Monday, July 07, 2008


The other night my uncle came to pick my mom up for her flight. While waiting for my mom he had a little chit chat with me and my brother Oli. He told us what happened with his son Valjun that afternoon. He asked Valjun to go to SSS Antipolo to run some errand. Apparently, my cousin went off with exact money for fare only and he did not anticipate that the trike rate in Antipolo soars like a dragon! To make the story short, he rode the tricycle with insufficient funds and ended up loaning P50 from the SSS security guard, so Oli and I ended up rolling on our stomach laughing. But then, that brings me… hey, it happened to you before! Oh yeah… I think it was a couple of months ago –blush-

I was in Megamall and was about to go home when I felt the craving for fries. I have P100+ cash in hand left. I settled for fries and drinks at Mcdo and it me left with P58. The FX fare to Tanay is P60. I was not worried because ATMs are all over the place anyway. After eating, I went to the nearest Metrobank ATM, errr ET (electronic teller).

When I’m almost there and saw MB ET from the distance, I was surprised to see that there was no queue at all. Hmmm, there could only be one reason – it’s OFF LINE. No panic yet. Okay, I’ll have to settle for Bancnet ATMs which will cost me P10. No big deal. I tried China Bank and what did I get – Error 91: Cannot complete transaction, issuer is down. Still no panic. I tried City State, same error. BDO, error 91… Okay, I’ll settle for BPI, which sounded painful since it’ll charge me P100. I had no choice. But I got the same error message! Then I started to worry.

I went to Shangri-la and checked Metrobank. It was also off line. I tried GE and UCPB. When I got the same error message I knew I was already in trouble. I wish I didn’t eat fries. I went back to Metrobank and asked the guard what time will the ATM be online. Just as I expected, he told me it’s off line nationwide because the systems were down. I asked him if I can do transaction over the counter but apparently they were not accepting any transaction. Don’t you get it kid, THE SYSTEMS ARE DOWN! WTF! That’s bullshit! This is the BIGGEST bank in the country and they don’t even have a backup support?!? Or can’t they do it MANUALLY?!? Hah! People should not rely on technology alone. Finally I asked for a manager, customer relation officer, whatever I am a customer and I need MY money! So a manager loomed before me but it was like I don’t exist at her front at all. Whoever she was, she doesn’t deserve to be in her position. Dr. Mapa, Mrs Chan, Mr. and Mrs. Ty, the very cute Sir Alfred Ty, if one miraculous day you come across this blog post, pls. fire her. She’s an A-hole! Yes, the bank manager at Shangri-la branch. She was all on her paper works and the scene looked like a brat whining to a machine. I asked politely, Ma’am is there anyway I can withdraw money over the counter because I’m literally out of cash and I need to get home. All she ever said was “the mainframe of the system crashed and there’s nothing we can do for you. You can TRY to your branch, they MIGHT be able to help” What a very nice statement of ASSURANCE. What was Metrobank’s tag line again? YOU’RE IN GOOD HANDS with… Whatever, I’m not keeping with this shit anymore. I was thinking at that time, as soon as your systems are up and running, I’ll get all my money and transfer to BPI, BDO, whatever, I’ll never do business with that bank again! (duh, like I am a loss hahaha)

Huhuhu, my money was short of P2… How will I get home… I was very far from home and I can’t think of calling anyone. At the very last moment I don’t want to impose. So I did the inevitable, as soon as I get to the terminal I asked the dispatcher that my fare lacks P2 because Metrobank is down and I can’t withdraw a cent. The dispatcher was really nice and said that it’s perfectly okay. He even told me that even if I don’t have money at all they’d let me ride the transpo –tears of joy-. There are still hospitable Pinoys after all. I promised I’d return the P2 next day which I did but he refused to accept –sigh-

It was an embarrassing experience but I also learned something. The incident was not purely on Metrobank’s end. I should always anticipate something like that when I go out. I also relied on machines alone for not keeping emergency cash. And of course, never prioritize your appetite! In the end I didn’t transfer my money to other banks. My angst ended the moment I received a simple altruism from the dispatcher and I also realized that I owed my college education from Metrobank, I do have a sense of gratitude so let’s just call it quits hehehe.

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