Burning Bridges

 On June 22nd, 2022, I posted the article “I will burn this money on Crimea Bridge” on my Russian website. Let the title not mislead you: the customer I quoted had referred to the Crimea bridge in Moscow over the Moskva river. The quote dates back to 2008, when Crimea was part of Ukraine, and that bridge to the island of Crimea did not exist.  The June post “I will burn this money…” told the story of my bank account opening in Portugal. That little victory over the red tape is now past, so the English version is more about banks’ rules and compliance procedures in general.  Nothing new for bankers but might be interesting for bank customers. I am finalising this English version much later. I have not heard a voice approving the war among my close friends and relatives. Yet there is a vast country out there. Some people are in shock and enduring reality; others accept sick ideas and follow criminal orders. Two months ago, young friends from Moscow came to stay with me, medical doctors who did not want to be mobilised. They miss their dog and their flat; they keep working online for their pharma companies doing business in Russia. One can blame them for not being interested in politics but I do not see that they differ much from European young people I know. The posts I write here and in social networks are my way to stay connected with my own voice and with others. Life is with people. Transparent, accessible, and fair financial services connect people.

Service and inequality

On Facebook, an intelligent and conscientious person criticized Moscow upmarket food store “ABC of Taste” for certain excessive services, which, in his opinion, highlight inequality and exploitation. Service quality is dear to my heart, so I would like to separate the complex issue of inequality from simple truths about customer service, staff motivation and competencies of managers.