Someday the fires will keep on burning…

Posted: 16th October, 2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I was sitting in the lunch room today and happened to glance down to my side to see a copy of The Sun ‘newspaper’. I put that in inverted commas for reasons that will become painfully evident in a few minutes. Anyway, in said ‘newspaper’ was an article written by what I can only assume was a journalist, seeing as he has a regular column. I read the article, since it pertained to the industry in which I currently hold employment.  Actually, article needs to be in inverted commas as well, but now I’m being mildly petty. I feel it a moral and societal obligation to reply to this article with a letter of my own, since it is so far removed from actual news, or even anything approaching factual insight. I’ll copy and paste the article in full below, and here’s a link to it if you want to read other people’s comments. The comments themselves are quite revealing about the state of some people who roam this nation, actually allowed to vote.

I DID something on Monday that I have wanted to do for 30 years.

I gave my bank manager the mother and father of all earfuls.

I’m thinking of making it available on a podcast.

For decades I have had to bow and scrape to the bank and their stuck-up staff who look down on my best efforts.

Monday was different. Monday was the day that the Royal Bank of Scotland was nationalised.

So now I own them. And by God were they going to pay.

I warmed up by pointing out to the manager that he was a failure. Now the lowest of the low, a civil servant.

And no matter how my bank account had looked over the years, I was a success.

At least I had money in my account and that’s more than can be said for RBS.

In future I don’t need your advice on what businesses to set up or become involved in. You haven’t got a clue. Your business is skint.


Secondly, from now on in I want to be treated like a valued customer and not somebody who appears to be getting in the way of the smooth running of the bank.

That will involve him smiling when I approach rather than looking as though one of us has trodden in something rather disgusting.

Thirdly, never again were they to offer me advice about what to do with my money. He didn’t know anything.

Bank executives are largely idiots who can just about print the stuff but that’s it.

Finally, I wanted him to promise that he would hire extra staff so he would get rid of the queues and stop making mistakes on my account.

My rather vile rantings were met with either “quite right” or silence.

My impression was that he had been receiving quite a lot of customer advice that day. The power has shifted forever.

We the customers are the masters now. Promise me this morning that you will contact your manager and warn him or her that unless you are better treated you will take your overdraft elsewhere.

Right, that’s the whole article. How do we all feel? Suitably literaryly violated? Yeah, I’m allowed to make up words, because at least what I write makes sense, you fucking cretin. Like I said, I’m afraid I see it as my duty to reply to the ‘article’. My reply is below, and will be posted as a comment to the article, emailed to the author, and quite possibly be distributed elsewhere.

I did something today that I’ve wanted to do for years, as well. I wrote a letter in reply to a journalist who penned an article so far removed from actual journalism I had to use a map to connect the two.

There are so many things wrong with your article that I’ve genuinely no idea where to start, but perhaps firstly I should state I work for a bank. Not, I’d like it known, the Royal Bank of Scotland, before you jump on a soap-box and assume I’m merely trying to defend my own.

Do you really think anyone at branch level had anything to do with the current economic climate the country finds itself in? Really? To clarify, the reason the country is in such monetary hardship at the moment is down to the decisions and choices made at the very highest level of the UK (and the US’s) major banks, not the people in direct contact with the public every single day. Calling the local branch manager a failure is much akin to calling the boy who polishes the shoes of the England football team a failure when the team loses the world cup.

The staff and managers in the branches are doing the best they can to actually calm and reassure the general public that their money is going to be ok. We don’t sit around behind closed doors cackling to ourselves about taking all your worldly wealth – our job is to try and save our customers money in whatever way we can and make their lives easier, not grab more of it for the bank. You venting your anger, frustration, or just having a shout because for some bizarre reason you think you have the right to would only have made the manager and the staff of the branch feel unappreciated and hated when they’re just as affected (if not moreso) as everyone else by the state of the nation’s finances. You think we have job security at the moment?

Secondly, you have no right to walk into a bank (or any service establishment, for that matter) and shout at the staff for some perceived mistreatment on your part. I am disgusted by your attitude to this matter, and even more so to the fact that you openly encourage others to do so when the staff of banks are clearly having a hard enough time of things at the moment as it is. Just because people work in a service environment, that does not mean they’re there to fall over at your every whim and desire to please you. We’re still people and deserve to be treated with respect. More to the point, perhaps, just perhaps the negative attitude you think you experienced from the staff of your bank is because you always enter the place with such an air of disdain and contempt about yourself that they’re in no way incentivized to be anything other than cordial to you? One wonders if you ever tried walking in there with a smile and a ‘good morning’? That was rhetorical, I already know the answer. Ever heard of projection? Smiles are infectious, but so are scowls.

Oh, by the way, the Royal Bank of Scotland aren’t owned by the government now, they’re a majority share-holder. There’s a subtle difference. Bank employees are not civil servants, but so what if they were. Where on Earth do you think you’d be without civil servants. What makes people who work in the service of the country the “lowest of the low”? As opposed to, say, an arrogant little man with a huge chip on his shoulder who specializes in writing inflammatory and spiteful remarks simply for the sake of his own self-satisfaction.

To be honest, the entire tone and content of your ‘article’ speaks hugely of a massive grudge you have with banks, and that’s nothing to do with the climate currently. Did they give you a few bank charges in the past? Refuse to give you a loan or increase your overdraft? Perhaps you should start taking some responsibility for yourself and your own actions and realise banks don’t do things like that for fun and frolics. It was your fault. Instead of practising incredibly poor journalism and writing things entirely designed to antagonise, why don’t you try writing something useful. Part, a really large part of why the country is in such a bad state at the moment is down to journalists like you writing shocking articles such as this and stirring up public worry, fanning the fire of mass-panic. The public look to you for guidance in matters they’re not fully conversant in – you have a responsibility to them to advise accordingly, yet all you can do is tell people to go and shout at a perfectly innocent cog in a huge machine.

Do you think your little rant at the manager made any difference whatsoever except to make him dislike you even more than he already invariably does? It didn’t. He replied with “quite right” and silence because it’s the quickest and most efficient way to get obnoxious people out of your face. Oh, and as for your threat of taking your overdraft somewhere else? From the sounds of it, the staff in your bank would be elated if you did. And trust me, we don’t want your type of business – you aren’t a valued customer. And if your account is run as badly as you tried not to indicate, most other banks won’t want your business either.

Dick. Well, that took a while. But I’m quite impressed. I didn’t swear at all. I know, I know, I used a few long words, and he is staff of The Sun so he’ll have to look them up, but still. It was good for a laugh.

Off to go and… not write for a while.

  1. […] compliments on my reply to the journalist who wrote that fucking atrocious article that I posted in this entry (though not one comment on it, people – disappointed). I also know from past experience that […]

  2. Talk about verbal foamage says:

    After moving to a new state, I had to open a new bank account. Due to my like of small local banks, my last bank did not have an locations in my new home state. I vetted several banks in the area, going into each one, talking to the people behind the counter, gathering their pamphlets. I made my decision not based on the lineage of the bank, or the stock worth, or who the president of the bank was, or by the size of the corporation, but by the warmth of the welcome I, as a total stranger, was given by the tellers.

    The bank with the most genuinely friendly people were the ones who got my business. And even though my little town bank has been bought and sold 3 times in 2 years, and is now owned by one of the biggest banks in the country, I still see the same 3 faces when I go to my branch. Still smiling, still just as friendly, even though now they know me. haha.

    So, you are totally correct about yelling at the bank employees as if they were the ones who caused any of this. About as much common sense as yelling at the kid at the take-out place because McDonald’s decided to drop your favorite sandwich from the menu.

    Although, I do believe the kid who polishes the shoes of the English World Cup team should be flogged if they lose for not helping harder.

    This blogger-posing-as-news-reporter should find himself lucky to not have the public do the same to his profession. How many days do we have to watch/read ‘news’ that has nothing to do with actual news, but personal opinion, corporate interests, or sensational emotionalism? Breaking stories usually involve a celebrity and their habit of choice.

    I suspect this newspaper man did nothing he claimed he did, and in fact is just acting out with an infantile response on paper. And due to his lack of emotional maturity and common sense he ended up sounding like a raving lunatic.

    My hope is any sane person in that bank that day would have gotten an insane case of the giggles as he performed his monologue. And filmed it! Nothing says nutjob like a guy performing Crazy in a bank.


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