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Adventures of The Bank Teller – first day

Updated on November 11, 2014

Only I could manage to turn a simple first-day-on-the-job experience into a major adventure.

It all started with the fact that the bank for which I was to work outsources all its HR to a third party and its IT to a different third party. A month ago they offered me the job, and via e-mail arranged for me to take a teller-aptitude test online, get a drug test, get fingerprinted, and have a background check that was so thorough that I was beginning to suspect I was being recruited by the CIA. At the time of the offer I was to submit acceptance of two forms, one stating the conditions of my employment and the other to confirm the pay rate. Unfortunately the two forms had two different pay rates; more e-mails and corrected forms.

About 10 days ago I got a confirmation that I passed the variety of tests, with a start date. I was given my ID and employee number as well as a temporary password. I was told access would be available a week before my start date, and I would soon get communication from my hiring manager as to time to arrive and what I need to bring.

Out of curiosity I logged into the online site and changed my password, but there was no data available for my account. No biggie.

A week before starting, I tried again to log in, to no avail. So I called the HR support line. I gave them my ID and employee number, but they couldn’t find me. So they passed me over to IT support. IT found me and apparently since their side of the machinations were working (hence the ability to set up a permanent password), the problem was with the other (HR) company. A trouble ticket was issued and I was told to give it three or more days to be resolved. So three days before starting I finally got access to do all the new-hire paperwork. Okay, folks, I’ve been working in IT for 20 years, and I was pulling my hair out trying to navigate the site, find the things I needed to fill out, and confirming my name at least three different times … yes, it’s my legal name; yes I have a maiden name and it’s the same as my legal name; yes, I want to use that legal name. I managed to get the direct deposit form fine, but couldn’t find the W-4; apparently they filled that out for me using data given on other screens, and it was done, but I couldn’t find a copy to confirm it’s the way I want it. The most annoying was the I-9 form, which is one of the newest anti-terrorism red tapes. But I managed it … I think.

Only one more problem – I never heard from my hiring manager. And e-mails to the recruiters remained unanswered.

Well, what the hell … I dressed for work and showed up at the branch site a little before 9 AM. Worst case scenario they send me home, right?

I was greeted warmly and enthusiastically. Got the 50-cent tour, then settled down to start my training. The manager said I had to fill out the I-9 form – again – and show two original proofs of ID. Well, I always have my driver’s license with me, but I don’t carry around a birth certificate or social security card. After the exhaustive background check, you’d think they already know I’m a US citizen, right? Did I have my new-hire packet? No …

Well, while the manager tried to find all the paperwork I was supposedly spared by the online process, she tried to get me on the bank’s computers to start my training. Of course, not knowing what to bring with me, I didn’t think I would need to write down my ID, employee number and new password. But they couldn’t find it in their records. After digging around the new computer system my manager found my employee number, so armed with that she tried to get my ID. After about half an hour of passing around and disconnects, she finally got hold of someone in support who appeared to know what he was doing, and handed the phone to me to request a password reset. While he did forget what he told me was my new password, he stayed on the line to check my access. Access denied. Try this … access denied. How about … access denied. Upon further digging he determined that someone put in the wrong cost codes and sent me to find out the right ones and the branch number. With those he found out that the wrong codes has been entered four days ago, and so I had been rejected for 20+ systems – all of which were necessary for my training. And without that access I couldn’t go the hour-drive to the three days of intensive training I had scheduled for the rest of the week. He wasn’t sure how fast the problem could be fixed and resubmitting the information correctly involved a few background people then the manager’s approval. After 15 minutes of rummaging around the system she found the first request for approval. Only 20 more to go.

So by 1:30 in the afternoon we were all rather frustrated and nothing much had been achieved. My manager suggested I go to lunch while awaiting the red tape. So I figured I’d get one thing done; I only live ten minutes away, so I decided to drive home and get my passport so we could at least finalize the I-9 form. Back in less than an hour, right?

Not exactly.

About a block from home, I was making a left with a left green arrow light when a truck from my right ran the red light and clipped my front quarter. Being sandwiched between the lane on my left also making the turn and his truck, I had nowhere to go. He and I pulled into a nearby parking area and while he was apologetic and took full responsibility, I was concerned that (from experience) without his fault being in writing, my insurance would balloon out of affordable range. Before I could even ask, he had called the police to report the accident and we had exchanged information. He also called his insurance company in front of me and admitted it was his fault. After an hour of waiting for the police to show up, he called again. And I called my new boss to explain my absence. Later she told me that as soon as she saw that it was me calling, she was afraid I was calling to say I was fed up with the incompetence of the systems and wasn’t coming back. She was very sweet about the delay, so as soon as I could I got home (I could have walked home and back but was afraid of missing the police), got my passport and returned to work. Uh-oh, it was after 3 PM. Fortunately the banking hours were till 4 PM, so I could get in. We got the I-9 handled, and my manager had been on the phone all afternoon trying to “legitimize” me. She had reached the people handling the off-site training and they found a way around the lack of access, and will hold my hand since I never got on the computer for the preliminary training. I look forward to working for a person so concerned about my welfare (and even apologetic for all I’d been through). Around 4 PM she told me I might as well go home; we’d done all we can to bring me on board.

I went next door to Subway and bought a king-sized high-cholesterol hero and a diet coke, then went home to watch Monday-night football. I find it hard to believe that all this occurred in the space of eight hours. I’ll leave the auto insurance report and my home training preparation for tomorrow. I just hope that this is not a typical day in my new career as a bank teller!!

© 2014 Bonnie-Jean Rohner

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