So let me start this off by saying that I worked with a great team. I worked for a subsidiary of QNB. Independent (to an extent), challenging, and did I mention that there were great people to work with?
My issue is probably with the bank itself in ‘essence’. I cannot find fault with most people (note I said most). However since joining, there was always the feeling of confusion, no not from my end, but from QNB itself. Nobody really knew what they were doing completely; I talk about the people I interacted with of course and this post is only meant to highlight my experience.
What made the experience a bit sad was that QNB actually treated staff worse than customers. Now if the level of service given to customers is quite low, you can only imagine what staff get. No special rates, hardly any exceptions, processes are a bit more difficult and you have to pick up your account debit card 4 months after you apply in a leaky toilet under head office. Alright so I made the last one up, but that’s how it feels.
After quitting, I decided to take the professional route and stay a month in order to take care of the work left over and to ensure that the projects (and clients) that I had on my plate were completed and/or handed over professionally; after all, that is the right thing to do. Many Qataris simply leave the next day, but oh no, I had to let morals get in the way. It was a foolish mistake.
I had left to Japan when I had the lovely surprise of seeing that my cards were canceled. Yep, I had a month left, went on leave for a few days only to find that I couldn’t use my cards half way through. After returning to Qatar, I saw that I couldn’t use any of my cards! Calling up customer service was of no help because they simply said they didn’t know what the problem was.
So I waited a bit over a week and then finally decided that I didn’t want to have my money in a hidden account and went off to the main branch to set up a new account. They gave me a few papers to sign, signed them, and left with the card. Not bad, I get a debit card on the spot. The next few days didn’t go on too well since it took a while for it to link up to my online banking. It was a hassle, I had to create a new account and transfer funds, but it was over and done with. The end of the month came and my team gave me a nice lunch to say goodbye. That’s pretty nice.
Last pay and I’m out of there. Nope. No pay. Yep no pay for me. QNB didn’t put me on the pay roll. They told me that they would pay my salary 21 days after I quit. Wait what?! I have a mortgage to pay… I worked for a whole month for what? To get paid two months later? I tried called the AGM since he was a friend but he was on vacation for 3 weeks.
So I send off an email to a person I considered a friend at HR and ask him to please ‘help a brutha out man!’ He was always friendly to me, and in fact, he told me to call on him if I ever needed help. I explained the situation and got an reply “Isn’t this your signature”, with an attachment to an account cancellation form. The form was dated the 19th! They canceled my account BEFORE I signed that form. I was GIVEN that form when I created a new account! Plus canceling my original account is against policy! It should have been converted to a customer account… Guess they follow policy when it suits them.
I explained that to him and he cced in someone saying “please follow up”. Nice…. thanks Qatari bro. You really helped me out there. //end sarcasm. So the guy (who also works in QNB HR) goes an reactivates my old account… no I don’t want my old account reactivated… Just send my salary to the new one… No he can’t do that… So Saturday comes a long and I get a text that my account is 10+k overdrawn. What? Wasn’t my account reactivated so that I could get my salary and now I’m overdrawn?
The geniuses reactivated an empty account which automatically charged me an ‘empty account’ fee, then charged me some sort of interest, and then pulled out the mortgage. To make matters worse, the mortgage statement didn’t even reflect that! What the hell?!
So the office manager sends an email to HR on my behalf asking them to please sort this out. What does she get as a reply? “It’s a customer account now so it’s not our business. Let him go to main branch.”. What the F~~~~~ I don’t even want to waste a badword on them.
So now I have to go BACK to the main branch, get them to waive these fees and sort crap out. How nice of them! Who wants to bet I’ll be speaking to someone who either a) doesn’t care or b) ‘can’t do anything because it’s out of his hands’.
Moral? Sometimes you just can’t be too nice… *sighs* No regrets from leaving a bank that couldn’t at least show me an inch of compassion. I guess I stayed as long as I did because of a few reasons, the CEO was an interesting person, one of the GM’s was a supporting individual, and I met some amazing staff at the bank. It’s thanks to them that I cannot say that all my time was a waste.
Note: Let there be no misunderstanding. My time in my line of work was great. I learned from my team, I managed to work on fantastic and amazingly huge transactions, and I was able to get a new understanding for the way the banking ‘game’ is played, it’s just that I wish things went a bit easier. We return to that classic sentence which is meant to be words of support but often get considered words of despair “Life’s not easy”.