Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bank Misery, Part VII

Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V Part VI

I thought I would check this morning with Yelena of Bank Discount to confirm my 1PM appointment with Hagai. Imagine my surprise when the person who answered my call said, "Yelena doesn't work here any more." I recovered quickly enough to ask whether Hagai was still planning to meet me at 1PM, and the guy who answered said, "Yes."

So I gathered all possible documents together and was about to step out at 12:45 when my Intercom buzzed.

Voice: It's Hagai from Bank Discount.
Hagai: Yes.
Me: I thought we were meeting at the branch office.
Hagai: G_d forbid!

It took him a couple of minutes to climb the 43 steps to my apartment, but I was still amazed. Who ever heard of a banker making house calls? And such a banker: he was in his early- to mid-twenties, wearing an open sports shirt, slightly better-groomed than the PazGaz technician, but not my idea of a banker.

We established that he was indeed here to expedite the transfer of my standing orders from Bank Mizrahi to Bank Discount, and he pulled out a sheaf of forms, one for each utility: city tax (arnona), health fund (Kupat Holim), etc., etc. I had the info he needed: my account number for each, and my signature. We finished our business in about 15 minutes, and then I couldn't resist asking him:

Me: What happened to Yelena?
Hagai: She got fired?
Me: Why? (hoping for a scandal, I admit)
Hagai: Seven people in the department got fired because of the economy.
Me: Why didn't you get fired?
Hagai: I work free-lance. I get paid by the visit. I'm a student. It's a part-time job.
Me: What are you studying?
Hagai: Economics.
Me: Hah! Good Luck!
Hagai: Bye.

We won't know until May whether this meeting was a success or not, but I like the idea of the bank coming to me for a change.


Anonymous said...

Oh, this sounds so familiar. I could tell you horror stories about trying to transfer branches IN THE SAME BANK (granted, that was 17 years ago).

As for your bank person being fired, no, she was LAID OFF. Huge difference. Granted, it is the same word in Hebrew, but not in English! 'Fired' implies cause (the scandal you were looking for).

Savtadotty said...

Leah, I have a theory about why it could still be worse to transfer branches in the same bank. There is a chance that the people involved know each other and old internecine rivalries can interfere with getting anything done. Or else, perhaps things were just worse 17 years ago (hard as it is to imagine).