The French have owned the prize for their hubris waiters and rude service personnel since the end of World War II, but that cherished ranking is about to give way to the BofA employee.
Case in point:
My parents have been customers of Bank of America since the days when it was called NCNB, translation 4 decades, 40 years.
I've been a customer of Bank America in the past, with a home loan, couple of auto loans, checking accounts, credit cards and more.
I fit the demographic for their ideal customer, for income, net worth, savings, business and social circles. My credit rating is unblemished, and other than that I understand the inverse relation to price and yield better than their investment professionals, I'm a guy they should want to keep happy.
But, I most look like a criminal.
Never mind that have a Federal ID that gives me unescorted access to some of the most secure aviation and shipping facilities in the country or that I have more licenses, certifications and clearances than most members of the secret service.
Perhaps it was my blue blazer, white button down pin point Oxford shirt or regent stripe tie?
I must look the part of the prototypical scam artist, and I thank Bernie Madoff and Donald Trump for that.
My request was simple cash a check my father gave me nearly a month ago. His name, and my mother's name, the address where they have lived at since 1973 all appropriately displayed on the face of the check. The check made payable to me and my name of course matches my North Carolina driver's license as well as matches their last name.
So I wheel into the drive up lane at the local BofA branch, the same one Ive been using since the early 90's. After waiting behind another customer for an eternity it is my chance to drive up to the window.
The teller neither smiles or says hello, frankly I've learned not to expect the over the top politeness of Chick Fil A at Bank of America, but on this visit all I get is an audible grunt.
I placed the endorsed check and my drivers license in the drawer pulling my hand out of the way just in time as it snaps shut.
The woman behind the bullet proof glass never looks up. She just stares at the check and flips it over and over again, as if it written in some foreign language or carries an embedded secret code.
I am intrigued by her diligent examination and the amount of time that it is taking her, so I grab my cell phone and take her photo as she tells me that the drive through is for customers only and I need to come inside to be finger printed.
Inside one of the bank's assistants to the assistant assistant managers greets me at the door. Polite at least but just as unhelpful, as he escorts me to the "teller line", at this point a second teller apparently the same cloned version of the first yet with a different name also proceeds to review my documents, photograph me and request my thumb print.
The assistant assistant provides me with a well rehearsed and repeated explanation; it is for our customer's protection.
Well treat me poorly, make me jump through hoops but don't lie to me, if it was for your customer's protection you wouldn't cash the check until you call my parents on the phone and asked "is it ok we give your son $50.00 from your account?"
To Bank of America the idea of who is a customer has been lost in a sea of corporate manuals, emails and memos. When your forget who the customer is you eventually fail.