Three Angry Customers

Today at work, I made three customers made at me before my lunch break, so I guess you could say it was a pretty good day. The first guy walked in like he was the founder of the bank or something, throwing his check up on the counter with a bad attitude that had me feeling quite un-eager to help him out, but it is my job, so I grabbed the check and took a look at the amount he was trying to get cashed. In the spirit of customer privacy and keeping my job, I’m not going to divulge the amount of the check, but I will say that it was much higher than anyone has asked me to cash before, and I have to admit this made me feel about gleeful because I knew I wouldn’t be able to cash the check for that amount of money. I tried my best to subdue the smile on my face as I informed the customer of this fact, which as you’d probably imagine, he didn’t take too well.

As his frustration began to build, my supervisor who had been watching decided to step in and informed the customer that since it was an insurance check, the only thing we would be able to do is deposit it into his account and wait for the check to be verified before we could release any of the funds to him. Apparently, according to him, he’d spoken with someone at a different branch of the bank yesterday who had told him that he’d be able to cash the full amount of the check, which I found a little unbelievable as it went against our bank’s policy. I told him he could go back to that branch and talk with this person that he was making up (although I didn’t say this exactly) and let them run the transaction, because there was nothing I could do at that point other than to deposit the check, which he was unwilling to do for whatever reason, so he angrily walked away from my window to go and bug someone else about it.

The very next customer I had, walked into the bank with a joyful bounce in her step and a smile on her face, calling out hello to everyone within earshot, which was a welcome change after the angry man that I’d just dealt with. The woman handed me a large bill and asked if I could give her change. “Of course, what is your account number?”, I asked with a smile, but as soon as I asked the question her smile was no there anymore. She told me she didn’t know the account number and when I told her I could look it up with her ID, that seemed to further upset her. She spat the words out at me, “You’re so new! I never have to go through this.” Her venom stained the collar of my shirt but I was not phased. I informed her that in order to do a currency exchange we have to put in an account number. She was unwilling to comply, so I told her if she’d like to get back in line and wait for the next available teller, then by all means she could do so, so she took me up on my offer and went back to waiting. I knew it was going to be a while before someone else could help her because my coworkers were busy doing something else, but since she didn’t want to deal with me, then she had little choice but to wait or leave, either of which was okay with me. After about five minutes of watching me mess around on my computer, she decided that perhaps letting me look up her account number was preferable to having to wait any longer, so she came back to my window with a much nicer attitude than before, and I completed the transaction without any further problem. I never really understood the purpose of a parent putting their kids in time out, but after seeing the attitude change brought about by a few minutes of standing to the side and being ignored, I totally get it now and respect this method of punishment.

The third and final person who became unjustly angry at me is probably my favorite of the day. It was the same issue as the person before, where she wanted change, but me needing her account number through a wrench into her plans. She didn’t have an account with the bank. “I’m sorry, we only do currency exchanges for account holders.” She looked at me in disbelief, raised her hand which held two limp twenty dollar bills, and asked “even if it’s just forty dollars?” I like to think that I’ve grown out of my thick southern accent that plagued me as a child, but apparently sometimes now, people still don’t understand me, because I’d hate to think that people are really that stupid. “Yes ma’am, I need an account number to do any kind of currency exchange.” She looked at me with absolute contempt and said “this is why I no longer bank with you” and let out a fake laugh like she couldn’t believe just how clever she was for zinging me with that incredibly lame line. If the reason you are no longer at a certain bank is because they won’t give chance to non-account holders, then you really need to re-examine your priorities when it comes to choosing your financial institution, because that has no affect on you as an account holder whatsoever. I feel like I’ve been overusing the word “idiot” lately, but I just find it hard to think of another word that adequately describes some of these people that I encounter. As she turned to leave, in the friendliest voice I could muster, I said “have a nice day” and because I just couldn’t help myself, I too let out a fake laugh. It really has been a great day.

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