Monday I made a trip to the bank to deposit money in the #1 son's account. He's planning a trip to the west coast over the Christmas break, and asked if this could be his Christmas gift. I guess he has all the expensive lenses he needs now for his camera. Anyhoo...he had the go-ahead to reserve his tickets while they are cheap, to be reimbursed by the Bank of Mom and Dad.
I turned into the bank parking lot and drove around back to the drive-thru lanes. There are four. The one by the building is only for traffic leaving the ATM in the wall of the bank. The second one is for commercial business. The third one is the one I prefer, because I can make a right turn as I exit, into an alley, to come out at a street where I can see both ways to make a left. The fourth drive-thru lane is the farthest right, and requires a sharp turn and some backing up to hit the alley.
But on Monday, the third drive-thru lane was roped off! Not so much ROPED off as blocked by an 18-inch wide strand of what appeared to be industrial-strength maroon crepe paper. (That's CREEP paper, as pronounced by The Pony. Last year.) It was tied to a roof support pole on each side. I knew better than to drive through it like the captain of a high school football team bursting through the spirit paper at homecoming.
I did my deposit business in the fourth drive-thru lane, and finessed T-Hoe into the alley, and looped back through the parking lot of the church next door (notable for its steeple being struck by lightning a couple years ago, causing a fire, and if I ever go back from the future, I'll be sure to tell Doc Brown about it) to use the ATM to take out our weekly cash allowance. There was a truck ahead of me, so I waited a car-length back, as is the polite custom, for it to finish. Only took a minute. I pulled up, perhaps the most perfect distance away from the wall ever, and put in my debit card.
NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME
Sweet Gummi Mary! Now I would have to come back. Quite a drive from the Mansion, since we picked this bank when we lived in my $17,000 house in town, and kept it, because it has only been bought out by a bigger bank twice in 26 years. If only I'd known, I could have taken out my money while at the drive-thru. OR...I could go inside to do my business. I always hate that. I'd rather not know all the problems the other customers are having while I stand politely by the door, a line backing up behind me. It's not a very big bank.
I looped around again through the alley and church lot, and parked in one of the eight spaces out front. I took in a check to show my account number. I had my debit card in my pocket. I figured I could use a counter withdrawal slip, since I only had deposit slips with me. There must have been 10 employees inside. One was working the drive-thru lanes. One was working a teller window. And the rest were not doing anything worth paying them for, that I could tell.
There was one man ahead of me. He was speaking in a kind of heated manner, so I didn't feel the least bit guilty about overhearing him.
"Yeah! Since THURSDAY NIGHT! I tried to tell her about it, but she didn't want to hear it. She said that was impossible. I don't care what she said, it happened to me! By the time I got her to understand that, she said I would have to come in here and deal with it. I'm not blaming anybody. Accidents can happen. But ones are NOT supposed to come out of the ATM! I should have had two more twenties. NOT ONES! The machine isn't even loaded with them! I understand. Somebody who filled the ATM wasn't thinking when they counted out the money, and put a couple ones in there instead of twenties. I understand it's just a mistake. I tried to tell the lady that. You could have gotten them in a bundle that came in from another bank, or a business. Then I said, "I want my two twenties, and I want $36 for my trouble. And she said, 'What do you mean by that?' And I said, 'What do you charge me if I'm overdrawn?' And she said, '$36.' And I said, 'Uh huh. And that's what I'm charging YOU for messing up.' She really got a kick out of that. But she didn't give me $36."
They gave the guy his money and he left. One of the tellers kept telling me, "Sorry for your wait. We'll be with you in just a minute." But she didn't make a move to open a window. Another not-worker talked to the thirty-six-dollar-guy-teller, then that teller called me over. I told her that I had planned to use the ATM, but that it wasn't working, and I needed to withdraw XXX dollars.
"Here's a check with my account number on it. I can fill out a counter deposit slip."
"Oh, I can do that. Let's see the check. Do you have a driver's license? I'll need to see ID."
"I didn't bring it in. I can go out and get it."
"Please. Because I don't think I've ever helped you before."
"No. Because I usually use the ATM, which isn't working, or the drive-thru, where I already went once. To the one that's open."
I don't fault her for asking for ID. Even though they never ask me for it at the drive-thru. If I was going to rip off a bank by using stolen checks or debit cards, I certain wouldn't go inside. Would YOU? Didn't think so.
I came back with my glorious driver's license photo, and Teller counted out my money. LOUDLY. Another guy had come in, and they opened up a teller window for him (while my gal slapped a CLOSED sign up on the counter), and I could feel him looking at me while my Teller counted out, "Twenty/forty/sixty/eighty/ONE, twenty/forty/sixty/eighty/TWO..." It's like she was the announcer at Madison Square Garden.
And THEN do you know what she said, as I left with a final parting shot of, "Will your ATM be fixed soon? I only use it once a week, but is it going to take a while to fix?"
"Oh. It's just out of money. I'm going to fill it now."
SWEET GUMMI MARY! That was the teller who must have put ONES into the ATM instead of TWENTIES!
Isn't pretty much the only thing bank tellers DO is COUNT MONEY all day long? My old college roommate Bean worked in a bank for a couple of years after she graduated, and said that was the worst thing about it: all you did was count money all day long.
I don't for one minute think that was an accident!