Friday, October 15, 2004

London calling

A comedy of errors by London Life Company Limited
BB - Big Bank
MW - Monica White


BB: Hello Big Bank, Vijay Speaking

MW: Hi - can you please put me through to the My Suburb branch?

BB: Sorry madam, I have to go through a security check with you. Can you give me your sort code, please?

MW: Sure - 12-34-56

BB: Can you give me your name?

MW: Monica White

BB: Can you give me your date of birth?

MW: 01/01/1901

BB: Can you give me your blood type, the first three letters of your third canary's name and what colour the eyes on the boy you liked in 6th grade were?

MW: Information duly given

BB: Can I have the first, third, ninth and sixty-second digits of your security code?

MW: 42, 42, 42, 42

BB: And can I just hear you blow air out of your left nostril for our sound verification check...

MW: *honk*

(The clink of the submachine guns being lowered is audible)

BB: What can I do for you today, Mrs White?

MW: As I said, I'd like to speak to someone in My Suburb's branch

BB: So you'd like me to put you through to Regent Street?

MW: No - I'd like you to put me through to My Suburb's branch

BB: That sort code refers to a Regent Street account

MW: Yes, I know it does, but I'd like to speak to My Suburb's branch

BB: Madam, your account is at Regent Street

MW: That's correct. However I had a new credit card sent to My Suburb's branch and I'd like to see if it's there waiting for me

BB: (Uncertain) Alright...I'll just put you through...

....muzak....muzak....muzak....

BB: I'm sorry Mrs White, the lines are busy

MW: Well...can you just give me the direct number so that I don't have to call Bombay every time I want to speak to someone 5 minutes walk away?

BB: I'm afraid I can't

MW: Why not?

BB: Because I don't know the number

MW: What?

BB: I don't know the number myself, madam

MW: So how do you put me through?

BB: It's an internal number

MW: So you have no idea how to call the branch from an outside line? You don't have a list of phone numbers there?

BB: No madam - but I can try to put you through to the Regent Street branch

(Regent Street, for those of you not familiar with London, is the very heart of the city - half an hour's journey from my door)

MW: And why would I want to speak to Regent Street?

BB: Because your account is held there, madam

MW: Yes, that's right. And I suppose they could somehow tell me if the card is sitting in My Suburb's branch office?

BB: I'm not sure madam, would you like me to put you through?

MW: No, no thanks - I'm not so terribly desparate for conversation that I'll call one of your branches pointlessly. How can I speak to someone at My Suburb?

BB: I will send an urgent message to them to call you - may I have your number please?

MW: You mean you don't have it?

BB: I'm sorry madam?

MW: After that rigorous security check delving into 5 generations of my family on my mother's side - meaning you have THAT information at your disposal, you're telling me that you don't have my TELEPHONE NUMBER stored on your systems?

BB: Yes madam

MW: *sigh*


...I really don't know what else to say...

M

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