Friday, July 4, 2008

Tellings of a Bank Teller

Lately I've been obsessing about all the things that bug me about working at a bank. And they're totally nit-picky! I know I shouldn't care about them, but I do. So I figured if I blogged about my irritations, perhaps I could slowly begin to educate the world about what bugs tellers. Well, what bugs irrational and moody tellers like myself. :)

*Something I didn't realize six months ago is that people simply don't know their account numbers. This is something I really can't fathom. I'm a numbers person, generally speaking. Birthdays, phone numbers... I remember them easily. So when I was 12 and had my savings account number memorized, I thought I was normal. Boy was I wrong. This is only a small frustration of mine. Really it only gets me when we're really busy. But if people have a hard time memorizing numbers, can't they just write it down somewhere?

*This leads me to the next thing that irks me. Even if you don't know your account number, couldn't you still maybe fill out the rest of the deposit slip? Or is that asking too much? I mean the date, your name, the amount deposited... It's not rocket science.

*Following a pattern now...If you're a large business or perhaps an individual who for some reason receives a multitude of checks, invest in a calculator. Total the checks before handing your teller a stack of 25 with your empty deposit slip. My job isn't to do your accounts receivable, believe it or not.

*Have you ever noticed the sign in the bank that says something like "Wait here for next available teller"? There's something clever about that sign. The clever thing is that it does not say "Please storm the teller window as soon as the client in front of you walks away." With almost every transaction, there's paper work still printing even after the client walks away. So do us a favor. Wait for the words "I can help you down here." That's a clear sign your teller is ready.

*I'm going to stray a bit from the things that regularly irritate me and address an anomaly. Mystery fluids. Today I was handed a deposit slip that was stained brown over about half of it. How am I supposed to know what that is? Coffee? Coke? Something slightly less sanitary? I don't know, but that's gross. Another time I got a check with a smear on the back that looked a lot like blood. Some people might be surprised to find out that we don't keep rubber gloves in our drawers for such occasions. Sure we use hand sanitizer, but that's to protect us from the standard disgustingness of money. If for some reason you got blood on your check, I personally think it would be appropriate to ask the remitter to issue a new check. Or how about the thick, clear, sticky fluid on a dollar bill someone handed me? I'm not making this up...

*Most bank tellers have not received a degree in psychology. Therefore, we might not feel particularly comfortable hearing your strange personal problems. Do we enjoy chatting with our clients? Absolutely. It keeps the day moving and entertaining. But the fact that your girlfriend came with you to Utah from New York and suddenly decided to call the cops and claim you kidnapped her, leaving you in jail for the last four days? That's weird. How do you honestly expect me to respond?

*Additionally, deep political discussions are probably not appropriate. Asking who I think Obama's running mate will be? Reasonable question. Telling me under your breath that the client next to you should speak English because we're in (curse word) America and illegal immigration is out of control? Probably getting a bit too deep. Or you could be the person who asks me why our sign saying we're closed for the 4th of July is in English and Spanish, adding that it doesn't make sense because of the essence of the holiday being "American". If you know me, you won't be surprised that my initial urge (which I refused) was to explain that in fact the "essence" of Independence Day is our country's against-all-odds melting pot beginnings--a celebration of the uniting of people of every possible background to defeat an insurmountable foe. Instead I just smiled cordially externally while chuckling internally at the client's ignorance. :)

With that beautiful segue... Happy 4th of July!!!
I've gotten enough off my chest that I think I will be able to completely enjoy one of my favorite holidays (second favorite only to Christmas).
Maybe it's the History major or maybe it's the fact that I've always considered myself a Patriot.
I love the display of red, white, and blue.
I love the fact that on one day, everyone loves the National Anthem as much as I do.
I love the fireworks, the parades, the respect we duly pay servicemen and women, the remembering that we're all American.
My hope this year, as our country is torn on so many issues, is that we can remember what it means to be "One Nation Under God."
Many people fear that we are too easily forgetting the "Under God," which is definitely cause for concern.
But I'm equally worried that we're straying too far from the
"One Nation" ideal.

So as sappily utopian as I might sound, remember what this
country stands for.
Today, let's make our Founders proud.

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3 comments:

Adiel said...

Noted! I will never do any of those things when I go to a bank! :)

I love your beautiful words about independence day.

BNGINES said...

Memories, memories of when I was bank teller....six years ago! Thank goodness I'm over that. Don't worry if you ever see my husband at the bank I've educated him on all that. I feel your pain girl, been there, done that, now I'm glad its over!

Pj.steph said...

Loved the teller rants!

And to think, Adiel was just telling me how I should see if you knew about job openings... lol