Friday, June 22, 2012

Adventures In Banking

I thought I would write today about one of those mundane, everyday chores that we all do, banking!  And I should say that not every trip to the bank is so much fun, but on this particular day it was a treat. I’m sure you know how it is; all of those little things come into alignment and shazam! What is usually tedious turns out to be fun.

For some reason, the most mundane of chores, becomes, "what you make of them", just like the old cliché says. Life is full of things that we would rather not do; standing in lines, changing tires, scraping frost off of car windows, and BANKING! I’m sure that banks try to make it less stressful, tiresome, and irritating for their customers, I’m sure they try, they must, don’t they?

Before I get to the actual subject of today’s post, how about a quick banking adventure that went the other way, not so much fun, but seemingly designed to instill patience into a bank customer? Did I hear a yes? Well okay then, you asked for it.

 Today, a lot of banking is done with ATM machines or on-line and that does help a lot, but occasionally for work I have to go to the bank. Often I'm just making a quick stop to make a deposit and I love the little "quick-deposit" slot at the bank for commercial deposits, what a great idea. One day though, I was surprised when there was a "closed" sign over the deposit slot and a long line at the tellers and of course I didn't have the night deposit key, ouch! I decided to come back later and when I returned, the sign was still there, along with the long line. Were these the same people? In a bank line, anything is possible! But there were no lawn chairs or sleeping bags to be seen so they must have been new victims.

 I was thinking at that point that it was weird that the quick deposit was still closed and because I really needed to make the deposit, I approached two bank employees standing at the reception desk.

 This is our conversation:

Me - "Hi, I need to make a deposit and I was wondering why there is a CLOSED sign over the quick deposit slot."

Bank Lady - "Oh, it's not closed; it's just that after a certain time of day, the deposits aren't counted until the next day, they must not have taken the sign off last night."

Me - "So the deposit slot was never really CLOSED, it's just that if you were to use it after the cut off time, it wouldn't be counted until the next day?"

Bank Lady - "That's right."

Me - "I think a better sign would read like this, "Deposits Made after 3pm will be counted on the next business day."

Bank Lady - No response - just a weird look.

Me – (Trying to clarify the meaning of the apparently incomprehensible sentence that I had just spoken) "The slot is not actually closed, right; it just won't be counted until the next day?"

Bank Lady - "That's right."

Me - Then why does the sign say "CLOSED"? This is my second trip to make a deposit to the "Quick Deposit slot" and I'm still trying! Maybe you could mention that to whoever would be in charge of changing it?"

Bank Lady - "OK" (accompanied by a weird look)

Months later, the sign still says, "CLOSED" but now I just move the sign out of the way, make the deposit and put it back, oh well.

 Now I’ll tell you about one day when I went with a work colleague to the same bank. Occasionally we need to go to the bank and do some specialized banking that requires a particular person, usually the same lady, I’ll call her Betty, (because that’s her name).

 Betty has a desk with a couple of comfy chairs in front of it and this is Betty’s desk so she has it customized with little mementoes, personal items, very nice. We had been sitting there for a few minutes, doing the usual banking stuff when she asked our names and said something like,

“don’t tell me, I remember, it’s Bob and Doug, right?”  Yes, we said, that’s right, good memory!

“Oh, it’s just that a long time ago I had two boyfriends named Bob and Doug, that’s why I remember.”

 Of course I can never resist a perfect setup! So I shot back with, “at the same time?”

Fortunately Betty has a good sense of humour and she took it in stride and responded primly, “no, not at the same time!”

 “Well”, I was thinking, “I got away with that, what other mischief can I get into?”

 “Bob” my colleague, seemed to pick up my mood, along with some kind of a little knick-knack off of Betty’s desk, and waving it around, he asked, “What’s this?”

 Betty looked up from the computer screen and replied, “that’s one of those Aztec pyramid things, a…….” “Ziggurat” we all seemed to chime in at about the same time. “One of my customers gave it to me; she got it on a trip to Mexico.”

 “Oh, that’s nice”, we said together.

 Picking up a framed picture of a really attractive alert looking dog off the desk, I said, “Is this your customer’s dog, too?”

 We laughed because it seemed funny, but Betty piped up, straight faced, “no, that’s my dog Max, he’s gone now.”

 Oops, way to put your foot in it, Doug! But Betty was a good sport and I quickly came back with an apologetic, “Oh, I’m sorry, he’s beautiful.” (He was, just a gorgeous reddish sort of colour, and very alert looking, did I mention that?)

 We took a break from the revelry and got down to some banking business for a few minutes before my hyperactive colleague noticed all of the paraphernalia on Betty’s desk where she keeps a stapler and some scissors and as we picked up each item and looked it over, we noticed that all of the stuff at her desk is carefully labeled, “Betty’s stapler or Betty’s scissors or Betty’s frying pan”.

 Sensing an opportunity for more fun, we patiently waited for Betty to go off on one of the numerous errands to the copier or whatever and as soon as she was gone I grabbed a pen and one of the big elastics lying around and carefully printed on it in big bold letters, “Betty’s Elastic”.
Betty's Hook - (just kidding)

 Oh, oh, Betty was coming back, what would James Bond do? Quickly I slipped it over her personal telephone, so that the printing faced her chair. “Betty’s elastic” she chortled as she sat down, “I love it!”

 Her co-worker took a quick glance at the situation and rolled her eyes, as if to say, “don’t encourage her!”

 Ah, those were the days, Betty where are you now?

 Still working at the bank you say. Oh well, see you next year when we come down again for a bit more banking fun!