I can look up your account number. I can fill out your deposit slip. I'll even give you the $700 cash you want back in all twenties.
But only if you're grumpy, tipsy or having a really miserable day.
Welcome to the fun and exciting world of a bank teller -- my summer job.
I've never worked in retail, really. I've never had to fold sweaters for hours on end at the Gap or straighten the movies on the shelves at Blockbuster. But I'll tell you, working as a bank teller for the second year in a row -- even without the folding and straightening -- is too much customer service for my taste.
It's not the job itself that I mind. Heck, what could be wrong with touching thousands and thousands of dollars every day? And the hours -- the bank closes at 4 p.m. three days of the week -- aren't too shabby either.
But neither the money-touching or the hours can make up for the job's biggest shortcoming: the customers.
There's the woman who I've never ever seen smile -- she yells at her husband, her kids, even us tellers. And for really good reasons, like she "can't add" up the total on her deposits.
Then there's the man who, no matter how much money he's taking out of his account, always attaches at least two post-it notes to his withdrawal slip declaring that he needs all of it -- whether it's $100 or $1000 -- in twenties.
And who could forget the woman who, on discovering that the pen attached to the front counter had run out of ink, yanked it off the metal cord and threw it at us.
One of my first days at the bank last summer, one of the other tellers declared the majority of our customers either drunk or mean, going on and on about why she couldn't stand them. I laughed and shook my head, figuring she was exaggerating -- placing the faults of a few customers on all of them.
Now, almost a year later, I'm not so sure she was wrong. I average about 100 customers a day. Only 12 of them smile.
Doesn't exactly seem logical. Or even probable.
I've put some thought into this. It could be me. Our customers could spend their entire lives just beaming with contentment - singing in the rain, playing with puppies, winning the lotto on a regular basis. It could be that the only time their sunny faces cloud over is the few minutes they spend at my dreaded teller window.
But I like to think of myself as a friendly person. I'm usually smiling, I give out lollipops like they grow on trees. If you catch me on a good day, I'll roll your coins for you -- that's not even in my job description.
And though I admit that, after helping the unhappiest people in the world manage their money for a few hours, I can get just the slightest bit grouchy, on the whole I think even my fake grin is pretty believable.
So perhaps it's just that I'm not enough of a people person. I never did like chatting with the hairdresser as she trimmed my split ends or discussing my plans for the future with the dental hygienist cleaning my teeth.
But heavy conversation is not a prerequisite for depositing cash.
I just want them to show me some pearly whites. I don't think that's too much to ask for -- it's not like I'm demanding a Porsche or a new computer or anything.
In fact, considering I have all of their financial information at my fingertips, I think I'm being absolutely reasonable.
It can be real, fake -- I don't care. As long as it's a smile.Comments powered by Disqus
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