By the time you’re reading this it would have been the 21st of June 2005 or later. Payday was six days ago. Six days is a long time to go without money. Wait, didn’t I say payday was just six days ago?
Well it was and then again it wasn’t. And we have Unionbank EON Payroll to thank for that.
On the afternoon of the 15th just before 3pm, our messenger Roque had delivered the appropriate papers to Unionbank Main Office (Buendia). While other banks would have had our salaries online within an hour, Unionbank somehow chose to postpone the posting of our salaries to the next day, the 16th. And on top of that, the person who received our papers just happened to be on leave on that next day, leaving our papers— the equivalent of two week’s hard work for us—piled on her desk.
When our HR department called Unionbank to find out what was going on, we were told that the EON System was down, offline, inaccessible. Unionbank even said that we shouldn’t feel so special, that other companies were in the same bucket as we were, unable to withdraw money that is due them. We told Unionbank it wasn’t very wise to trumpet their incompetence by saying they’d screwed up a bunch of other companies besides ours.
By Friday the 17th the EON system was up again, and people could use their ATM cards to withdraw their pay. But not those who have been newly hired and have been issued their ATM cards more than a week before payday. For some reason, Unionbank likes to take its time activating ATM cards, and our HR in charge had instructed us to call Unionbank to inquire if our cards had already been activated, and to try using them at any ATM machine just to make sure we could pull out our pay when the time came.
In short, the new ATM cards were unable to transact. The new employees could not withdraw their pay. We were told that we could withdraw over the counter, at the main office, and that’s what Hazel, our new programmer, did this afternoon. She used her lunch hour to go to Unionbank Main Office in Buendia, and stood in line for more than two hours, only to be told when it was her turn, that the system was still offline and that she could not get her money.
Increasingly irate calls from our HR department resulted in an exhibition of passing the buck. Main office told us to call EON because it was their problem, EON told us to transact with Main Office because they were our bank. After more than an hour of button pushing, Abby, our HR assistant, finally pinned down a Unionbank Main Office employee who revealed that Hazel’s and my names are on a list of payroll depositors who CAN withdraw over the counter, but apparently the person that Hazel talked to there had no idea there was a list, didn’t even check if there was such a list, did NOT consult with anyone about any list, and told the poor girl who had been standing in line for more than two hours that she could not have her money.
But, as our boss said, withdrawing over the counter is not the answer. When can we use our ATM cards to withdraw funds at our convenience, as this is the whole point of the ATM card?
We can only wish that Unionbank will have an acceptable answer soon. Preferably before next payday.