Arrive at ATM to find there is no queue.This is too good to be true, I tell myself.
It is: the ATM sports a message, ‘Sorry; this ATM is closed, please call back later’.
This has happened before. Often. So I know what to do.
I enter the bank and approach the Help Desk.
‘The ATM isn’t working’, I say.
The man at the desk looks askance, as if he has no clue what I’m talking about.
‘The ATM – the one outside – it’s not working’, I say.
Without a word, he picks up his phone and I think that he’s going to call somebody to fix the machine so I can get my money and get on with my bloody day.
But no. Instead he relays the message about the ATM to a passer-by. Bank manager? ATM fixer? Another customer? I have no clue.
In any event, the message doesn’t get through; I’m still sitting at the Help Desk (wanting to scream loudly, “Help! Somebody please HELP ME”.
Instead I start again, ‘The ATM outside isn’t working’. At that point the phone on the Help Desk rings and the man answers, ‘It’s working now’, he says.
Oh goody. I dash outside trying not to look greedy, fishing my card out of my bag as I go. Get to ATM, screen still stubbornly reads, ‘Sorry, this ATM is closed …”
Stomp back inside, to the Help Desk and say, ‘It’s not’.
‘What’, says the man,
‘It’s not working, the ATM isn’t working, you said it was’.
‘Please take a seat’, says the man.
Feeling a bit silly, I do. He picks up the phone, dials a number, and reports the ATM.
I sit shuffling and notice on his desk an electronic questionnaire machine, sort of muliple choice, you can punch a button indicating how good – or otherwise, all the way down to ‘Terrible’ the service has been. Bloody mindedly I am tempted to press all the ‘Terrible’ buttons but worry a siren might sound and everybody will know I’m a whinge bag.
Ten minutes later and the man’s desk phone rings again, he picks it up and then reports, with some satisfaction, ‘The ATM isn’t working’.
I know I say, as calmly as I am able.
‘It will be working in ten minutes’.
I rise to leave, ‘There are other ATMs in town’, he tells me, ‘At Exim bank and Stanbic’.
Good, I think, more adrenaline fixing venues.
I like to think this is because he wants me to press the ‘Service – World Class’ button on his electronic questionnaire but I think it’s probably because he hopes never to see me again.