how (not) to end a relationship

Posted: May 6, 2014 in mixed bag, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Today I ended a relationship – with my bank of 10 years or so. It has seen me through times when I was flush with funds and the lean days. They raised the bar for me and I was adamant about not meeting them, as I was too engrossed playing my part of the rolling stone that gathers no moss. This often led to ‘how could they do this to me’ moments as they were quite unapologetic about deducting money for ‘account maintenance’ without so much as a ‘may I please?’

It was with a heavy heart that I ventured inside the bank for the first time y’day – phones and ATMs have kept me out of the bank all of these 10yrs, though I did stand on the steps leading up to the entrance once in 2005. The air conditioning was welcoming. These sultry summer days it takes very little to cheer me up. PYTs who would give the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines’ stewardesses a run for their money moved about languorously, well dressed and groomed with makeup in place, or were perched prettily on tall chairs, tossing their sleek hair about.

I was asked to take a seat and before I lowered myself into one of their cherry red chairs, I was told to go to the basement. I thought I heard her wrong. Everyone else was being ushered to curvy white cubicles with red cushioned chairs.

But I went the way I was guided – one of the employees helped me, his eyes registering an understanding like he has seen this before – and indeed it took me to the basement where the sun never laid its eyes. A bespectacled stern-looking girl in a saree greeted me. Her mouth kind of half-stretched – I took it to be a smile. If I were confined to the basement I would not be too keen on flashing my pearlies either.

In retrospect, I think they chose the most unemotional one of them all for a cut and dry clinical approach. I wonder how they arrived at it – perhaps they repeatedly showed her  videos of her favorite designer bags being set on fire…or could it have been harsher?

“I’d like to close my account,” I said. “Fill up these forms,” she said. I stared at her, incredulous. Really? After 10 years of loyalty, you aren’t the least bit interested in why I want to close my account?? Much less, persuade me not to?! Anyways, there was a glitch and she handed over the form to me and asked me to fill it up and said, “You can courier it. There is no need for you to come back again.”

I was crushed. Where was the farewell-to-thee-but-never-forget-me song? Things were going more on the lines of ‘hit the road jack and don’t you come back’.

Would it be too much to ask, to sit and reflect back on the highlights and lowlights of our relationship these ten years past? It seems only like y’day when I started to work. Naïve, hopeful and full of dreams that had nothing to do with the bank but with what I could do with all the money I made there.

Where, oh, where was my mysterious relationship manager who had shot off a mail to me a couple of months ago telling me something about how she is here to take care of me (and/or my money)? I kept expecting an invitation for a tête-à-tête over red wine or at least apple cinnamon tea and a plate of prunes while we discuss investments, my financial portfolio etc. but it never came.

Needless to say, it was rather callous – this unceremonious send off. Did I tell you how crushed I am? Right. I said that already. Sigh.


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