Just One of Those Days

Between you and me, in my opinion, Melide is not the customer service capital of the world. Jeff describes it as All or Nothing. It’s either the best experience you’ve ever had, or the worst. And for me, it’s completely head scratching at times.

Today was one of those days. I had to go to the Correos office (Post office) to check on a package sent from here to a German friend. She has never received it, and it’s been a month. I also had a pocket knife she left at our house and I was mailing that to her, as well.

They looked up the first package and told me they knew nothing, except it is in Germany – somewhere. So much for package tracking in the year 2021. Then I said I wanted to mail her the Swiss Army knife she left at our house. The man looked horrified.

‘You can not mail a knife!’ As though I’d been dropped on my head as a child. ‘Its going on an airplane.’

This seemed curious to me. It’s in a padded envelope. ‘It will be in a container with other packages in the cargo hold of the aircraft. Where people with checked suitcases have their Swiss Army knives. The Flight Attendant isn’t carrying it in her apron.’

Surprise! This comment got me nowhere and didn’t endear me to the Correos guy. ‘You will have to find another way.’

‘And what would that be?’ I asked him. ‘I’m completely serious. Perhaps finding another German Pilgrim who is walking the opposite direction from Santiago, back home to Dusseldorf?’ Madness. I just shook my head and texted my friend. She will pick it up in the Spring when she visits.

Then I went to the bank. A new bank since ours has closed it’s branch here. We were not unhappy about the closure. The guy was so expertly rude every time we went there, he would stand outside smoking while a line formed inside, and he was the only person working in that bank branch. So I asked friends for recommendations, but none of them live in or near us in Galicia. I need to open another personal account, and then a business account in January when we begin buying things, etc. for our business. I had gone to the new bank once before but they turned me away without all the requisite documents I needed. I had gathered them today, so I went to get it done. This was my first mistake.

I went in and waited for the Director. In Spain, there is more of a hierarchy to things. I had to speak to that guy. To me, it’s like pantomime. Lots of posturing. If the dude is in a suit he will preen like a peacock. Other workers will defer to him like he’s the Oracle at Delphi. It’s weird to us Americans. Our important people and billionaires don’t wear suits. If you are important in the US you wear whatever the hell you damn well feel like. Even at work. Hoodies, old t-shirts, ripped jeans, pajamas and a pair of Louboutins to the grocery store. I’m not kidding. Dealer’s choice. In Spain, they look at you like you’re homeless.

The Director at a bank branch makes what a person working at McDonalds in the US makes. Except he is in a suit and doesn’t get a free meal with every shift. But it doesn’t matter. I needed him to open an account. They all ignored me. Almost to the extreme. Looking around me to help other customers. The bank manager gives me the once over. I sit down at his desk and refuse to leave. He sees my documents and he is forced to help me.

‘Well, I think it will be a problem for you. Maybe not today. But when you want to open your business account in January you will need to deposit €3,250. That’s the rule.’ Then he waited for my reaction.

‘And?’ I asked, confused.

‘It’s a lot of money. Do you have that much money?’

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I held up my Celine tote I was using to cart my documents to the bank and I shook it. Sure, usually I carry a €2 Decathlon mini-backpack around town. But not today. I got nothing. No reaction. Clearly, Mr. Bank Manager is no connoisseur of $3,000 handbags.

‘I think I can manage it.’ I assured him.

But he looked skeptical. ‘And where would that kind of money come from?’ He asked over his mask. Like I was going to have to rob my children’s piggy banks.

I laughed. He was serious. ‘From my account in the US.’

‘Can you prove it?’

I smiled, but he couldn’t see that. ‘Yes. I can prove it.’

‘Well.’ He told me. ‘It’s a lot of money. Perhaps you should think about it and come back.’

‘I don’t need to think about it.’ I told him.

‘Go speak to your husband and come back if you want to proceed.’

The dude was serious.

‘My husband will not be on this account. Based on the advice from our Spanish accountant.’ I told him.

‘Still. Speak to him.’

I was aghast. It was like a bad joke. A very bad joke. I rose, gathered my documents, walked outside, dialed Jeff, then regaled all of Melide with what the word ‘Fuck!’ sounds like in American ingles, in all it’s many forms. His hair blew back through the phone. ‘Fucking joking!’ ‘Fucking idiot!’ ‘Fucking patronize ME in his cheap-ass fucking suit?!’ I played all the hits for the old men with their canes on benches in the square as I marched my way to the car.

So now, I will head into Lugo tomorrow to go to my ITV appointment. I have to get our newly installed trailer hitch inspected and added to our ITV certification. And I’ll go to the bank there and see if I can get an account opened for myself. Jeff says I should go back to the bank with my statements after I open a new account in Lugo, and pull a Pretty Woman on Mr Bank Manager. ‘Remember me? I was in here before and you wouldn’t help me. See this number? <pointing to the balance> ‘Big mistake. Huge!’ <Swirling out the door, with a wave> ‘I gotta go shopping.’ But for now, I just hope and pray tomorrow is not another one of those days.

11 thoughts on “Just One of Those Days

  • This whole exchange with the bank manager just makes me smile. From everything, I have read and heard banks in Spain are very difficult to deal with. Then, add on this guy who thinks you need your husband’s permission to do something. That is a recipe for disaster. We just had a similar situation with B of A here in CA. My wife, a fully capable amazing person calls the bank to take care of some of her family business and is transferred to what we learned was a VP at the bank. The guy was flat our rude and then actually told her he was going to hang up on her. BIG MISTAKE! A few days ago we walk into the branch to go to our 10 AM appointment. Guess who we get set in front of. My wife called the guy on the carpet and he tried his best to claim it was not him as he has a private number and it just was not possible. My wife whips out her phone and shows him his private number and his card. He at a big helping of crow and then proceeded to be an Ahole the entire time. In the end, someone else helped her get done what she needed. She raised 4 boys. It is a bad idea to be rude or disrespectful to her. Lol. I just sat back and enjoyed the show. Smlle.

    Liked by 3 people

    • B of A in the US is terrible. Everyone there is a VP. It’s weird. Oh I bet hanging up on your wife was a big mistake. My favorite is lying straight to her face. Then doubles down. A special place kind of personality to do that.

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  • Holy cow! I think you really should pull the Pretty Woman routine on the Bank Mgr! That’s just ludicrous not accepting money that will help the bank. I read your note to my husband (who is Hispanic) and he said you should call the main office and complain about that Manager. I said it might blow back on you though and make it really difficult when you went to that branch to do business again. Its our American attitude we carry that if you don’t get some action you go up the ladder to the person who has more power. I told my husband that might work in the US but I’m not sure about Spain. I hope you have better luck in Lugo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seriously- you are so right on all fronts. Jeff says he feels sometimes shouting ‘Just please take my €€€’. So many times all they have to do is just acknowledge us and ring something up. Then we go to El Corte Ingles in Santiago and they are amazing super stars!

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    • I spooked the herd, for sure. 😳I was ticked off. I can deal with things taking longer. I can finds ways around things. But to treat me like I was somehow in over my head and needed schooling by that guy? And that my husband would somehow put me straight? 😤😡 oh no!

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  • I can only laugh and shake my head. I am not surprised by your MIA package sent by Coreros. I don’t use them anymore after they lost 2 packages I sent to the US. They couldn’t track their own ass with a bloodhound.
    I am surprised that a bank director treated you this way. We bank at Santander with no problems. Our ‘suit guy’ has always been helpful. I hope that you have better luck in Lugo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our banking experience has been less than pleasant here. I feel like so much of it is because I’m a woman. And they always assume that a job = money. No job = ??? You can’t have investments and still be a viable contributing member of society. So odd. As to Correos – I’m going to try the office in Lugo to send the knife. Things don’t need to be this difficult.

      Liked by 1 person

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