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…
To the spoiled, rich customers out there who like getting whatever you want just because you carry a certain average balance with the bank, don’t go to the drive through if you want the tellers to wipe your butt for you. If you want a personal banker to hold your hand while you get all your transactions processed, you need to go inside and sit down at the customer service desk.
Scenario: A wealthy business owner came to my drive through window. I’d seen this man a number of times. He made deposits into his business accounts. That’s all I’d ever helped him with. On one particular day, he came with a deposit and a check to cash. First of all, the check he was cashing was for $1500. I’d been told that I wasn’t supposed to cash checks for more than a thousand dollars at the drive through. This was for security purposes. But we were short handed that day and I didn’t feel like dealing with the backlash of asking him to come inside.
When he initially drove up, I was already helping someone in the lobby. The lobby customer had multiple transactions. And I was treating them as I treated everyone, first come, first served. When I completed her transactions, I turned back to the window and ran the wealthy douche bag’s deposit. When I saw the amount of the check, I asked for his ID. At this point, he began throwing his temper tantrum.
“You don’t recognize me?!” He then spouted off a few obscenities, which I will spare you here.
“I do recognize you, but I’ve never cashed a check for you before, I just have to record that I saw it,” I said, maintaining my calm.
He then proceeded to tell me to hurry up because he didn’t have time to sit around and wait. He also told me to make sure I didn’t screw up on his deposit like I did last time. For the record, I had messed up his deposit in the past. It wasn’t anything that he or I didn’t catch right away, though. He was one of those guys that liked to just throw a pile of paperwork into the drawer without separating anything. So he could have one deposit ticket followed by a couple checks, and then another deposit ticket and a few more checks. When you’re looking for speed and accuracy, help your teller out by having things separate. Just a good rule of thumb.
I was barely containing my rage at that point. Not only had he shouted obscenities through the speaker at me, he was questioning my ability to even do the job that I was being paid to do. I counted out his money and passed it out to him. I ended the transaction with the same script I always do. It was nice to have the script when a customer did everything in his or her power to piss me off. He yelled back that I need to do a better job of recognizing my customers.
You know, for a very long time I’d called into question whether or not I was even cut out for customer service of any kind. I may not have been very good at selling things or talking people into opening new accounts, but I could be polite and courteous ’til the cows came home. There were a lot of times when I may have been repressing other feelings while trying to make the customer feel warm and welcome, but I’d gotten pretty good at faking it when the situation called for it.
I really didn’t want to become one of those cynical types that just completely hated working with people. I didn’t want to be someone that completely hated being around people altogether. But people like that made it really difficult to ever want to break out of the shell I’d managed to build up around myself for so long. People like that, who just seemed to be looking for a reason to complain and looking for a reason to pick a fight were the kind of people that I didn’t want to deal with. It was people like that that made me want to quit that job on a daily basis. It wasn’t my coworkers. It wasn’t even the expectations that the powers that be had on me and my job performance. It was the rude, arrogant, selfish [expletive deleted] that made their way through my bank and made unreasonable demands of the people who were doing nothing but trying to help them.