Monday, 7 April 2008

Customer Served

Out of the corner of one eye, she looks at me then back at the paper she was writing on. “Abeg I can’t, I’m busy” was the scornful reply I got from this narrow ass cheaply clad tramp meant to be the cash teller behind the counter at this grimy looking bank, after I had asked her if she could give me the account number for a customer into whose account I was to pay money.

“Look here, you sad bitch, if you’re tired of the job go home and frustrate your poor ass husband, that’s if you’re lucky enough to have one” I sharply retorted without thinking.

I have had it with these so called new generation bankers that don’t know jack about civility least of all customer services. I could have been anyone for all she cared. All I needed was for the cheeky lass to attend to my request as I had edgily waited for over twenty minutes for my turn. Thinking she was going to give me the same attitude I had watched her give all the others in front of me was the wrongest move she was going to be making in a very long time. The second time in two days from another crappy bank? No way! I was alive, well and was having a bad day enough to give it to her.

Frowning her ugly face, with small tribal marks on the sides of her face by her eyes she looked up agape. “Please sir, be careful oh, what is it?” she told me

“Are you mad? Tell your father to be careful” pointing my pen at her.

“Ah ah sir, don’t be angry. What is the matter?” the cashier beside her, in an attempt to cool me down, interjected as she overheard my rantings”

“Imagine this dirty little rat, telling me that she’s too busy to attend to me when it has come to my turn. Is she drunk?”

Luckily, I had just found the piece of paper I had written the account number on tucked in one pocket inside my wallet. I scribbled the number on the slip and instructed her in a callously authoritative manner. “Take this money and pay it in, if you like put it in your purse”

There’s something about banks that can get me to one of the highest heights of aggravation especially in Port Harcourt, and today was going to be one of the days I was going to have my voice heard.

At this time her assistant manager had walked up behind her in time to hear the end of that brief wrangle. Seeing fire oozing from my nostrils, he apologised on her behalf then took the cash and deposit slip from her and asked me to come over for him to do himself. She tried to explain to him but he instructed her to forget it and attend to the next customer.

He wasn’t only an old school mate but we had lived together in NYSC camp and then in one room for the rest of the year somewhere in Egbaland. In his office, we briefly went over the incident. I told him I was not as angry as he thought, it was just ripe so it had to be plucked.

Truth be told; I felt a little sorry for the bit of hell I let loose on the unsuspecting poor girl. She didn’t see it coming was a plus for me. The day wasn’t mine and I was not going to let it be hers either.