Am I overreacting? Work related.

I was so hurt and embarrassed today and I’m not sure if I’m overreacting or not.

I recently started working at a bank. Because I’m new, there are limitations on what I am able to do so I often have to ask for an override. There are four people who can do overrides for me. Each of these four people has different ways of doing things and each thinks their way is the only way. So when I ask for an override from one of them and I’ve done something different from how they like to do it, they get all annoyed with me and explain the Great Importance of doing whatever it is their way. Then the next person will get angry with me for doing it the first person’s way.

And it goes on like this all day.

Today I had a lady in front of me who wanted to cash a cheque and I was pretty sure I was going to have to put a hold on part of it and get an override. ( Keep in mind that this week was my first week since finishing training. So I’m very new still. )

I told the lady that I would be right back and she started complaining that “this always happens when I have these cheques and it’s very annoying and you’re making me feel like a criminal…”

So I went over to Heather (not her real name) and asked if I needed to put a hold on part of the cheque. She told me to call the bank from which the cheque was written to verify it. Nobody answered the phone at the bank so I went back to heather. She then called another number for the bank and talked to someone who said it was ok to release the whole amount.

Heather then showed me on her computer that another way that I could have decided that I didn’t have to have a hold is to look and see what else the client has, visa, mortgage…

This took about 10 minutes, which is a bit long for a person to have to wait. Heather came with me back to the client because she was going to need to do an override anyway.

The client was pretty pissed off when we got there, and Heather starts apologizing for the wait. Client states “this has never happened before, why should I have to wait here for half an hour while she (me) goes off to whisper to you, it’s so unprofessional”.

Heather is falling all over herself apologizing and then she says “sorry, she’s just new, she couldn’t help it, she’s just new, she doesn’t know what she’s doing”.

I felt so incredibly betrayed. The client had to wait while I did exactly what Heather told me to do, and then she completely bailed on me and blamed me for the wait.

I stood there while this lady had a hissy fit on one side of me and Heather apologized for me on the other.

I want to talk to my manager about it on monday but I’m not sure if I should just let it go. I’m still emotional about it tonight and this happened about 9 hours ago. I have a horrible headache because of it, too.

Am I overreacting and being a wuss? Should I just suck it up, let it go and forget about it? I really don’t know.

And because this isn’t in the pit, F*#! You, Heather, you F*!@#% C#@.

A lot of workplace betrayal stories on the dope lately it seems. You are right in feeling let down, after all you’re just trying to follow protocol. In my experience, the best way to handle these situations is to approach Heather in private and say you felt like she left you out to dry with the customer when you were just trying to follow procedure.

If she blows you off you can write her off for good as a jerk. It’s a tough situation to be in though.

I’d be just as pissed off as you are, FG. I’d be talking to the manager, about that incident with Heather, and the inconsistency with procedure. Being reprimanded for following instructions is psychological abuse. You’re not in Jr. High School, you deserve a more professional work environment than that.

I see that I’m disagreeing with Stringer, you can try to settle things with Heather one on one, certainly.

But don’t be surprised when she does it again. (how does one do that small type thing?)

I think Heather was mollifying the customer using a standard approach – “I’m so sorry, but she/he/whatever didn’t know”, which is code to say “we screwed up, but we’ll try to do better” to the customer. Some formulation of this is what is always said to an aggravated customer, and rightly so.

I would not take this personally, but maybe that’s just me. I would, however, expect Heather to tell you that that’s what she was doing when the customer is no longer around. I do not think it is unreasonable to tell Heather that you don’t like being treated this way if she does not.

A talk with your manager about procedures would still be worthwhile. Just to point out the inconsistencies of procedures and how this is affecting customer service. You might also be proactive and after relating this latest incident ask if there are any other procedures you should know and can read about.

Yes, you’re overreacting.

Welcome to the world of retail, honey.

When customers get pissed off, it’s pretty routine for managers to “blame” employees when talking to the customer. It’s a way of mollifying them. That doesn’t mean that the manager is mad at the employee. In fact, chances are that when the customer leaves, the manager will turn to the employee and say “that guy was such an asshole!!”

Don’t take what is said directly to the customer to heart.

As far as the matter of the different procedures–yeah, that’s probably worth asking your manager about. There might be a “right answer,” to what procedures are correct, and it would benefit you to find out what it is.

You’re way, way overreacting. I mean that in the nicest possible way. :slight_smile:

You ARE new, and that IS the reason you needed the override. Nobody betrayed you, and Heather was just trying to save a customer who might just decide to close their account because they think you two are goofing off. What else was Heather supposed to say, to explain what the problem was?

I *stopped *working for a bank way back in 1985. I’m on the other freaking side of the world.

This is exactly the sort of thing that happened to me. The inconsistencies (and the lectures about how they’re not), the shortcuts (and effective phone numbers) you don’t hear about until it’s too late - and most of all - the fucked up apportioning of blame to cover the senior asses.

It’s not you, it’s the ancient and entrenched system. Talking to you manager may make you feel better, but it won’t change anything and will get you a reputation.

Soon enough, you’ll know the job, won’t need Heather or any other overrides and the next “baby” will be taking the crap - try not to turn into Heather as you move through the ranks.

It’s not just banks, it’s not just offices. Petty power plays are a fact of life and most people will blame the junior / temp / quiet clerk in the corner cubicle any time they feel they can get away with it.

Forget Heather, you keep your head down and work your way past the bitch, then blame her for wasting *your *time.

What’s an override?

The bank has no business putting you on the floor until you are properly trained, and you should not be the scapegoat for it’s failure to do so.

This is the way I interpreted the situation. But I’ve never worked in banking or retail, so I have no experience to back it up.

One thing I have dealt with, tho, is inconsistent training of newbies. I’ve asked for, suggested, and even tried to write out a rule-of-thumb cheat sheet, but no one seems to think it’s important. Even where I am now, I asked why we don’t have a template for the web pages we create, and no one seemed to think it was important. Apparently, anyone can do whatever they want… :rolleyes:

But to answer the question, yeah, a little overreaction. Try not to take it personally - it’s just one of those things. And, unfortunately, it won’t be the last time you encounter something like this.

There’s nothing wrong with responding to the customer compliant with the truth, which is “I’m sorry, she’s new.” “She doesn’t know what she’s doing” is not appropriate and a bit throwing you under a bus, but yes, you are overreacting. She should have said, “I’m sorry, she’s new and I am her trainer” or “I’m sorry, she’s new and policy requires me to help her with these overrides - I apologize for the wait but there’s just no way around it” or something that doesn’t throw the onus on you.

I’ve been a bank teller, and worked at Kinko’s and, glutton for punishment that I am, was a pharmacy technician too. Situations like the one you experienced are caused by systems managers whose priorites cause friction at the point-of-sale station. It’s not that they don’t care about you, or Heather, or the customer who has to wait; they just don’t care about that as much as they care about more important things. Before I realized this and learned to take responsibility for my own day at work, more than one Friday night I had to run cold water in the bathtub and stick my head under the tap because the stress had hurt my head & face muscles so severly.

If you stay in banking and move up, someday you can keep your promise to treat your tellers better than how you were treated. If you work as a floater you’ll see the ones who themselves kept this promise and those who did not. Sadly, that’s not what matters because that’s not why people are promoted. And its a sadder statement on human nature since, nice bosses and bad alike, they were all once treated as you are now.

I am the Queen of Taking Everything Too Personally, but yeah, I think you overreacted. What Heather said was true – you’re new, you just didn’t know. Rather than blaming you, Heather seemed to actually be defending you, i.e. how could you possibly be expected to know everything your first week of work?

What IS inappropriate is not being told how to do things consistently. If I were you I would address the issue in a professional manner with a higher-up. If you don’t get the response you feel you deserve, then maybe the job isn’t a good fit for you. But maybe I’m just the sort of person who has to feel comfortable giving both positive and negative feedback to my employer, and feeling like I’m heard. It’s up to you how important you feel that is, but judging by how stressed out you seem by it, I’m guessing you’d benefit from that sort of environment too.

Overreacting maybe, but I know I would have been extremely upset by that as well. I would bring it up when you’re having your meeting with your manager regarding the training inconsistencies. That’s bullshit to get humiliated in front of a customer and to have someone say “she doesn’t know what she’s doing.” At the very least, maybe Monday morning just say to Heather “Look, I appreciate the help you’ve been giving me while I learn the ropes here, but could you please refrain from ever saying things like ‘she doesn’t know what she’s doing’ to customers? It makes me look incompetent, which I’m not. I appreciate that.” Just boom, put it right out there in no uncertain terms.

Ding! winner!
You are new. You are learning. It did take extra time. All of this is true.
Where the screwup was in Heather saying that you did not know what you were doing. While this is somewhat true, it does cast you in a bad light, and doesn’t make the bank look good.
Heather should have said, I’m sorry this is taking so long, but FloatyGimpy is new and still learning. This statement is 100% true and doesn’t make anyone look bad.

It’s when someone with the authority or ability to perform a function does so for someone who doesn’t have the authority or ability to do it. For example, it’s illegal for a minor to sell alcohol in Wisconsin. So if the checker at the register I select is under 18 s/he has to call for someone old enough to scan my bottle.

From the sound of the OP, there are certain banking functions that as a new employee she can’t perform on her own. That’s not unusual in the banking industry as far as I can tell. I work in financial services and there are all sorts of things that I’m unable to do without authorization from a higher-up and some functions that are restricted.

I don’t work at a bank, and yet there are times I have to get authorizations to do certain things. With some jobs it just goes with the territory, especially if you’re far down the food chain.

If she’d said something like, “I’m sorry, she’s new and I am training her,” that would have been far more diplomatic. We’ve all been new and in training before. The way she said it, though, was uncalled for. If this is normal sort of treatment in banks I’m glad I’ve never worked in one.

Thank you for all of your replies. I’ve been muling them over. I agree with those of you who said that had Heather stated “I’m sorry, she’s new and I’m training her”, it would have been much better. That would have made a huge difference I think. It’s true and to the point.

I’ve been a bank teller for years, and some supervisors are like that. I took it personally for a while…it’s hard not to.

You’ve gotten lots of good advice here. Only thing I can add is if talking it out doesn’t work - not all managers care about what happens on the teller line - just do your best to let it go. Learn your job, then find another place where they actually treat you with respect. There are lots of banks out there, and no reason for you to stay with one that employs supervisors like that. Finish your training and probation, stay until you feel comfortable in your job and hightail it out.
I had to do that at my very first bank due to the backstabbing and games from other tellers as well as managers.
Now that I’m the senior teller, I make it a point to do the exact opposite of all those arrogant pompous bitches and make *both * my tellers and clients happy.