That awkward moment in a bank

I decide to go to the bank to withdraw some money from my bank account. The account is there, the money as well, but the debit card is still missing (and this is another story about the Slovak system…). I look for the guy who helped me with everything bank-related, but he is not there. One lady comes to me and asks me something in Slovak. I ask her if she speaks English and she says no. Well, that’s great, as I’m not leaving this place without my money. I ask other customer service reps, but no one speaks English. Realising that she can’t get rid of me, the lady invites me to her office. She turns her monitor towards me, goes on Google Translate, sets it on Slovak to English and types in something that translates to how can I help?. Then she offers me her keyboard. In a bank. An international bank.

Awkward moments? An expat’s life is full of them.


2 thoughts on “That awkward moment in a bank

  1. That’s not so bad. My first experience was that i knew the lady behind the desk was using google translate but she didn’t turn the monitor to me 🙂
    Recently, I went to my bank to let them know that I have changed my address and the lady who first told me “dobry den” said that she speaks a little english but she is busy and she pass me on to a colleague. Which was pretty young and I was expected he would speak english ….but no. So with my little slovak and his no english we manage to change the address.
    The funny part comes now: he was trying to offer me a life insurance, that was the moment when he lost me (I didn’t understood what he wants). He called a colleague which (declared that she) speaks little english but even if she was using the google translate we couldn’t manage to understand each other because the initial guy was playing AT THE SAME TIME with the computer showing her what to translate.
    Finally, another guy which (declared that he) speaks very good english came around (now 3 people with their eyes stacked in one monitor!!!) but he didn’t knew what is the offer about (maybe he was from another department).
    Anyway, the initial guy printed the offer and he asked me if he can call me in one week to see my decision 🙂 (can you imagine how we would understand over the phone if in branch we couldn’t?)
    I said “NO but if I will be interested I will come in person here.”

    and here is my advice: if you need to go to bank go in the city center where the probability to find somebody speaking english is higher….but do not choose to talk to a young person they are less likely to speak english…strange isn’t it?

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