French Phrase of the Day: C’est toujours la même chanson.

French Phrase of the Day: It’s always the same song.

This is the equivalent of us saying “it’s always the same old story.” The reason for today’s French phrase of the day is because of the ongoing frustration with the ineptitude of French workers. Technically, I should say that this is with some French workers here… but I’m so frustrated, that today I’m willing to put the whole entire race together. And therefore, here is today’s French ineptitude story of the day:

Rio lost his debit card back in August 2012 and still hasn’t received a new one. Yes – that was seven months ago. He basically gets money each week via me making sure I take out enough for him at the ATM, and when he has to, he uses our American debit card. It’s like an allowance! So post-card loss, Rio contacted our “manager” at HSBC whom I will refer to as J.P. (his initials) three times via email and once by phone to 1) update our address and 2) request a new card. In all of those cases, not once has J.P. ever responded to Rio’s outreach. Not once. And no, we do not have the wrong email or phone number. In what world does someone like J.P. still have a job?? In France, apparently. And they wonder why the economy has gone to merde and are stereotyped as lazy.

So, I finally decided to take things in my own hands and walked my tuckus over to HSBC in the 9th arrondissement and make the request in-person. I brought all my forms with me and some extra just in case. Everything seemed to go well and the front desk receptionist told me that the request to change the address was made and to come back on the 22nd to then request the new debit card. Knowing how slow things take in France, I sure as hell wasn’t going to go back on the 22nd and decided to give them an extra day and went back today. I was partly prepared for them to tell me the request was still processing… but what I wasn’t prepared for was them saying that the request didn’t go through because the bill we showed them as proof of address wasn’t recent enough. Umm – so how come no one called me to tell me this so I could come back with a newer bill and why didn’t the bankman notice this when he took it in the first place?? Pourquoi, people, pourquoi??

Well, I’m embarrassed to say that I was frustrated to the point I started tearing up at the bank. Oui, at the bank. In public. And ok… maybe a bit more than teared up. Apparently, they will be giving me a ring in two days to let me know if they will be able to authorize the change in address and send us the new debit card. I told them I wasn’t hopeful that was going to happen. On va voir. Oh, and for the record, I did tell the banklady “c’est toujours la même chanson” and she chuckled. C’est vraiment comme une blague.

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4 thoughts on “French Phrase of the Day: C’est toujours la même chanson.

  1. Christine says:

    Oh boyyy, I feel your pain. It seems like bank tellers have a gift for making foreigners feel like complete idiots. Once, my bank accidentally wired 10,000 euros to my landlord, and they didn’t even tell me! My landlord actually emailed me thanking me for my “generous gift”… haha 🙂 Well, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?

    Hope everything works out with the debit card!

  2. Good luck with your debit card! I also feel you your pain. Je pense que le service à la clientèle dans toutes les banques sont vraiment toujours la même chanson!

  3. […] good weather, I finally received Rio’s new debit card after eight months of dealing with horrid HSBC and even restarted my French lessons… also after nearly eight months of waiting to hear back […]

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