Of all my banking relationships, the one in the UK is the most troublesome. I am not quite sure what is the problem. Whatever can go wrong does when it is most inconvenient. Fixing the problem is never as simple as one might imagine.
My cash card (ATM card) is an example. It is supposed to work anywhere in the world. In my experience, it works occasionally at the bank’s proprietary machines in the UK and nowhere else. I have gone through the normal problem solving channels without success. My recent visit did not get off to a good start.
“Can I help you?”
“Yes, my cash card is not working. Can you verify that my pin is working ok?”
“No, I cannot help you. However, I will see if someone can help you.”
The question repeats itself with a new player.
“Let’s see. Your account is deactivated. Do you have your telephone pin with you?”
“No, I did not plan on calling.”
“I know we are branch, but it is not our normal practice to help in this area. As an exception, let me see if I can help.”
As I explained the history of the problem and my repeated experiences, the service representative called the service center. As her conversations continued, her voice became sharper, strident, and harsh. I could see her skin darken. Etched lines began to appear on her face.
This could have easily been me. It had been before! I was watching a caricature of myself. As the exchange heated up, I struggled with the urge to interrupt. I am not the first. In the heat of an argument, “just as Paul was about to defend himself, Gallio interrupted and said to the Jews, ‘If this was a matter of criminal conduct, I would gladly hear you out. But it sounds to me like one more Jewish squabble, another of your endless hairsplitting quarrels over religion.’” (Acts 18.14, 15)
The problem was resolved. Three days later, it has reappeared. My card is not working. I hope the caricature does not reappear.