I was at Mizuho Bank in Shibuya yesterday to change some details on my account. Unlike the ATM’s, getting service at the counter can take a little while. Everyone is courteous and there are scores of staff running around trying to help you which is very nice.
I couldn’t help being surprised though at the number of customers who were losing their patience and yelling at the bank staff. I was there for an hour due to problems finding out the address on my account, and during that time there were 4 separate incidents of staff being told off and yelled at. All the staff could do was stand blank faced and say “moushiwake arimasen” (We are very sorry).
I felt sorry for the staff as the customers clearly were not being very nice about it. One person was talking on his mobile the whole time the staff member served him, and he intermittently kept saying to her “isoge, isoge, ososugiru yo” (Hurry up, Hurry up, You’re too slow).
It seemed like the customer had a valid point to make, but they didn’t know how to go about it without appearing rude.
I waited for an hour to get things sorted out, but it wasn’t that bad. Staff kept coming to tell me they were working on the issue and I read a few magazines. After they fixed things up I was rewarded with some Mizuho Bank x Hello Kitty tissues and a solar powered calculator. Maybe this was my reward for not raising my voice? Thanks Mizuho staff. You are handling a more stressful job than i previously thought. Looking at this bank scene, I imagine it can’t be long before there is a knifing incident in the bank not to get money but just out of customers who lose their temper.
How do you handle matters when things don’t go your way? Do you shout and rave or try to explain things calmly?