Banking Expectations

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…

Bank TellerI once worked at a bank. A bank is one of those places where one expects to find certain things. People go to the bank and expect to be able to make deposits and withdrawals. They expect to be able to cash checks. They expect to be charged crazy fees for little ridiculous items that are seemingly pointless. Obviously, these fees have a point. That’s why there are highly paid executives that sit around in their 18th story offices in their expensive tailored suits. They’re just sitting up there, lighting imported cigars with 50-dollar bills, and they’re thinking of new ways to charge fees. That’s just what they do.

Something else customers should expect is to be able to get the change that they want. I mean, if someone brings in a 100-dollar bill that isn’t counterfeit, they have every reason to expect that they can trade it in for five 20s or twenty 5s. But I loved it when customers would ask if they could break a 20, like it was a huge inconvenience for me.

I’ll be honest, there were a vast majority of my banking days where I felt like just being there and breathing the same air as many of my customers was a huge inconvenience for me. But during those rare occasions where I wasn’t having a bad day, simply asking for a 10 and two 5s was not going to break me. Those types of customers were appreciated, simply because they were polite enough to be polite.

Even though breaking down that money was just about the simplest thing I could do in my day, it would still be fun to make them think it was something I just couldn’t do. “I’m sorry, but can I get one of these 20s broken down?”

I would just make a pained expression on my face and suck in some air through my teeth, as if I had just touched a hot stove and gotten burned. “I don’t know if I can… hang on… let me check with the manager…” I know that kind of thing may not seem funny to you, the reader, but when I pictured doing that in my head, it made me laugh. It’s not about being mean to someone. It’s just about having a little fun with them. And maybe being a little mean. That’s all. Don’t get so upset!


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