Don’t ever go “there”

The scene: The bank.

The scene setting: A very long line and just one teller, because banks don’t want you to have a personal experience with bank people any more.  The bank used to be one of the places a person could go year after year and really have a relationship with a banker.  You knew their name and they knew you and what your banking preferences were too.  Now, they want you to use the machines.  Withdrawals and deposits are a waste of time to bank people now, so the longer the line, the better.

The scene changer:  Except for the person who was being helped, the rest of us were standing and waiting and waiting some more.  A bank person rounded the corner to observe the long line and decided I would be the one he’d usher out the door to “teach” me how to use the machine.  (I know how to use the machine.)  I calmly said I was fine waiting although I was surprised they had only one teller working.  He launched into his prepared speech about how easy it is to use the machine and persisted that I follow him outside and I did, only to get lectured on how these machines were meant to help all banking customers, even those of us who are used to banking “the old fashioned way.”

The scene closer:  I took that to mean the “older” customers.  So I responded by saying I thought having just one teller available was not good planning on the bank’s part.  He quickly came at me with an explanation: “One of our employees has had a loss in her family.  Are you suggesting that we shouldn’t have given her time off to grieve for her loved one?”

This is where I don’t have to tell you,  that I could have launched into quite a strong response.  Instead, I simply turned away to use the machine to avoid eye contact.  I was just about to begin the transaction when the screen lit-up with a message that said “Out of order, please see the teller inside.”

I walked back into the bank.

You never know who you’re talking to….so don’t EVER go there.


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