The Phone at the Bank

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 don’t like answering the phone. But that’s because I don’t like talking on the phone. I’m not a huge fan of conversations in general. A couple of the other folks on church staff give me a hard time about reaching my word limit for the day. I go along with it because it means I won’t have to talk anymore.

When I worked for the bank, I really was not a fan of answering the phone. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the sound of that phone ringing was possibly the most annoying sound on the planet.The Phone at the BankI didn’t like answering the phone, because no one ever called for me. And, usually, on the rare occasion that someone did call for me, it wasn’t for a good reason.

Despite the fact that tellers stay pretty busy throughout the day dealing with customers that took the time to actually come to the bank, they are sometimes forced to answer the phone because the customer service people might be busy.

I found myself in that situation one day. A man called and wanted to speak with a manager. Well, as luck would have it, the manager and assistant manager were both busy and were unable to take a phone call. So he, the irate customer on the phone, asked for the number to another branch. This is information that is readily available, but not right where I was standing. So while I stayed on the line with the customer, I asked another teller to look on the list for the other phone number.

In the 15 to 30 seconds it took to find this number, I got to listen to all of this man’s complaints. Mostly, his rant consisted of “y’all done screwed up my account again,” and similar phrases. As a teller and a representative of the bank, I was expected to sit there and take it. I gave him the number he was looking for and he hung up in a huff.The Phone at the Bank - Hang UpI really didn’t want to sit there and take it, though. I’d have really liked to ask him what he meant by “y’all?” I know it’s a contraction for you all. I’m from the south. I know things. But it implied that all of us at the bank had a hand in his account being overdrawn. This was the first time I’d ever spoken to this particular individual, so I could assume that I had never actually even looked at his account. I, personally, had nothing to do with his account being screwed up.

I’d be willing to bet real money that it was, in fact, he and he alone who screwed up his account. But if I made that kind of claim, then I was being just as harsh and judgmental as he was. But probably a lot more correct than he was.

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