Retail Is Mind Numbing

, , , , , , | Working | August 10, 2019

(I’m at the bank to make a deposit. While I’m filling out the deposit slip, I overhear a conversation between two tellers. Apparently, [Teller #1] is on the phone with a customer who is filling out a direct deposit form and needs their account number.)

Teller #1: “Am I allowed to give them that over the phone?”

Teller #2: “Technically, yes, you are, if they prove their identity, but they discourage us from doing it because it’s a security issue. If you feel comfortable doing it, you can, but I wouldn’t.”

Teller #1: “So, we can’t do it?”

Teller #2: “No, you can, if you feel comfortable doing it. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it, so I wouldn’t.”

Teller #1: “So… we can’t do it?”

Teller #2: “No, we can, if you feel comfortable doing it. I personally wouldn’t.”

Teller #1: “So, we can’t do it?”

Teller #2: “No, you can, if you feel comfortable doing it…”

(They repeated this exchange over and over again until I took my deposit up to [Teller #2]. By that point, it took all my willpower not to scream, “The answer is NO!” I made no comment, but inside, I was marveling at how businesses insist on having official policies for the convenience of the customer that they then “discourage” employees from following for security. I felt sorry for them both. Having worked in retail years ago, I’m well familiar with the “never give the customer a straight no” rule, but I’ve never seen someone have that drilled into them so badly that they can’t give a coworker a straight answer, either.)

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