Monday, April 23, 2007

Banking Bonkers

I rarely get very irritated by things, and often something has to be REALLY bad to piss me off. In this case, local banking. This is gonna be a name-and-shame man.

So I dropped in to RHB last Friday to give them some money coz I thought I'd be so nice to help them earn some dough from me. That was about 11:20 am. Mom and sis went off to their own little banking adventure while I got a bit lost as I stepped in the door. Why? Because there was no customer service officer to assist me. The only person was the security guard who asked me to budge in on one of the counters while they were in between customers.

So much for first impressions.

So I got a form for opening current accounts from the lady at the counter, hastily put together by stapling some pieces of paper. And when I started filling it, I could feel the stress level rising. 5 pages of forms just to open an account?? And at the end was another piece asking me to tell them more about myself! No thank you. I just want to open an account, not have my bank be my best friend.

So I decided not to open a new account and just deposit some money. I took a number and waited like a good customer. After waiting for quite some time, I noticed the reason why - out of maybe 9-10 counters, only one was servicing customers like me. One!

But of course the best comes last. At precisely 11:50am on a Friday, the security guard started making rounds around the queue telling everyone "System down". What???

Ok firstly, why should we, the customers, be told by the security guard of such things? Shouldn't it be at least a bank officer? Or are we not worthy enough of such respect? I would have expected at least such a courtesy. Secondly, aren't banks supposed to have backup IT systems so that they will NOT have "system down"?? Or are our local banks that poor to not have backup solutions. I find that really appaling if its true. Does the whole banking mechanism just grind to a halt whenever there is a "system down"?

There wasn't even any apologies or explanation as to how long the situation would remain like that. I couldn't accept why customers should suffer such inconveniences due to the bank's shortcomings, and how the bank never did anything to take care of the people who gives them business. So, I just walked out.

I've said before that maybe I just needed a few days to get used to things back home. But I've realized that some things should not be tolerated, because you get only what you tolerate. If you accept complacency and the mediocre, you'll get it. But you'll be stuck just where you are.

Which is where I think where our local banks are.

Case 2 coming soon...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sea Angels

I was down in Singapore last week for a few days to catch up with friends and also meet my sister. It has been such a long time since I've seen Ray and Nard so it was a really good trip. But that's another story.

What I want to talk about here are these cute little critters I saw at the Underwater World in Sentosa island. I've never seen anything like them.

Pic source

They're called sea angels, a type of sea snail that lives in the cold water of the Arctic. Translucent except for the red areas of its head and internal organs in the middle, these creatures are very tiny. The largest ones grow only up to about 5cm long. Most are smaller than that. Probably only as long as the nail on your last finger.

They're born with shells, but lose them when they're born. They use their 'wings' to zip around the with an undulating flapping motion, and it's quite fun to see them moping about in the water. They're just so darn cute. :)

These graceful marine fliers are also hemaphrodites and they help to mutually fertilize each other during mating.

Looking at them, I can see why they're called sea angels. Except for the two little horns on the head. Fallen sea angels? Hehehe. They also remind me of those fantasy creatures usually dreamed up in Japanese anime because they look kinda other-worldly. Something you wouldn't expect to see on earth.

Cool huh?