The other day I was making a deposit at the bank. I could have done it through the ATM but I wanted the teller to see that I actually had a paycheck to deposit instead of my normal unemployment check. Yes, showing off just a bit and enjoying it. She was either unimpressed or well trained to not respond to show-offs, and handled my transaction in record time. It all happened so fast that I forgot to have her break a $100 bill so I could buy lunch at the little deli next door. (The chicken katsu on Thursdays is fantastic!) I casually whipped out my Ben Franklin acting as if I had several more in my pocket and asked for change, to which she replies, “I can’t take money in and then give money back.” My response is a quick, “Pardon me,” (a phrase I usually reserve for post belch) “I just need change.” She switched to her stern-teacher tone of voice and spoke to me slowly as though I had trouble understanding her and said, “I cannot take in money and then give money back.” I felt that she switched to teacher tone too quickly and with my frustration escalating, I asked, “Is this not a bank anymore? I thought that was part of the business model here. I could put money in and get money out.” She sat up a bit straighter on her lounge-singer style stool and said, “I am sorry Mr. Carroll. Is there something else I could help you with today?” I was being dismissed for trying to get change from a bank! “Yes,” I replied. “I need change for this $100 bill so I can go next door and get my chicken katsu before they run out. Is there someone you could ask about doing this for me?” Now I’ve done it. Little metal drawers slammed closed and she turned more locks than an apartment door in Harlem. “I will be right back,” she said. “I will be right here!” I replied. She stormed back to the rear of the bank where Mrs. Scrooge was sitting at a desk that looked like it was built around her and I watched them discuss my absurd request. The teller turned and pointed at me as if I was in a police line-up and then returned to the discussion with Mrs. Scrooge. The eyes of the people in line behind me were burning into my back as if I was the problem here! The teller turned on her heel in a move worthy of Michael Jackson and headed back my way. The look on her face was clear. The score: Bank 1, Russ 0. “Unfortunately, Mr. Carroll, it’s against bank policy to take money in and then give money back.” I wonder if there is a page two to this training manual because she couldn’t get past this single response. “OK,” I said. “Could I make a deposit and then withdraw the money?” I could see the wheels turning and smell the smoke as she processed this angle in her Customer Service Representative mind and she replied, “Yes, we could do that.” I turned to the guy behind me in line and throw down a Tiger Woods like fist pump and resounding “YES!” as if I’d just won the lottery. I filled out a deposit slip for $100 and included the $100 withdrawal. Quicker than you can say, “Is that the lamest policy you have ever heard of” I had my five $20 bills. Teller Queen looked a bit defeated as she counted them out, but I was just beaming as I headed out for my date with the chicken katsu.
Now, I know I could have avoided this whole thing and simply gone to the ATM. But then, what the heck would I have written this month’s article about? But…..that’s just how I see it.
You may contact me at: Russ@pleasanthillcommunityfocus.com