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…
I learned, pretty early in my tenure as a bank teller, that it is incredibly inconsiderate to call in sick on a Monday. At some point, I decided that it was something my conscience wouldn’t let me get away with. Well, that is until at some point my career in banking burned away my soul, then I didn’t care who I hurt by calling in “sick” on a Monday. They’re called mental health breaks. Everyone needs them.
Anyway, there was this particular Monday that came around when the vault teller was out on vacation. That left only two tellers on the front lines. Sure, one of the customer service people came over to open a drawer and help out during lunches, but that wasn’t regular help that we could actually count on.
Thing is, we were busy. Not just a little busy. We were real busy.
Remember how I’ve mentioned that I typically worked the drive-thru lane? There were cars in both lanes pretty much non-stop from 9am until about 3pm when things finally slowed down. And the lobby wasn’t much better. People all the time coming in, getting in line.
After lunch I was getting pretty frustrated. My back was hurting from not having three seconds to sit down. I was getting fed up with the unending barrage of customers while I was trying to make sure my drawer was balanced. And I had to input the ATM deposits, too (half of which didn’t have deposit tickets, one more thing for me to do). Then cam a girl with a business deposit.
I can’t remember what business she represented, and wouldn’t mention it even if I could. All I remember is that they were local to the area that we saw at our branch on a daily basis. And it was usually the same story. She would come to the drive-thru with a stack of checks and a wad of bills rubber banded together in an incoherent mess. Generally, I’m left to figure out where the deposit slip is, and if there are multiple deposits. That day, I was able to find two.
So I ran the two deposits, wished her a good afternoon, and went on to help lane two. Then came the buzz from lane one. “There are supposed to be three deposits, but you only gave me two receipts.”
The frustrations of my day melted down at that point. I pulled all the paperwork that she had given me back out of my bin, then searched through it to find the elusive third deposit ticket. I found it, did the transaction, then got back on the mic. I asked her to, in the future, if it’s not too much trouble, please separate the deposits. But apparently my tone was pretty harsh. This business was all the time pulling this crap. Their deposits were all mixed in and it was hard to tell what was what. I was tired of being the one that looked like an idiot just because they were unorganized.
I felt a little guilty later on. Not for what I said, but for the way I said it. It shouldn’t have mattered how lousy my day was, I didn’t need to talk to her the way I did. Chances are, it wasn’t even her fault. She was likely just the messenger. But no one called the next day to complain about my conduct. I kind of hoped that that business would make things a little easier on everyone by organizing themselves a little better. Of course, they didn’t.