I woke up this Monday morning, it was 06:05 and it had been a short night and a wonderful weekend with precious moments I shared with Little A. and Princess.
Two years ago the bank I work for took over another bank with the intention to merge, not to add it to the holding.
There was the legal mambo jumbo, developers hired, the IT-infrastructure expanded and in November, December and January dry runs were performed. Merging in a test environment the 700 affiliates and about a million customers with all their accounts and loans and so on went almost flawless.
I had little to do in all this.
This past weekend was the first of 3 waves.
170 Affiliates and about 200000 accounts would be merged.
The real stuff.
We were fully prepared of course.
All workers of each affiliate had received a 3-day training, printed procedures and so on.
The customers had received well-documented leaflets with screenshots explaining how to initialize their new security token for online banking. Hell, a brainless protozoan would have had no problem following the instructions.
The migration itself went without almost any problem whatsoever. Okay, the external company that was hired for migrating telecom got 2 hours behind their schedule but that wasn’t a drama.
We were prepared.
So when I arrived at work, around 7 this morning, everything was calm. My colleagues from the Service Desk and the temporary reinforcement, about 20 people, were ready. So were the special Help Desk units for more specific problems, related to the software the affiliates have to use.
At 8 they were submerged with calls and at 9:30 it had become a large and vast tidal wave. The calls from affiliates and end users were countless.
My department was asked to help so I left my safe and cozy IT Ivory Tower and descended to the more challenging job as Service Desk member.
I have no experience dealing with this kind of work and we were asked just to take calls and enter them in the ticketing system. If we were able to offer a solution, well, that would be highly appreciated.
I did about 15 calls per hour and I was happy that the call center I had logged into told me if the caller was Dutch or French-speaking. Opening in the correct language is an advantage.
The first few calls were difficult, on most occasions I had no clue what they were talking about. The occasional account locked out or so was no problem of course, no resetting a problematic Citrix session.
Gradually I started enjoying it, learned a few tricks and found doing this work rather enriching as it gives you a total new angle on your daily job. Cooping with the occasional mad customer or taking time for the occasional lonely person who phoned more because of loneliness than out of need, each call was different.
At 16:00 I called it a day and drove back home and relaxed for a while in my couch listening to Miles Davis. Thinking back, Sunday and Saturday, last Wednesday, wonderful evenings spend with Princess.
Later on I left home and drove to the hospital where I had an appointment. Twenty minutes later I was pushed in the tube of a NMR for pictures of my lower back.
An hour later I was almost back home when I saw a sign on an apartment window: for rent. I stopped and checked it out. One room, one bedroom, kitchen and bathroom and a price that suits Stella’s budget so I called her on the cell phone and she thanked me because I was looking out for her. Stella and Star can’t stay forever in the Mother/baby unit and like Princess I’m keeping my eyes open for a place Stella and Star can rent.
Later that evening Princess phoned and we talked and it ended with a horrible dispute and it was my fault as I started it.
We always strife about the same topic, her boy who does not want me to enter his mother’s house, who does not want me in her life, in her garden, in her kitchen let alone in her bed.
Two of his sisters back him up, well, only a little.
It gets frustrating and now and then I explode. I too want to be able to go to her home, ring the doorbell and ask her out for a walk or so.