Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bank Tellers shouldn't judge

I should probably preface this by saying that I am poor. Not, live in a dilapidated flat poor, but shop at iceland and skip train fares poor none-the-less. At least on the surface. Technically I'm richer than most people on the planet what with the total debt I've amassed in my short life being £500.

What this means is that occasionally I go in to the bank do withdraw 50p. Not because I'm desperate, just because I want a packet of crisps and that is all the money I'll have in my account until next week and hey! 50ps don't fall out of cash machines.

Usually I will just make a quick quip about being a lucky lottery winner fallen from grace, or just kiss the money and act like they've just handed me a puppy. Strange and slightly creepy though that may sound it usually goes down quite well.

So! Went in to my local bank the other day and, handing the lady my card and passport proclaimed: I would like all the available balance in my account!

The sullen looking 20 year old hands me a slip showing that I am overdrawn. Luckily for me I have a nice overdraft which doesn't charge me interest. Being paid weekly means its never left overdrawn for long. Me and the bank have this understanding, I signed a contract along those lines. The teller knows this. She should also know that I just asked for all the available balance in my account. Failing some sort of amnesia or selective hearing (in which case why shove the receipt at me?) I just told her, she knows.

"Oh yes! I know, all of my available balance please."
"You're overdrawn"
"Yes, but there should be about £100 available for me to take out."
"But you're overdrawn."

Cue about 20 seconds of awkward staring in which I am very tempted to say: Oh! My apologies madam. Due to the fact its January, the worst month in the financial calender, and I am trying to take a measely £100 out of an account which is well balanced, I must be some sort of financial harlot! I'll just go re-mortgage my house with another subprime like the rest of the population shall I?

Eventually the silence breaks and she begrudgingly hands me my £100.

"Could I have an envelope with that please?"
"I only have this one"

She brought out a tatty, used envelope with the branch's address on it. This was obviously send in by someone with gloucoma its so ugly.

It would have taken her 3 seconds to lean over to the next teller and give me a nice, fresh, specifically designed for money envelope. It would have saved her a good 20 seconds of being stared at to just give me my damn money. Hell, she wouldn't have even had to give me a stern warning about being overdrawn.

Bank tellers, I love you, but judging is not in the job description. If you'd like to silently judge the general public, become a Texpert.

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