The day my comments on the money laundering story appeared in a local paper, early morning I got an SMS from a friend employed in a large PSU bank : “Was upset with your derogatory generalisation about the bank employees. Most of us down the line may not have budgets and deadlines, but we are slogging to serve our customers. Our guys too at the top have tremendous pressure to perform; only difference is our jobs are secure.”
The same day I had to meet another friend who heads the cluster for a top AMC. He too remarked on my story : “Tensing, you have hit where it hurts. The situation is really too bad. Sometimes they cannot even leave the branch at night, till they have met the targets for the day. It’s particularly bad for the lady managers; the language they have to put up with … it will scandalise even the fishmongers.” He should know; he quit a private bank some five-six years back, or a little more.
What do I conclude from this ?
I am still looking for the optimal paradigm. Do I commend the PSU bank model : limited competition, moderate pressures, tolerance for mediocre performance, job security ? I deal with this PSU bank; and am not entirely happy with the quality of service – slow, erratic, and typically bureaucratic. Some of the employees are efficient, enthusiastic and dedicated; dealing with them you get the feeling of being in a private bank. But the rest are lethargic, do not know their work properly and are not interested serving in you.
Or do I commend the private bank model : cut-throat competition, killing pressures, performance driven, job at stake ? I deal with this private bank too; and am not entirely happy with it too. The employee you deal with today, is gone tomorrow – a victim of the pressure; so every time you meet a fresh person, you have to explain your query all over again. She too is not interested in serving you; she thinks of nothing but her day’s target.