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Banks Will Be Open Tomorrow October 21, 2006

Posted by Teller in Banking, Counter Closed.

Over the weekend relatives have been calling incessently to inquire about working hours during Eid. Here is what you need to know:

Banks will be open tomorrow (Sunday) with Ramadan hours, morning and evening. Banks will be closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We open once again on Thursday with normal hours.

From experience I predict that all banks will be overflowing with customers on Sunday and Thursday. Please be patient with all branch employees because they are the ones who will be stressed out with this work schedule.

عيدكم مبارك و كل عام وانتم بخير


Friday SEQ (Search Engine Queries) September 29, 2006

Posted by Teller in Banking.

Blog statistics inform you of your readers and, dear Readers, I’ve come to depend on them to see who’s visiting me. Over the past few months I’ve viewed a plethora of search engine queries. Some are disjointed words pieced together whilst others are honest inquiries that called out to me. I would like this space to be of use to all readers and subsequently I am going to compile some of the SEQs and try my best to provide helpful answers.

SEQ) how much do bank tellers make

Salaries vary from bank to bank. The starting salary is roughly KD450 but things you must take into consideration are:

  • Educational Level: University graduates make more than high school graduates by KD50-200. If you factor in the governmental supplement add another KD100-200 to the original figure.
  • Previous Experience: Entry-level employees make substantially less than their mid-level counterparts. Seniority and grade level can also cause general and evening shift salary to be higher.
  • Evening Shift: This is one of the major salary boosters. Some banks require that employees work five evening shifts and others may request that you work two. Not only does the number of shifts you work raise your salary but also the bank you’re working at. The going rate for an evening shift (usually three hours long) is anywhere from KD8 to KD14.
  • Incentives: One of the perks of the job is being rewarded for sales you generate. Again, this varies from bank to bank but the best banks reward you for every credit card you issue, every fixed deposit you bring in and every salary transferred. There are both personal incentives and branch incentives. This one is great for team players. Help your branch meet its target and you will benefit financially.

Take into account that not everyone starts on an even playing field and there are many more factors that I haven’t mentioned. An example is the teller I’ve heard of that started fresh from University and was getting KD650 + Governmental Supplement + Evening Shifts + Incentives. You can make a lot of money as a teller if you play your cards right. Of course you can also lose a lot of money if you are horrible at it so tread carefully!

I hope I answered your SEQ fully. Is there more information you need to know or would like to add to the subject? Let me know in the comments,


Miss Know-It-All August 16, 2006

Posted by Teller in Counter Open.

It’s official. The new trainee is turning my hair grey! It isn’t enough that she acts like Miss-Know-It-All when this is her first job and hasn’t had any prior experience. If you think the job takes such little skill to perform then why are you making all these mistakes? That, in a nutshell, is the part that is vexing me. It’s her attitude. If she didn’t flaunt how perfect she was then her numerous mistakes wouldn’t stand out as much. Everyone starts new and we all make mistakes. It’s how we learn and how we grow.

Today we received communications from our Head Branch with her name on it. It was a photocopy of a cheque with a circle around the place where the beneficiary’s name is. KD5,000 was transferred to an account without a name on the cheque! When confronted with this she claimed that there had been a name written on the cheque when she cashed the funds. Was it written in invisible ink? Did it disappear overnight at the Head Branch? We had difficulty in tracking down the guy who’d signed the cheque but finally we sorted it out. We got him in the branch and had him sign a paper stating the funds had been transferred to the correct person.

In the beginning of your ‘career’ you don’t want to make a mistake that can cost you KD5,000! How long will that take you to pay off? Contrary to popular belief the bank does not pay for our mistakes. The moment you sit on that counter you have to take an extraordinary amount of responsibility. You have to be up for it. If not, I advise you to get off the counter because you shouldn’t have control over people’s money. 

I am not happy that I have to clean up all her mistakes but I have to because anything she does badly reflects upon me, the branch, and the bank. I am not happy that she continues to blaze on with utter disregard of the terrible consquences that her actions are capable of. People like this sometimes don’t learn until they’re burnt but I sincerely don’t wish that upon her. Why can’t she slow down and be more careful?

Customer Service August 13, 2006

Posted by Teller in Counter Open.

Summer is a lazy time for banks because most people are out of the country. We have less customers, thus less stress. Ramadan is right around the corner to continue our lazy streak. Lack of customers equals lack of stories for me to recite. My current obsession is turning our latest batch of summer trainees into grade A tellers. I don’t know what’s happened to the bank’s training program but it’s not doing an effective job.

It seems like a lifetime ago I was crammed in a small cold room with 20 other individuals being tutored by a high-strung Egyptian woman.


Eye contact!

You must egreet ze customer with Saba7 elKheir!

You must use ze customer’s name!

These days countless trainees arrive at my branch without any knowledge of the basics of customer service. Is summer making them lazy or do they really not care? When you go to a branch what would you expect as far as customer service is concerned?

The Branch & its Players July 27, 2006

Posted by Teller in Counter Closed.

Have you noticed the high number of bloggers that make headlines because they get dismissed or made to resign from their jobs after their blog is discovered? It’s so bad that Blogger has a page advising you how not to get fired for your blog! The latest blogger forced into unemployment is Petite Anglaise.

That’s only one reason why I am cautious about my identity and protective of my customers’. Branch and customer details are changed slightly because when it comes down to it I take my responsibilities seriously. E-mails asking about a customer’s identity in a particular post won’t merit a reply. I also will not answer which bank or branch I’m located at. It may behoove you to try to find out and to those who may attempt such a treasure hunt I wish you the best of luck.

The Female Manager: Always fearful, dreaded and moody.
The Assistant Manager: Always helpful, timid and peaceful.
Meet The Loan Officers:

1) The Obnoxious One: Always obnoxious.
2) The Good One: Always perfect.

The Meeter Greeter: Always solemn, distracted and quiet.
Meet The Tellers:

1) FunnyGirl: Always cheerful, smiling and sweet.
2) Chimney: Always late, smoking and sulky.

3) Yours Truly

The Teaboy: Always ready, quick and smart.

The Trainees: Always changing, eager and refreshing.

The Customer Who…Doesn’t Read the Cheque July 21, 2006

Posted by Teller in Customer Who...Series.

You would be amazed at the number of people who walk into our branch wanting to cash cheques that don’t have their names on them.

You would be amazed at the number of tellers who cash such cheques without realizing there’s an important element they haven’t verified.

I am no longer amazed at the number of tellers who get away with such unprofessional behavior. At least that’s what I keep repeating to myself.

For Better or For Worse July 11, 2006

Posted by Teller in Banking.

Earlier today I came across a blog by a Dr. Lost. After scanning his posts I saw that he perceived himself as a controversial writer. The post that caught my eye, naturally, was in reference to NBK and Gulf Bank, two of the leading local banks.

To summarize, he and an acquaintance had both gone to their banks in order to get a Salary Certificate paper. At Gulf Bank he claims his friend’s paperwork took 25 minutes to be completed. When he went to his bank, NBK, the same paperwork took 4 minutes. On this basis he writes, “so WHY WHY WHY is it that NBK is soo much better than Gulf bank? i mean, better customer service, faster service, in general i feel better services r available at NBK .. do u guys agree?” I don’t imagine he made those statements based on that singular experience but it is the only one he mentioned.

There is a lot of competiveness between banks here in Kuwait. At the same time, it’s not the extreme brand of rivalry you often find existing between schools and universities at sporting events. Most people have several family members working at different banks. That effectively nips any extreme rivalries in the bud.

Reflecting on the post I realized that there are many other elements that one must allow for before the experiences of Dr. Lost and his friend could be compared. Firstly, the branch and time of day affect the length of time spent in the bank. Not all branches are busy. Location affects how crowded a branch is and so does the hour you choose to go. Secondly, the delay of a transaction could be due to the number of customers ahead of you waiting to be assisted. And most importantly, the person helping you can have a profound impact on your waiting time. A new nervous trainee will definitely take longer than seasoned staff. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. A transaction that I could finish in two minutes, another could take another fifteen minutes. I’ve been to branches in other banks and had to wait for half an hour because of untrained or incompetant people.

My personal opinion if you compare the two, NBK will end up the winner even if you judge it solely on the vast amount of capital it has. Gulf Bank constantly challenges itself and is trying to grow as quickly as possible to compete with NBK. It’s doing a good job but has been holding second place for years now. Neither of these banks offer anything out of the ordinary. They will keep their eyes on the new foreign banks entering the market. These are the banks they should compete against instead of each other because these foreign banks are superior to both NBK and Gulf Bank and will offer their clients investment opportunities neither bank has.

Breaking the Routine & Unity July 10, 2006

Posted by Teller in Counter Closed.

One of the best things on the job, for me is the routine. It keeps me grounded. It keeps me stable. It keeps me on track. I equate it with praying five times a day. It always keeps me centered and focused. However when your entire day is pre-scheduled, one single event can delay the rest of your work. That’s when I start twitching. I abhor deviating away from my schedule especially when it’s to deal with co-worker tantrums.

July and August are the months when promotions will be announced and cemented. Due to his delusional state, Chimney believes he’s got one due. Forget the bad evaluation, poor performance, daily tardiness and the simple fact that he is Chimney. He still insists that he should be on the short list to a better job title, grade and salary.

My routine has been consistently interrupted last week because of our new manager’s demands that I come to her office so she can better acquaint herself with me. She has subtley been trying to see how much it will take to aggravate me. Silly demands from her have to be answered immediately. As she has been calling for me with pointless tasks, Chimney has taken upon himself the right to get jealous, childish and irate. He views my visits to her office as a threat to his step up in the branch.

From what I’ve witnessed so far she enjoys fermenting this type of conflict between coworkers in her branch. She believes it spawns competitiveness. I see it as it is, a horrible way to manage. When you have a group of people who spend countless hours together, it’s not the brightest idea to have strife amid them. Especially in our situation when you have to depend heavily on others to help carry the load that stems from our customers.

Chimney has long resented me. I made a horrible mistake when I first started working years ago. I was asked what my salary and grade were and I answered the question truthfully. It was a naive mistake to have made. Never tell anyone what you make. No good will ever come out of it. Someone out there always thinks they deserve more than you and that you shouldn’t be entitled to what you currently have. Chimney has long believed that he deserved to be of a higher standing than me and right now is trying his best to make my life at the branch as miserable as it can be. He wanted to use the new manager’s reputation to speed my resignation or transfer along. Because of her antics he thinks that I’m safe from that and eased up a little. He’s still being an annoyance in other ways.

I will divulge more on that later as it is now past my bedtime.

Bills, Bills, Bills July 10, 2006

Posted by Teller in Counter Open.

Each month there is a list of people that gets rotated around the branch. We call it the Red List. It’s the bane of our existence. Whoever is unfortunate enough to fall victim to the list that month has to sift through the names dregging up every available phone number we have for that customer. Then come the three steps.

What are the three steps? The first step is getting a working number. The second is getting ahold of the customer. The third and most important step is having the customer step into the branch and pay off their outstanding debt.

It sounds easy, doesn’t it? I can do that, you’re probably thinking. What is she moaning on about? If the world was a better place, that list would be the easiest part of my job.

It’s times like these when I feel like I work for a collection agency. It’s hard enough getting ahold of customers when you have a simple question to ask them. Reaching them when they’re on the list is nearly impossible. Some of them give us fake numbers when they initially sign up for a credit card. Others have numbers that are disconnected from service or mobiles that are constantly switched off. Often when you finally hear a human voice you’re told that the customer is out of the country.

It never fails to amaze me at the amounts people run up on their credit cards. Some people are constrained by the limit they have on their cards. Others run wild and free with theirs. How can it be acceptable for a 17 year old girl to run up a 15,000KD bill each month on the credit card Daddy’s issued her? I see the purchases from my system and I shake my head at the names of the stores she’s spending at. What does she find there each month to spend that amount of money?

How responsible is it of the parents to allow a 17 year old that much financial freedom? With expenditures of that magnitude, do you believe she has learned the value of a dinar? Is it my place to judge? From where I’m sitting, behind the counter, it is. You’re the one on the Red List. I’m the one trying to get ahold of you.

Forza Italia! July 9, 2006

Posted by Teller in Counter Closed.

And so the World Cup ends with the French crying and Italians ecstatic. C’est la vie. Que sera sera. I’m sure that’s all the cùstomers will talk about for the next few days but here’s hoping that’ll be the end of it.

Were you happy with the results? Did you even care? To celebrate the end of the World Cup I guarantee you faithful readers 2 new posts tomorrow.

All the best,