There are a few things I dislike about living the island life in the Mediterranean, it can’t always be la dolce vita.
Those few things are, and in no particular order, and only two make my blood boil: raw tomatoes, dog owners not cleaning up their dog’s shit from my front porch, and having to enter any type of government or banking office.
It was mercato Monday morning in town, a place where all the local farmers come to sell their fruit, vegetables, honey, bootleg wine, handmade leather goods, candy and clothing. It’s honestly the highlight of my week, all this shopping!
I headed to the local atm machine to withdrawal the weekly funds and my card was blocked from even entering the ancient money machine. I tried again, and no luck. There was no choice, I could feel the anxiety creeping up on me knowing I had to enter this office, it’s always such a hassle, such a disaster!
In I go … and wait an hour before it’s my turn.
Good morning, the atm has blocked my card, it won’t go into the machine.
Good morning, okay, can I have your ID card? Oh, is this still your phone number?
No, Im sorry, that is no longer my number. I have just returned from Canada after two years and no longer have access to that phone number. Here is my new number …
Okay, thank you. Allow me to input your new phone number. Do you have your cellphone with you?
(a little chuckle) No, sorry, I didn’t bring my phone because I didn’t think I would need it this morning. I just wanted to use the atm. Why?
Because we will send you a verification code to your new phone number that you must use to approve this new change to your account.
Oh, okay, but I hadn’t planned on coming into the office today, otherwise …
*the teller beside spoke up and even pulled their mask down to scold me… You, you, you must always bring your cellphone with you when you enter an official office!!
This was repeated to me several times by a teller that wasn’t even helping me in the first place. They berated me so loudly and with such a tone that my blood boiled, my right fist clenched hidden in my winter jacket, my teeth clenched so tightly that my face turned to stone.
I had no idea that I was coming into this office, I’m sorry I don’t have my phone. May I close this account?
Yes, you can close …
The maskless teller … I don’t give a crap if you close your account.
What on earth just happened?!? I was so shocked at the tone and treatment of this teller that I just wanted to run away. Not only weren’t they directly helping me, they have no opinion on whether I close my account or not. They also made my business, the business of everyone else waiting in that office.
The verification code is valid for twenty-four hours. Once you’ve verified your card should work.
Have we finished here?
So, I didn’t even need my cellphone in the first place as the code is valid for twenty-four hours. Ugh. What ignorance! I turned on my heel and walked right out the door, and cried. (Well, far way from this office, so they couldn’t see me.) Yup, I freaking cried from the wrath of this person. It was more of a “shock” cry than a “poor me” cry. The audacity. I’m still reeling from this maskless scolding.
Has something similar happened to you while trying to peacefully do your business in Italy?