Mechanical Turk?

I went into a Barclay’s Bank last week. My wife asked me to pay some money into her account.

I know she normally insists on dealing with counter clerks and shuns the various machines they have in the foyer for paying in, paying out, getting statements, etc.

I thought I might try the machines, but was swooped on by one of these ‘Eagles’ Barclays have to get technophobes to start using the technology. This was a rather young eagle, and possibly more an eaglet because she told me more than I think she should.

We went through filling in a paying in slip (how quaint) and putting the money and the slip into an envelope. I was given the couterfoil for the paying in slip and then the envelope was placed into a slot in the paying in machine.

Then the Eaglet said; “And now Stuart will process that payment”. Stuart? Is that the name of the machine.

No, Stuart is the person sitting at a desk right behind the slot. It wasn’t a machine. It’s a mechanical letter box.

So, after the Eaglet filled in the paying-in slip, Stuart then handles the money again, counts it again, verifies the paying in slip and then enters the data into the bank system.

And they want to teach people how to use technology?

Surely Barclays, you need to reduce the human processes, not increase them? My wife thought it laughable. If she’d walked into the bank and deposited the money with a counter person, the data would have been entered into the computer system by a single person.

Or does it actually print it out somewhere and a clerk with a quill pen update your own ledger with the transaction?


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