Coins were flying as I walked through the door. A woman, who looked to be about twenty years older than me, had dropped her roll of quarters.
Before I could offer my assistance, a white haired gentleman with an Indian accent jumped out of line and offered his.
The gentleman picked up most of the coins and then I crawled under a counter to retrieve the few he couldn’t reach. The woman thanked us both.
After a long wait in line, it was finally my turn. I handed over the check I wanted to cash and opened my wallet to dig out my license. It wasn’t there. Did I jam it into my coat pocket when the hub and I went to the basketball game on Saturday? Nope, not in my pocket. I got out of line and retraced the activities of the last few days as I drove home to look for it.
Aha, I thought, the Christmas Tea! I put my license in my small fancy clutch that afternoon, just in case my friend had too much champagne. But that was twelve days ago. Have I really been driving around without my license since then?
I went right to the clutch and sure enough…
There were several people in line when I got back to the bank. An elderly gentleman was hunched over the counter. Still only one teller, service still slow.
After a while the elderly customer asked in a loud-but-not-angry voice what was taking so long. Rather than explaining what the hold-up was, the teller screamed at him to lower his voice. Her raised voice was teetering on rage.
Whoa! You never yell at a customer.
After more waiting, the gentleman asked her another question about the difficulty she was having with his transaction. She screamed at him again, this time she was no longer teetering on rage, she was all in.
Whoa no! Once is a regrettable mistake. But there’s no excuse for twice.
I thought about giving her a bit of customer service training.
When her co-worker, who was sitting at his desk in a glass cubicle, finally hung up his phone, she YELLED across the room for him to come and help. He calmly did.
This time, in my mind, I gave her a lesson in professionalism.
A third employee walked sheepishly through a door that leads to the safe deposit boxes a couple of times.
Is he her boss? Is he or ANYONE going to tell her to chill?
As the elderly gentleman left the counter and took a seat in the cubicle, I noticed he was wearing a hearing aid. And I noticed that he spoke loudly to the banker who was now helping him.
He speaks loudly because he is hard of hearing.
The couple who was up next had another long transaction. The teller didn’t yell at them.
The long wait was hurting my foot.
Though my first instinct was to gently reprimand her, I decided not to.
As I approached the counter she asked me how I was doing. I asked her how she was doing. She was hanging in there.
“It looks like you’re alone here today,” I offered.
“Someone is coming in,” she said.
I told her I found my license in my evening bag.
She cashed my check and wished me a nice day.
I’m through with Starbucks, so I’m not carrying a stash of $5 gift cards to hand out to stressed shoppers like I did last year, but if I were, I would have given one to her.
She needed a coffee break.
She didn’t need me to tell her she was wrong to yell at that man. I’m confident she’ll tell herself that later.