Opinion: Senior line (at RBC Bank)

POSTED: 03/5/14 10:22 AM

I have (almost) always appreciated the senior line at the RBC bank. I mean, maybe it’s no fun being over 60 years of age, but when I see the younger people with banking business in the other line I have to admit that age has its perks. Imagine this: when I’d just turned 60 and qualified for the senior line I did not really want to be seen there. However, the vain notion of not wanting to be considered old disappeared quicker from my psyche than I thought possible.

Yesterday I hit the senior line around noon. Being the only one in line, I thought I would conclude my business super-quick. But I had not counted on the teller. I am thinking now that this poor misguided lady did not pay a lot of attention during RBC’s customer service 101 training. Or maybe she called in sick that day. Or maybe RBC never offered such a training.

What happened?

“Senior line?” The teller inquired while I was standing in the senior line. Nothing wrong with her eyes, I dare say.

I brightly confirmed that, indeed – lest there was going to be some terrible misunderstanding – I was standing in the senior line.

“That line,” the teller muttered (barking would be too strong an expression, even though it certainly felt that way).

Horrified I looked to my left and to the line of – let’s be conservative here – at least fifteen people with that I-am-bored-to-death look on their faces. If I had to be in that line I would probably put on a similar facial expression – no offense to the waiting RBC-clients.

“No, no,” I pleaded, “Western Union.”

No cigar folks, and no mercy either. The teller repeated her mantra. “That line. I going lunch now.”

I thought better of correcting her poor grammar, mainly because I was royally pissed off about her decision to put her lunch before the bank’s clients. No wonder their profits are tanking, I thought with some satisfaction.

And why do banks always send their employees for lunch when there is a long line of clients waiting to be served? That was certainly the case in the non-senior line. Boy, clients have to blow their complete lunchtime on banking business, only because the bank apparently does not understand that it makes sense to deploy more tellers when there are more customers in the house. What arrogance.

Maybe RBC could force the teller, and others with a similar lousy attitude to read Tony Hsieh’s landmark book Delivering Happiness. To me that is the best book ever written about customer service. With a bit of luck – we’re talking tellers at a banking institution after all – the penny will drop.

Sigh, since the Western Union office on the Pondfill is closed for unclear reasons, I guess I’ll have to make the trip to Cole Bay to send some money to Lieke, my youngest granddaughter. Good thing the little darling is not aware of all this. She is only six weeks old, but I’m going to give her some early career advice. Never become a bank teller, at least not one with a lousy attitude. I think I will send her a copy of Tony Hsieh’s book.

Hilbert Haar

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