I called the bank yesterday in order to transfer some money to someone. When the man on the phone had done my transfer, he asked me why I’d chosen to use telephone banking today, instead of doing it online, which, he pointed out, can often be more convenient and quicker? I told him that I didn’t have my card reader with me as I was in Hartlepool, not Sheffield. He said that he could send me another card reader in the post to my Hartlepool address, so I could have a reserve one if I ever wanted to transfer money while I was at my dad’s house, and this would mean that I wouldn’t need to use telephone banking. I thanked him for his concern, but informed him that I much prefer speaking to a human, as it is often less stressful than doing it online. “Well just to let you know sir that we have made improvements to our online banking facilities and many of our customers do prefer the service, finding it much more efficient and quicker than telephone banking.”
I found this quite an odd conversation to be having, baring in mind he worked in telephone banking. He was essentially talking down his service, and talking his way out of a job. Fair enough, he might be required to mention the online banking option, but it seemed a bit strange to be bigging it up so much, whilst dissing his own job. I’m not sure why I’ve just started talking street. Perhaps I am subconsciously trying to sound more like a yoof in order to be able to interact more effectively with all these eighteen-year-old girls I’m going to be meeting next month, not that I’ll have much time to waste talking with them; idle chit chatting time will eat in to the time that I could be having sex, which is, after all, the fundamental purpose of the exercise. (see yesterday’s Dollop if you’re confused. You really should try and keep up though.)
Or maybe this wasn’t an edict from management, and he actually just had massive self-esteem issues. At the end of the call he asked if I would be willing to take part in an anonymous customer service survey to rate his call with me today. Apparently it would only take about five minutes of my time. He’d just told me that people prefer to do online banking because it’s quicker, and now here he was suggesting that I spent another five minutes voluntarily on the phone to the bank. Was this yet another ploy from management to annoy people so much with their telephone banking service that they decided to do it online in future? My telephone banking experience had been completely stress-free, quick and highly efficient; it had taken less than five minutes to make my transfer. But then I’d spent an extra two minutes on the phone with the man, justifying why I’d chosen to use his service above another one which would essentially one day make him redundant. And now I was being asked to spend another five minutes on the phone, answering questions about the last five minutes.
I was worried that I might never get off the phone, as I might be connected to the person conducting the customer service survey, who then asks me why I’d chosen not to take the survey online, before inviting me to do another survey rating her call. I might spend the entire day being put through to people at the bank in order to rate the last person’s conversation with me, until eventually there are no more staff left to take my call and I end up being connected to the first person I was talking to who’d originally done my bank transfer all those hours ago.
“Aren’t you the person I was talking to right at the start who did my transfer?”
Yes, I’ve just been moved over to the survey side of the telephone banking operation, as I’ve been made redundant from the actual proper banking part of the telephone banking service due to everyone choosing to do their banking online. Anyway sir, I just need to ask you a few questions about the last call you had with my colleague who was asking you to rate the call with my colleague who you were talking to before that, and then I’ll pass you onto my other colleague who’ll ask you to rate your call with me.”
“But I’ve already rated your call?!”
“Yes but that was you rating my service earlier when I was doing your transfer. You haven’t yet rated my administering of the customer service survey.”
“You know what, I think I will bank online after all. Goodbye.”
“We knew you’d see sense in the end sir.”
But fortunately that didn’t happen, as it was an automated machine voice doing the survey. However, this was just as annoying as the scario I invented in the last paragraph, because the automated machine voice wanted me to speak in full sentences to it, even though it didn’t seem intelligent enough to actually understand them. I didn’t want to crush the man’s self-esteem even more by declining the offer to do the customer service survey, so I agreed, but after five minutes of trying to talk to a stupid, annoying machine about how stress-free my telephone banking experience was, I ironically began to get very stressed. The phone conversation with the human had been fine, but this was beginning to drive me insane. I gave up and put the phone down.
I then went to get my hair cut. The barber asked me how long it had been since I’d last been to the barbers. I told her that it was about two months, to which she told me that two months was far too long a time to go without having a hair cut, and that people should be going to the barbers every fortnight in order to keep their hairstyle as good as it was when they first got it cut. This is a woman who knows how to talk up her job. The man from telephone banking could learn from this lady; although there is absolutely no way I am going to get my hair cut every fortnight. I will be far too busy impregnating eighteen-year-old girls for that, and to be honest, With the amount of stress that my marathon impregnation sessions are no doubt going to cause me, I will probably start losing my hair pretty swiftly anyway.