Tellers With Patience

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…

YodaI try to be a patient person. Though, according to Yoda, there is no try. There are situations that I face where I am either patient or not. And if I’m having difficulty being patient, I fake it pretty well for the sake of the people around me. This is what I had to do as a bank teller when dealing with customers on a daily basis. Because, as we all know, the customer is always right.

I once worked a transaction for a customer attempted to work a transaction for a customer. This transaction was to deposit a check and give some cash back. Keep in mind that the check was not drawn on the bank for which I worked. And, I’m sure I’ve explained before, the only way we can cash checks drawn on other banks is if there is cash in the client’s account to back it up. You know, just in case the check turns out to be less than good.

This lady wanted $500 back after her deposit. Unfortunately, her account was about $250 in the negative. This meant that there was no chance I could give her any cash whatsoever. All of it had to be deposited and the soonest she would be able to get any of her cash would be the next morning after the check cleared the bank.

I explained this to her. I did so calmly and rationally. I returned her deposit slip so she could make the correction. She then proceeded to swear and semi-violently grab the deposit slip, ball it up, and throw it in her purse. She pulled out another bank slip, filled it out, huffed and puffed a bit more (because I’m sure that was helping the situation immensely), then tossed the new deposit slip over the counter at me. Please note, by this point, I was using a large amount of restraint to not roll my eyes.

I deposited the full amount of the check into her account. Then I apologized to her once again for the inconvenience. She left, still visibly upset.

Bank Teller 2Why did I apologize to this woman? It wasn’t my fault that her account was overdrawn by $250. I apologized because my employers expected me to do so. Profusely. I apologized because we live in a touchy-feely society that needs to make sure no one out there feels like a complete moron, even if they genuinely are. Seriously, I know 5-year-olds who could add and subtract better than a lot of the customers I dealt with on a daily basis working for the bank. If you can’t do it in your head, use a calculator. They’re all over the place. You can get them real cheap at Wal-Mart… the solar powered kind. I bet you even have one already programmed into your smartphone. But, if you still can’t find a calculator, count with your fingers. I know that sounds infantile, but don’t be ashamed. It’s a lot better than forgetting how much money you’ve spent, then overdrawing your account and getting charged ridiculous amounts of money by the bank because they had to cover your incompetent butt.

And why does the bank charge that kind of money? Because they can. Because their customers let them do it every time they refuse to keep track of their own transactions.

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