I recovered from my ATM card loss recently and realised that I’d been dumb enough not to have applied for a new one…but well, my indecision on the date of my arrival at Trivandrum made me wait a lil’ longer — lest the card comes to Blore and I be at Trivandrum.
Well again, as always, 45 minutes prior to my journey, I realise I have no money on me — had to pay for the ticket and then fill my purse with a lil’ cash (last trip home, my mom opens my purse, gives me a tragic-cum-dirty-cum-pitiful look and says “Rs 5 is all you have on you??”…ahem, that hurt! ). Anyways, I rush into this ICICI Branch, see their tagline ‘hum hain naa’ and feel reassured…till I reach Counter 1.
Now, did I hear him right? “Listen, I am leaving the city in half an hour and I need cash urgently…” “Ma’am, do you have your cheque book?” “No, I dont…” “Then you cant withdraw cash, Ma’am. Ma’am, we are open till 7; you can come back with your cheque book and withdraw later…” I’m getting pissed off here! “Look, sir, I’m leaving the city in half an hour. I do not have the time to go home now!” “Sorry Ma’am, then you cant withdraw cash.”
Oh my god!! These people are unbelievable!! “Look, is there another option?” “Yes Ma’am.” And then silence. He’s blinking at me! Hmmm…ippo technique pidikitti… (now I understand the technique)…one has to ask question by question and get their answers … I am actually seething by now! “And what, may I ask, is the option?” “Ma’am, you can pay Rs 28 extra and get an emergency cheque leaf…” What the f***?!
Then I am directed to another counter. I hardly reach there before a bright face looks at me and says “May I help you?” “Listen, I’ve lost my ATM card, but i need to withdraw some ca” “Sorry Ma’am, you can’t.” I look at him with an expression that screams “WHAT THE F***!?” “Look, will you let me complete? Your friend there said I can get some kinda emergency cheque…” “Ok. Please wait Ma’am. This is your call slip. When you are called, please go to that counter.”
There are no other customers in that bank…but yet, I have to ‘wait’ for my turn! Ah, the counter screamed my number! Bless you, Counter! I walk over to the lady there and start off “I lost…” “You may please check the counter number, Ma’am.” GRRRRRR! I’m supposed to be at Counter 6, but am at Counter 5…grave mistake!! (The two counters are separated by a very clean, totally transparent glass pane which is half my height!) Why couldnt the b**** just say “Next Counter, Ma’am.”?? But no, I have to walk back, ‘check’ the callout display and figure out which Counter!!
When I finally reach the right Counter and explain my plight, her majesty says “No Ma’am. If you do not have your ATM card or your cheque book, you cannot withdraw cash.” I started losing my cool totally. “What the bloody… Look, lady! I am here for the damn emergency cheque. I’ll pay you 30 or 50 instead of just 28! Just gimme one of those.” “No Ma’am, since you have unused cheque leaves at home, we cannot issue an emergency cheque. This is our policy.”
Then I tore the call slip, threw it into the darned dustbin (wanted to throw at her, but well, I’m not an ICICI employee; so I have some sense and manners!), muttered undescribable prejoratives and walked out.
And now, to apply for a new card, the call centre guys and gals say “You’ll get one from any branch.” The branch ppl say “You’ll get it through the call centre.” Finally the branch people win…I am put through to the call centre gal who takes all my details, makes me hold the line forever and then says “Ma’am, we are unable to process your request. Please call after an hour.” After a few hours, I call again (yes, I need that card badly…and am willing to go through this one last time!), a guy picks up, takes all my details, requests me to hold on since he has to check something and then phutt! he hangs up. I’m left with that irritating automated lady who starts off with “Welcome to ICICI…”