Today got off to a great start. I showed up at work to find out that the other two tellers I work with at the bank were still out sick with the flu, so until further notice I would be handling all of the transactions by myself. Fantastic. The guy who isn’t even finished with training and doesn’t know how to do some things would be doing everything. Mondays. Am I right? It really wasn’t all that bad and handled most things pretty easily without having to ask a supervisor for help, but then just after lunch I went to help someone in the drive-thru lane and my day turned sour rather quickly. Through the magical tube came a check, and so I got on the microphone and asked the customer how I could help him. “Cash it” was the short response said to me with an attitude that seemed to say that I should have known what this person wanted, as if I was a mind reader rather than a bank teller.
I told the customer that I would be happy to cash the check for him and that I was going to send the tube back to him so he could supply me with his ID. To protect customers from fraud it is the bank policy to identify everyone wanting to cash a check to make sure that we give the money to the person the check is made out to, and since I’m new and didn’t recognize this man I couldn’t cash the check without seeing his identification. He was clearly unhappy and unwilling to comply with my simple request and began yelling at me over the intercom system, claiming he’d never heard of anything so ridiculous and demanding I summon the manager who would be able to identify him. The manager was on her lunch break so I politely informed the customer of this and again told him that I would be happy to cash the check if he would just send me his drivers license. He began yelling out his bank account number at me, assuming that knowing an account number was sufficient enough to proving identification, however it is not. “I’m here every week and have never been treated this horribly” he yelled at me. He told me to pull up his account and see how long he’d been a customer of the bank, then I’d be sorry for treating him this way. I told him I’d go to another teller that had arrived and ask her to confirm his identity, which she did, so I cashed the check and told the man to have a good day. He responded by driving away.
Over the course of the time I’ve been working at the bank I have found that the simple fact of asking a customer for identification is one of the quickest ways to upset them. In their mind they assume that everyone should know who they are and asking to see a drivers license is the equivalent of accusing them of fraud. This wasn’t the first time someone has gotten mad or offended by this, but this was the first time I got yelled at for it. I just don’t understand why this simple request upsets people so much and would love for someone to explain it to me. The policy is in place to protect the customer, but it seems that most people don’t see it that way. I’m new and still trying to learn all of the people who are regulars at the bank, but until that time, I can’t in good conscience cash a check for someone I don’t know without confirming their identity. Doing so could result in me losing my job, which I’m unwilling to do, and if that means getting yelled at then that is something I’ll live with. Next time you go to a bank, don’t be a jerk, or else you run the risk of having a blog written about you.