Do you feel like standing in a line for over two hours? Well of course no one really likes standing in long lines. If you are doing a transaction at the bank however consumers are prepared for a long wait. A visit to the The Bank of Nova Scotia, Constant Spring Road branch certainly took waiting to another level.
I arrived at the bank on February 2, 2017 at one o’clock and with only around ten persons in front of me, I settled down to what I hoped to be a short wait. After twenty minutes I noticed no one had moved so I glanced at the teller stations and I noticed that there was only one teller at the section for the line.
She seemed to be going extremely slowly and a customer stated that she might be new and inexperienced. My heart sank as I realized that no move was being made to fill the other stations.
One customer suddenly erupted in anger after an additional half an hour of waiting, and his voice could be heard throughout the bank as he asked for more tellers to be added to the counters. His cries of frustrations were laced with expletives and both security and management remained silent.
After ten minutes of ranting, I thought surely someone will address the situation, but no one from the management team responded it was simply business as usual. The staff averted their eyes and continued working. The man continued to lament that he had now used his entire lunch time and would now have to leave the bank. He left his space in the line and stormed out and did not return.
The only teller then placed a closed for lunch sign at her station. The manager spoke to her and she removed the sign and we were informed she was only doing deposits. The ire of the waiting crowd was increased as now persons were being called from the line ignoring those who were waiting because of the nature of their transactions.
The teller continued for another twenty minutes then once again put up the closed for lunch sign and this time it was not removed. The customers were now wondering what would happen and eventually the protests began again. This time the security personnel asked the man who was advancing towards the counter as he vented his frustrations to return to the front of the line.
As all this was taking place, one man shouted that the bank did not care about their customers as not even the water fountain had any water for their customers. Amid the scattering of laughter at this declaration, I realized that the strength of Jamaican consumers is their ability to make the best of any situation and provide support as everyone started to share their experiences at various branches.
After two hours in the bank, I left in a reflective mood. Another teller had finally placed at a station and she helped me to complete my transaction. The truth is as consumers we all have choices, the thrust is to use the bank’s online services. However, not everyone is comfortable with using that avenue and there are some transactions that require a visit to the bank.
Before I left the bank I tried unsuccessfully to engage the manager in a discussion about the incident. There is always a solution and it is important that anyone who interacts with the public be sensitive and diplomatic in how they resolve conflicts. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist is not the answer.
So what’s your take on the issue?
Let me hear from you!
Teri Ann Paisley
Gleaner online writer