Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Strike 23

You know how you sometimes you have this *idea* or, perhaps just an inkling that some people are just dumb?  And then it turns out that the unfortunate truth is, you were right all along?  

This kind of revelation is met with mixed emotions though,  since on the one hand your suspicions have been confirmed, and who doesn’t like to be right?  But on the other hand, you realise you’re trying to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys.


I mean,  I realise that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer,  but when it comes to certain things like say, exchanging numbers over the phone or filling out forms?  I try to be pretty careful.  I make sure I write sh*t down,  usually as the conversation is taking place so as to not completely bugger things up.  I just know that,  I ain’t got no “steel trap” in the brains department.  So, I work around it.  There, I said it.  Pen, paper, eye glasses.  Good to go. Always best to know your limitations.


So what have I got up my a$$ today?

Well,  here’s the thing.  Back when we were wrapping things up in Wienerland, I made a little visit to our Bank Austria branch out on Mariahilferstra├če to close our account,  but leave it open long enough to pay one or two bills that we had coming in.  You know, there was an Amex bill,  and a couple of the fine folks who provided us with things like internet and such, either owed us money or we owed them money or whatever.  Like that.

But then just recently, we couldn’t quite fathom why we were still able to log onto our Bank Austria account,  and see that there’s still some €870 in there.  That money is supposed to be transferred over to our bank here in Canada.  We’re into March here.  We’re supposed to be *done*.

I don’t know how you are in terms of being able to make your mouth work (i.e. communicate) at seven in the morning,  but of course with the six hour time difference,  I had to get off my duff this morning and call Austria right around that time.  Some of the folks in that branch could speak English, but not all.  So that meant muddling along in German.  Fun times.  Maybe I should have done a couple “warm ups”?    I managed, but geez.

And it turns out that the person that answered the phone knew EXACTLY who I was and why I was calling.  Two things in play: First of all,  call display I guess,  and the fact that the transfer was refused last Thursday some time and they weren’t quite sure how to contact us.  The chances of them calling us here in Canada would be slim to none,  so we arranged to exchange email addresses.  Got that working,  after a couple attempts.


Well,  here comes the stupid part.   I had provided them with all the information that had been given to us by the branch down the street here,  and it turns out IT WAS WRONG.   And no, I didn’t copy it wrong.  I scanned the document that had been filled out by the bank and given to us.  I figured it was the safest way to not make an error.  I’d like to refer you back the “knife in the drawer” analogy.

I’ve lost count.  Maybe it’s only “strike 22”?   We passed “strike three” with these boneheads years ago,  and I actually stopped keeping count. 

I’m still waiting for the Branch Manager to call me back from some back and forth we had over a year ago.  She was going to call me “no matter what”.   Right.  Good thing I didn’t hold my breath.  I hate when people say they’ll do something “no matter what”,  and then conveniently forget.

Of course,  to find out that there was one extra “one” in the account number has taken me most of the day.  The bank here has “banker’s hours”,  and of course the Bank in Austria is already closed.  Thankfully I have the person’s email,  and I’m sure she’ll check my note first thing tomorrow morning when she comes in to work.  We might get our money by spring time.

Time to take a deep breath.


Here’s the problem as I see it.  The employees of this bank, our bank here in Canada, (and this is a blanket statement that applies to all financial institutions that have more than one location. *Sorry*)  who have any kind of a brain in their head whatsoever,  end up getting transferred out to either another branch or to a position of higher responsibility/authority/whatever.   It’s mostly to their level of incompetence I should imagine, but what that really means is,  all the cr*p that’s left over is what you end up with at your local branch. And then there are a certain number of “newbies” of course. 

We have the same dough heads in there that we’ve had for the last twenty years.  God help us,  every one.

Of course,  we could change banks,  and we may very well do that,  but I’m not sure that’s the solution.  Gonna switch out one set of retards for another?  Why?

Besides which, I can almost SEE the branch from our front lawn.   I can walk there.  I HAVE walked there.  It’s handy.  As long as I don’t ask them to do any actual banking, everything runs as smooth as a baby’s arse.  But just don’t ask them to say, answer the phone.  Oh boy, that’s a challenge. 

Hey, I was nice.  Really.  The lady who answered the phone was helpful.  She can’t help it if she works with a bunch of dummies.  She gave me some new information.  Of course, it was only SLIGHTLY different than the first information.  Getting “close enough” only works in horseshoes.  This could also explain why the very smart people who do Travelling Companion’s expenses are having difficulty transferring funds into our account.  Maybe?


We can only now wait and see.


No pictures today.  Too miserable.


Thanks for stopping in.




  1. Think maybe pretty frustrated???
    Good luck with that banking stuff.

  2. Well, at the least, I can sympathize. A couple years ago we went to the Mediterranean for a month... got our ATM card ... tried it out (yeah.. it works), called the bank to let them know we'd be using it.... got to Spain... nada... nil... nothing. We were lucky to have another source of money. Got back.. called the bank... seems the person we talked to never informed anyone else we'd be using it out of country. So.. good luck with those dodos you're trying to communicate with!

  3. Yes, banking institutions. Ever wonder why they call them "institutions"?

  4. Love Paul's comment about institutions! Hate hate hate new tellers each and every week. Always mistakes and problems.

  5. We bought a small house this summer back in Ohio. Went to our old bank and had a great experience. I think it really helped that they all knew us.
    Since we travel most of the time, all of our banking is done on line. No tellers...yeah!

  6. Loved the swapping out of retards on for another....analogy.....HA!!! Just think you have so much time invested training this group of tards and you would have to start all over on the next batch..... Go slow and take a deep breath... don't confuse them now..... easy....... and for land sakes don't use any colorful language, they might hang up on you...... LOL

  7. Jaja..I know: banks, insurance companies. lawyers...all kind of office personel - it's always the same with that "we call you back a.s.a.p. Never happens!

  8. Been there, done that. Remeber the time we came to Canada. Giro?? What's that? International money wiring? Never heard about?
    We asked ourselves: did we go back in time?
    Things like that was as normal as breathing in the old World for over 20 years! Ever heard about modern America??? Maybe 20 years down the road.... Well, it has slightly improved since then, but only slightly.....

  9. I don't know what to say. Have liked your blog OK enough up till now, but as a "banker" for the past 36 years I've sure run into my own share of "tards" from the other side of the fence.....
    Just sayin......

  10. I know. I thought I'd get just a little heat from somewhere or other. But really? When a bank employee doesn't check to make sure an account number is accurately written down? On a VERY important piece of paper. Please.
    Besides, customers don't need to be all that bright to "qualify" to put their money in the bank. It's the ones on the OTHER side of the counter that need to be the sharper ones.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.