By Victor Edegbai
One thing about working in the bank is that you get to interact with people from all walks of life. The rich, the poor, the elderly, the young, the normal and the abnormal ones. When you are working in customer service sha, you will feel like the world is filled with crazy people. I dont know how it happens, but people always come with all their family problems to the bank and feel like the best place to pour it is on the head of the innocent customer service officer who probably havn’t had breakfast and it’s almost closing hours .
The numerous crazy demands could be overwhelming. You can just face down like this and when you raise it up, it’s already 5 pm. The weight was much. Perhaps that is why we looked forward to Friday night with Mr Peter. It was always an avenue to release the steam and the funny thing is that once we were together and drinking and vibing to music, all the event that nearly killed us at the office will now be a source of laughter.
Every one had something to recount. Let me just talk about a few customers that made so much impression on me in one way or the other. That is certainly not all of them, but I just cannot forget them in a hurry .
I will start with mama Finacle. Mama is always expecting money in her account. An elderly woman who was probably in her early eighties. We always knew when she is around. From the gate she will be shouting the names of staff she has come to know. “Chidioooo, give me my money.. onye choro Finacle, did I give my money to Finacle. Juliet , tell your brother oh. Vikitoooorrr, open my account let me collect my money.”
That is how she will shout from the gate, responding to greetings oh, calling some her sons and daughters , until she climbs up and come straight to Chidi, but when I look up to see if Chidi is attending to her, I will notice an empty seat. It will then dawn on me that when chidi said “Vic I dey come make I piss”, he was running away, leaving me alone with alone with mama Finacle . The woman will talk and talk oh. I wont even understand 95 percent of what she is saying because she talked fast and in igbo. The remaining 5 percent I understand will be “Finacle, balance my money, yem ego”.
Over time when ever Chidi says “Vic I dey go piss”, I will just say, “Abeg quick verify this Fixed Deposit befire you go” Before he will finish verifying, mama Finacle would already be before him. By the way, Finacle is a banking software, not a person.
There was Doc. In all my early days at the bank, Doc was one big man that had exceptional humility that I came across. While all those small small boys that just got freedom from their oga will be shouting “I will close my account today, you people are just slow, ….attend to me joor, …….do you know who I am” (with less than 100k for the account ). Doc, with millions, will just stay on the queue, noiseless , patiently waiting his turn. When it gets to him, he will politely make his request. He understood network challenges and would gently tell you to take your time, he will drop his number and ask you to call him when you are through.
Meanwhile some people are sitting on the ground oh, after explaining to them oh, giving the impression that the bank is still an old Bank when it has made more stride than the so called new generation Banks . Doc was later kidnapped during the kidnapping era and after killing him, the kidnappers collected ransom from the family and left the dead body. It was sad. We felt it. Chills covered us. How could humans be so wicked to themselves because of money?
There was Elsie. Beautiful, nice shape, good diction and apparently she has been toasted by all the guys at the branch and she no gree. She had this magnetic aura that is easily noticed. So I guess it confused her that this new guy no send say she don come patronise am 5 times and he didnt even do anything unbanking. I noticed her on the 6th time sha.
I had just don reconciliation on the bank draft account and I noticed that in that month, a particular account number had purchased and repurchased bank draft of the same amount, for the same beneficiary 5 times. I tell Chidi. Chidi was like “The person careless na. Wetin be your own, na to process and make sure you collect Bank charges”
So when she came the sixth time, I noticed her immediately I keyed in the account number. I raised my head to look at her. She smiled and I equally smiled. Then I asked her if there was any problem. She said No, that she has her reason for doing it all over. So I ignore her face my work. She then got up and said she cannot wait, that I should call her when I am done. Before i could even respond, o girl don write phone number drop am, comot in a hurry. Chidi just chuckled and chatted me on the our local chat room “Now you will soon understand why she is doing this transaction severally. Fine boy weybjo know when girl like am”. I just laughed. I finished processing and didnt find the paper I wrote the number. Three days pass, I no see the girl. One week, two weeks, I no see her. Then when internal auditors come begin dey raise exceptions, I called up her account, got her number and called her. The first thing she said was “is this Victor”. I said “Yes.” Then she said “I had to resolve that I will never come to First Bank again if you did not call me. You can throw the draftvaway, I only wanted you to call or give me your number”
That was the genesis of reverse toasting and reverse forming hard to get. Definition : reverse toasting and forming hard to get is where the person you are supposed to toast is now toasting you and you are now forming .
The conclusion of that reverse toasting story is in part 10. Just keep your fingers crossed. Then there was VERNICE. Hmmmmmmm.!
My mouth shut up.
Barr. Victor Edegbai AKA Grandpa is a father of many nations, positive thinker, and friend of many. I like trouble, because I be lawyer.