I do know the ropes now, so I produce all the required documents: proof of address, one passport-size photo, PAN card, and so on. The bank is empty, and the manager and 3 of the clerical staff swarm all over me.
Manager: We are giving special privileges, Madam, to those from Casa Ansal. You get bla-bla-bla privileges.
Me. OK, that's fine....So when will my new a/c (Y) get activated?
Mgr: It will take 3 or 4 days, Madam.
Me: 3 or 4 days! Why?
Mgr: Sunday is coming in the middle, no, Ma'am? (sic)
Me: I've submitted all the documents you wanted, this is Friday, why can't it get activated tomorrow? (Resignedly) OK, will it get activated by Tuesday?
Mgr and staff in chorus: Ohyesdefinitelyma'am.
Me: How will I know? I also have to get to the ATM to activate my debit card. So do I have to come back to the bank?
Mgr: No ma'am, we will phone you and let you know. Then you just have to activate your ATM card.
Me: And what about account X?
Mgr: Until the a/c is transferred here, you can't use the ATM or use the a/c online, Ma'am (there's a "Ma'am" every three words or so.)
Me: So that means I can't use a/c X also, for 3 days?
Mgr: Yes, ma'am.
Me: OK...let me know when the accounts are both transferred/activated.
The week slid past. Today is Friday, the 4th of Jan...one week since I went to the bank. So I went to the bank again. Still a deserted branch.
Me: What happened to my account X?
Staff: Sorry ma'am, it's not yet been transferred.
Me: Not yet transferred? But why?
Staff (I kid you not) Sunday and New Year came in the middle, no, ma'am?
Me: But you were supposed to transfer it BEFORE the new year!
Staff: Sorry about that ma'am, we'll do it by tomorrow.
Me: And what about my new a/c (Y)...have you allocated a number yet? Can I activate my ATM debit card/
Staff: There was a problem ma'am. In the PAN card your name is Deepa Lakshmi Mohan, in the form it is Deepa Mohan ma'am
Me: I asked you about it when filling in the form. You said there was no problem. I would have had no problem in giving my name as Deepa Lakshmi Mohan. ...and if there was a problem, why did you not call me? You have my landline no, you have my mobile no, you have my email id...why could you not contact me?
Staff (by now joined by the Mgr) Sorryaboutthatma'am.
Me: So when will my new a/c (Y) be activated?
Bank chorus: In a few days Ma'am.
Me: WHAT! You told me I am getting Gold or Platinum or Whatever Precious Metal privileges. Is this the kind of service you provide for your preferred customers?
Bank chorus: Sorryaboutthatma'am. (I think they get trained to rattle this off immediately.)
Me: I want both accounts active by tomorrow.
Bank Chorus: Wewilldefinitelytryma'am.
Me: Try! No, I want them active. Do I have to come back to the bank?
Mgr: No ma'am, you only have to go to the ATM to activate your card and set the password.
Me: But the ATM is in your bank.
Me: So my old a/c and my new a/c (where you asked me to deposit a minimum of Rs25,000) are both locked since last Friday, and I can't operate them until you inform me that they are active. What sort of service is this?
Me: (Impotently) I want both a/cs active by tomorrow.
Bank Chorus: We'lldefinitelytryma'am.
I walk out before I blow my top.
Now that my problems with Vijaya Bank seem to be over for the most part, I needed some spice in my life, I suppose...