Saturday, March 05, 2005

Pet peeve

Ever since Bank of America acquired Fleet Bank (the bank which Harvard draws upon to write its paychecks. Who knows where the real money is squirreled away - whether it's in a Swiss Bank Account, the Caymans, or a cache of gold Krugeraands buried somewhere in Harvard Yard!), I've noticed that there have been a few annoying changes in the way they do business.

First off, they're even more aggressive than the Fleet people were in trying to convince you to open a checking account with them. I've been cashing Harvard's checks at Bank of America -> Fleet -> BankBoston -> BayBank every other week for over six years now, and I swear that more than 50% of the time I get harrangued by an overzealous teller trying to make me feel worthless because I don't do my banking with BankBank™. Yesterday I wasn't quick enough with my customary preemptive "No, thank you!" and ended up being forced to fill out a card so they could call me at my convenience to sell me that bank account I don't want. Good thing I screen my calls!

But the real nuisance at the Harvard Square branch is the presence of roving management, who hover around the line looking for people who just want to do a regular deposit, which they take for them and hand-process on the spot. Of course only a paranoid and technophobic few still insist on standing in line to do something as routine as a bank deposit when there are myriad ATMs available upstairs, so what the floating managers tend to do is just stand there and float until the next throwback queues up to make a straight deposit, leaving the rest of us to wait for one of the handful of tellers.

Think about this one for a second - why are people who are probably getting paid two to three times the average teller performing the function of an ATM for the clueless when they could just as easily staff a couple of windows in the back during the peak hours and make life easier for everyone who was in line for a legitimate purpose? I'd love to try and untangle the managerial train of thought which got the bright idea that the best use of its supervisors was to waste their time (as well as ours)

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