said...

Well this is concrete proof that even animals can work.. jeez if such a transaction can be processed in minutes at another branch, I can call it nothing less than INCOMPETENCE.

Jules said...

kiko: she's the epitome of incompetence! siguro hindi pina-ano ni mister.