Monday, May 12, 2008

When it comes to day-to-day life in the UK, it's all about inconvenience. A prime example? Banks.

My bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, is open from 9.15am to 4.45pm every day - except Wednesday, when they open at 10.00am. This wouldn't be so bad if the bank machines over here allowed you to make deposits to your account, (as they do in my homeland of Canada, as pictured above), which of course they do not.

Allowing ATMS over here to accept deposits would just be too simple and efficient, which is why they are not implemented in the UK. No, you have to stand in line for 20 minutes on your lunch break, like every other working schmuck, and actually speak to human to put money or a cheque into your account. At the rate that this country outsources "customer service" (see BT), you would think that by now, they would have replaced any humans with machines?!

Second on my list of inconvenient annoyances? The library. Who the hell would have thought that borrowing a book was so damn hard? Trying to get a library card in the first instance is, of course, next to impossible as an immigrant (i.e. you need prove of address: a certified bill with your UK address on it, which means, of course, getting a bank account - something that is extremely difficult, which I already almost lost my mind over).

Right. So the library.

Assuming that there is a book in the digital catalogue that piques your interest but it's available on the other side of town, rather than being able to order it online - the efficient method - you need to physically ask the librarian, who will make an order and you will be MAILED - yes, MAILED - a postcard to your home when it's available for pick up at your local library.

With libraries like these, it makes Amazon all the more appealing.


Anonymous said...

The ATM thing must just be an issue with your particular bank. We've been able to pay in cheques through ATMs in the UK for ages (at HBOS anyway), and staff actually encourage you to do so cos it cuts the queues.

Point taken about libraries, though. Public libraries are badly under-resourced here. It's a shame.

David T. Macknet said...

Bank of Scotland is the same way. I think it depends on where you go, though, as it may just be the frequently-vandalized places which have the hole-in-the-wall variety rather then the fully-functioning ones.

You know, we can order our books to be delivered - at least, to the Mitchell we can. Now, can we return them when it's convenient to us, though? We live all of a block away, but there's no drop box, and you have to go all the way to the back, from the front entrance, to hand them to the lady at the counter, rather than just being able to set them somewhere near the front door.

David T. Macknet said...

And the selection in the library, at least of fiction, is just downright odd.