The Legend of a Painter 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…

Bank Teller 2I’m going to tell you the story of a business owner who occasionally banked in my branch. He was the kind of guy that liked certain tellers who were comfortable bending certain rules. These certain tellers weren’t necessarily doing anything wrong, but they had a certain level of trust with certain customers and didn’t mind bending those rules.

Look, I’m not going to use names. There’s an incredibly vindictive part of me that really wants to use real names, but I’m trying to be a bigger person here. The rude customer in question was the owner of a small painting business. The business was named after him. The only reason I would have ever wanted to use his name would be to convince any of my readers in the Raleigh area to not use him or his painting services. But, as I said, I just can’t lower myself to that level. So I’ll just refer to him as The Painter.

The Painter came into the branch one day at around 9:30 or 9:45. We hadn’t been open long, so I was still in that comfort zone where I was slightly optimistic about my day. Things didn’t usually get bad for me until after lunch. So, at the time, things were good. The Painter was in the lobby and there were only two of us on the teller line. My coworker was helping someone else and I had no one at the drive through, so I crossed to the counter and greeted The Painter.

The Painter informed me that he wanted to deposit a check into his account and then immediately withdraw $500 from that account. Now, he had no choice but to deposit the check into his business account. Rules are rules. When a check is made out to a business, it must be deposited into an account carrying that business’ name. So I made the deposit for him and looked up the status of the account. In order for him to withdraw $500, as he wanted, there would have needed to be at least $500 available in the account. There was only 20 and some change. That just wasn’t gonna cut it.

The check he deposited was for a little more than $700. You may be asking, if he deposited a check for that much, why couldn’t he just make the withdrawal? Well, checks drawn off other banks need to go through processing before the cash is made available. Typically, this happened within 24 hours. But he wanted his money at that moment. And, since it was made out to the business, he couldn’t just take it to the bank it was drawn on to cash it out. I gave him the bad news, even after checking with Barney Stinson to see if it was something that could be done by someone with a little more authority. I wasn’t willing to sign off on it and neither was he.

When I delivered the bad news, The Painter threw a fit, right there in the bank. “I’m sure Judge [name redacted]’s check is perfectly okay!” I explained that if the check were drawn on our bank, it would be no problem to make sure the check was okay. As it was, I had done all I could. He stormed out. I missed the part where he said, “[expletive redacted] you!” as he walked out the door, but Barney Stinson heard it and was happy to share that information.

If it had been later in the day, I probably would have been pretty angry about the whole situation. But since it was still early, I found it to be pretty hilarious. I started to wonder if that was what it was like for everyone else to watch me get ticked off over little things. And you’d think the story would have ended with being cussed out by The Painter. You’d be wrong, though.

Not long after this, The Painter returned. I hid in the back. I really didn’t feel like dealing with him a second time. One “[expletive redacted] you!” was enough for me in a day. He got the manager to reverse the deposit that I ran for him and took the check back. From there I deduced that he waited until 10 a.m., went to the branch that opened his account, and asked them to do the withdrawal. Stinson called over to that branch and was told that one of the tellers told The Painter to come back to us, get the check, and they’d take care of him. Stinson told them the whole story, that he used profanity with one of our tellers, and that, under no circumstances were they to give him cash back on this check that is drawn on another bank. We checked the system a few minutes later. The deposit showed up. He was denied his cash back. I like to think of that as justice.

Take that, The Painter!


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