DRAMA AT FIDELITY BANK; “THIS IS BANK NOT NIGERIA.”
A day that had been relatively quiet and gracefully sunny turned out dramatic as we went about the business at Fidelity Bank…
On my Dad’s request, I accompanied my younger sister to a bank in Enugu to pay her fees and subsequently, register at the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Enugu for training towards becoming a trailblazing journalist.
A day that had been relatively quiet and gracefully sunny turned out dramatic as we went about the business.
At Fidelity Bank located along Ogui Road, I walked up to a lady dressed in a suit and asked for where we could pay the said fees.
“Walk into the bulk room.” She replied, pointing to a crowded section of the bank.
On our way to the bulk room, an inscription on a bill hanged on the wall struck me. Our mission: “To make financial services available and accessible to our customers.”
Those words lingered in my mind for a while as I ruminated on it in relation to my dream of building a big chain of businesses.
The Bulk Room was stuffy and crowed; the kind of situation that made you feel trapped and yearn for a breath of fresh air.
As my sister went about the procedures, I waited patiently for the opportunity to claim one of the three spots on the only seat in the room. As soon a guy stood up, I sat, heaving a sigh of relief.
When I got tired of watching CNN drool over the death of legendary Pop singer, David Bowie, I plugged in my pair of ear pieces to listen to audio messages from Pastor Bankie, my way of filling the time.
I was still engrossed in the messages when I heard someone shout in a frustration-laden voice, “What kind of bank is this? How can I be in this bank for two hours? I am tired!”
Surprised at someone shouting in such a public place, I paused the audio and looked up to see this young man, who according to my estimation, was in his late twenties. He stomped out of the bulk room, fuming.
I saw him barge into the main banking hall. “Where is the General Manager of this bank?” He asked, targeting no one in particular.
Silence enveloped the hall; typical of the secondary school scenario when a cane-wielding principal walked into a noisy classroom.
The silence persisted as customers fixed their eyes on him with varying expressions on their faces. On sighting a pot-bellied man standing at the Fund Transfer section, he moved briskly towards him.
The young man started to lament angrily. “I have been here since 11….” He paused to dab off beads of sweat on his forehead. “And I have not been attended to.”
After another brief pause without any response from the supposed manager, he went further, “You have many people here but left one person to collect school fees and we are suffering.”
“Calm down.” The pot-bellied supposed manager said with a tone of indifference.
“We will soon attend to you” A lady working in that section placated.
“The queue is not moving. There is no AC (Air conditioner) in the room. There is just one person there attending to us…” He stopped to fan himself with his hand.
“You will soon be attended to.” Another worker chipped in.
Was he later attended to soon? Yes. Shortly after the scene, a directive was issued to get him and some other people to form another queue to pay.
As I watched the drama, the journalist in me arose. What gave this guy the guts to voice out his frustration? I wondered. I tried to dismiss the question as unnecessary but couldn’t. It made me restless. The curiousity tugged at me.
Finally, I walked up to him waiting on the queue. “Good afternoon sir.” I greeted.
“Bros how far na?” He regarded me.
“You don pay?” I tried to establish a rapport.
“Yes.” He nodded. “Remaining to convert the teller.”
“You were not the only person affected. Why did you talk like that?”
“I was dying!” He exclaimed. “I left my office at 11 am. This is 1pm yet, nobody had attended to me. Someone had to raise an alarm.”
While my younger sister was on the queue to convert her teller, I noticed that some students were picking wrapped sweet and chewing gum from a tray on the customer service table.
“Guy, how u take get that?” I asked one of them, a young man like myself.
“Go collect your own. Na your money o”
We both laughed.
To my shock, the guy dropped the gum wrap on the floor of the bank.
“Guy, pick that paper na. There are waste paper baskets in this bank.” I told him.
“Leave that thing jare. This is bank, not Nigeria!”
He refused to pick the paper because, “If I pick it what would the cleaners be doing as their job?”
Such a mentality. So much drama for a day. 11th day of 2016 has indeed been eventful for me!
Thanks to my Chief Editor/Critic, Chika Ugwuodo of Chika Writes for taking time to edit this story. You are more than a friend!
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