Spare Change

In the world of banking, the people on the front lines of the industry are known as tellers. These are the people who are expected to help customers with all of their day to day banking needs. It is often a thankless and miserable position to hold. These are their stories. These are their legends…

Are you in the mood to help your local bank teller? Probably not. Because more often than not, you see them in the same light as they probably see you. I know, I’ve been on both sides of that counter. But let’s pretend that everyone wants to be as helpful as possible. When you have change that you would like to exchange for paper money, you really need to bring it in rolls. Now, I know there are banks that would rather your change be loose. I’ve worked in two different banking institutions. One preferred the loose change that they could throw into a giant counting machine. In my experience, however, most banks prefer the rolled coin method.

Most people are aware of the coin rolls. They adhere to it and it’s extremely helpful when they bring it into their local branch. What most people are probably not aware of is that the values written on the coin wrappers are not merely a suggestion. When you have a penny wrapper that has the number 50 on there, it means you have to put in 50 cents worth of pennies. Not 57 or 58. 50.

When you have a roll of dimes with the number 5 or the actual word “five” spelled out on it, that means five dollars worth in dimes. Not $4.70.

I once had a customer come in claiming to have 90ish dollars worth of rolled coin that he wanted to deposit into his kids’ savings accounts. When I counted his rolls, I came up with something in the 80s. But something troubled me: some rolls of pennies were much longer than others.

Being OCD when it came to having a balanced drawer, this meant I had to open each roll up and count them all individually. We didn’t have a magic counting machine at that branch in those days. So I did all of this by hand. After adding and subtracting everything (and counting numerous dimes, nickels, and quarters, as well) he was short by 48 cents. Granted, that’s not a huge deal in the long run, but I spent the better part of that day counting coins and my drawer ended up being short by 48 cents. That was not fun for me.PenniesThe moral of this story? If you’re thinking of exchanging your change for real money, be sure to count it before you roll it. You can’t just make a guess about those things. Just because it looks like it might be the right amount doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Never assume. The other moral could just be that you need to find a teller that isn’t so anal about making sure his or her drawer is balanced at the end of their shift.


One thought on “Spare Change

  1. Wow, this post just brought back memories of sitting in my parents’ room with my dad, sorting piles of coins on the bed and counting them out. He made sure we counted correctly, emphasizing doing a job right. Thanks for the trigger for memory lane! 🙂


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