Legends of a Branch Manager

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…

Well… It’s certainly been a long time since the last time I wrote anything related to my experience as a bank teller. That’s because, thankfully, I haven’t actually been a bank teller since 2011. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m certain that there are plenty of people out there who enjoy their roles as bank tellers. I was just never one of them.

No, the reason I’m drudging up the ghosts of employment past is because I was inspired…? Challenged…? Call it what you will… By V over at #Milleniallifecrisis to share a tale of a horrible boss. BTW, you should go read her own story. It will make you want to punch a complete stranger in the throat. Unless you actually know the boss she’s writing about. In which case, it will make you want to punch that guy you know in the throat.

The boss in my story really isn’t as bad as what V had to deal with in her previous job. For that, I’m grateful.

But she was a despicable human being, nonetheless.

When I first applied for my job at the bank, I was a down and out seminary student who was hurting for a way to put food on my table. I’d been working in a place that was basically a poor man’s UPS Store, but I was horrible at that, so when I saw that the bank in question was hiring a part time teller, I figured it was something I could do. I mean, I did work for a bank right out of college. I’m pretty good at counting things. There was no way they wouldn’t hire me.

I actually interviewed with and was hired by the assistant branch manager. He was cool. He eventually took a management position at another branch and later hired me to work full time for him. But that’s another story.

I didn’t meet my first manager until I started the job. You know how sometimes you can look back at meeting people and wish that you hadn’t? That might be how I felt about this particular manager. Though our first encounter wasn’t memorable at all. I’m sure it was uneventful and she was just glad to have another cog in her machine.

Here’s the kind of person she was…

She would ignore customers who came in to open new accounts unless it turned out they were wealthy and could potentially open multiple large accounts, in which case she would swoop in and swipe them away from the other service representatives.

She was the kind of manager who never had anything good to say to her employees about their successes. She only liked to point out when we weren’t fulfilling a particular expectation, then demand to know how we planned to do better.

She actively celebrated when one of the bank’s business customers had to close their restaurant and file bankruptcy. This cost the bank a rather large account. But she was thrilled, simply because she did not like that customer on a personal level.

Our branch was one of the few free standing branches that was open on Saturdays. We didn’t run a full staff on the weekend, just a handful of tellers and one service rep or manager. Each month, she would print out a schedule of who would be that one to work with the tellers. She conveniently gave herself any Saturday she needed off. And then, nine times out of ten, she would try to get out of working the one monthly Saturday she was supposed to work.

When she tried to get out of those Saturdays, she would do her best to coerce either the assistant manager or one of the financial service representatives to take her place. When she couldn’t con anyone into giving her the day off, she would suck it up and come in. But she spent the entire day complaining about how so-and-so wasn’t a team player. The following Monday, she would give that “not a team player” the cold shoulder. In my opinion, a cold shoulder from this manager was the best thing she could possibly give to any one of us.

When the assistant manager who initially hired me took his own management position, he was replaced by a woman who constantly butted heads with our manager. That’s because this new assistant manager, like the previous one, was a good person. To say she didn’t last long at our branch is an understatement. But everyone who wasn’t the manager thought she was great. So when she left the bank, we got together to take her to dinner as a sort of farewell. We did not tell the manager about this particular get together. She took time in our next staff meeting to scold us for not including her, stating that if our team was going to get together after hours, the whole team should be a part of it. Uh… a bunch of us just happened to be at Applebee’s at the same time. You can’t tell us how we spend our free time.

One thing I’m big believer in is that a manager or supervisor or whatever the person in charge is called should be able and willing to do anything that his or her subordinates are capable of doing. If you are the manager of a bank, you should, therefore, be able to walk behind the teller line and run a few transactions for your customers from time to time. Especially when it’s insanely busy in both the lobby and the drive through. I have no clue if the manager in question was capable of running a normal transaction because she refused to lower herself to visiting us behind the teller line.

When our former assistant manager encouraged me to apply for a full time position at his branch, I jumped at it. Because it meant I would not have to work for her anymore. She was not pleased with my decision to go elsewhere. But what was I supposed to do? I needed full time hours, she wasn’t willing to give me that. I needed more money, she wasn’t willing to give me that. I needed to be treated like a decent human being, she wasn’t willing to give me that. So I left.

And it was the best decision I could have made while working for the bank.

Who was your worst boss and what made them so bad? Let me know in the comments or keep this thing going by blogging about it yourself! Be sure to tag me and V to keep us all in the loop!

5 thoughts on “Legends of a Branch Manager

  1. Yeah, sadly, people like her are the females that succeed in the working world it seems like. Females like her are the ones touted as the most valuable.

    She sounds like a real piece of work. Sounds like you got yourself out of a bad situation at just the right time.

    Do you make commission of working as a bank teller… like when people open accounts? Is that why she tried to scoop the wealth clients who wanted multiple accounts?


  2. Pingback: Horrible Bosses | No Love for Fatties

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