Four A Few Dollars More

, , , , , | Right | September 14, 2017

(I am an assistant manager. We are located in a suburb, and our clientele tends to be on the affluent side. It is not common for us to have clients from the city branches come out to our area. A customer approaches the counter and asks to withdraw money. I am standing nearby and overhear the conversation, though I am waiting on the phone and cannot interject.)

Customer: “I want to withdraw money, but I have nothing in the account.”

Teller: “Let me look it up… You are correct. We cannot do a withdrawal, because the balance is currently at zero.”

Customer: “It’s just $4! You can withdraw $4!”

Teller: “I am sorry, ma’am, I cannot do a withdrawal if it will take the account negative.”

Customer: “You don’t understand! I drove all around the city looking for these lamps and [Small Chain Store] has them! I’ve already spent $20 in gas going back and forth from the city! They’ll only hold them for one day! I can’t drive back out! It’s just $4!”

(The customer continues to ramble on over how she thought she enough money, but only needs $4 to get the set, and she really needs both lamps.)

Customer: “Well, ask someone else! Get your supervisor! My social security check comes in every month to this bank, you’ll have the money tonight!”

(I have returned to my desk to resume my phone call, but I am directly in front of the teller line. The teller approaches the closest supervisor, and he confirms that they cannot do the transaction, and returns to the customer he is helping.)

Customer: “This is why I hate this bank! You’re awful, horrible people! You have no customer service!”

(The customer has interrupted the supervisor and his customer, making the second customer step away from the window and cover her information and money.)

Supervisor: “Ma’am, we can’t take an account negative. If the money isn’t in the account, there is nothing we can give you.”

Customer: “I see the money there in your drawer! You have it! You just won’t give it to me!”

Supervisor: “So, what you’re saying is you want me to either steal from the bank or give you the money from my own wallet.”

Customer: “Yes! It’s just $4! You can take it from my social security deposit. It comes tonight!”

Supervisor: “We can’t help you until it is in your account. Come back tomorrow.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I want to see the manager!”

(I have finished up my phone call at this point, and I know it will inevitably fall upon me to handle the customer, as the branch manager had his own customer. The customer storms into my office and reiterates her lamp story. I look up the account.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, unless you would like to apply for a loan or get a credit card…”

Customer: “Fine! Give me a loan for f******* $4!”

Me: “Unfortunately, neither the loan nor the Visa would be approved today. Additionally, for loans originating in the branch, it’s a $99 fee, so you’ll probably want to reconsider coming back tomorrow.”


(Customer #2, the one who was interrupted earlier, runs up, slams down a $5 bill, then runs to her car.)

Customer: *looking surprised, tries to catch the other woman before running back and jabbing her finger in my face* “You see THAT?! That’s a good person! Not like YOU!

(The customer leaves and I am left in utter shock at the entire situation. My coworker walks over to me.)

Coworker: “You know, you’re going to turn on the TV next week and find yourself on that show ‘What Would You Do’ or whatever it is.”

Me: “Yeah, maybe…”

Supervisor: “It’s Friday. Her social security won’t be in until Sunday night, at the earliest.”

(And that was when I knew I needed to get out of retail banking.)

Rules Don’t Bend In The Wind

, , , , | Friendly | September 14, 2017

When I was really young, my parents had to take me everywhere with them, as we were poor and could only afford childcare whilst both of them were working. Often the childcare role was filled by family.

Once, when I was about three, my dad took me with him to the bank. It was one of those banks where the tellers were out on the floor with you around a little table. I was standing between my dad and the teller when the teller passed gas. I heard it, as I was so short my head was at about the teller’s waist, but my father did not, and the embarrassed teller didn’t say anything about it.

So, as my father had done to me many times before to teach me my manners, although perhaps in a less sassy, exaggerated way, I looked up at her, put my hands on my hips, and said, “What do you say???”

The woman blushed the most vibrant shade of red and quietly said, “Excuse me,” while my father could hardly contain his laughter. It’s a story he can’t recount without laughing to this day.

Unfiltered Story #93697

, , | Unfiltered | September 14, 2017

(I am a bank teller in 2001. It’s a small grocery store branch with retail hours and so we are open on a Saturday and fairly busy with a constant line of customers waiting. Even so, things are going pretty smoothly.

Our main website had lots of contact information for our branches all across Louisiana but these are still the days of old internet and people still often choose to look us up in the phone book and call in with questions. Because of a quirk of the way the phone listings appear, our little branch’s number not only appears first for branches in the area, it makes it appear that we are the “main” branch in that area. We are also one number off Ticketmaster. This means we get LOTS of phone calls but customers waiting in line should and do get priority most of the time.)

Me: *I hear the phone ring and I stop waiting on customers to answer.*

Me: Thank you for calling [bank name and branch], how can I help you?

Caller: Yes I was wondering if you could tell me the address and phone numbers of all your branches in the New Orleans area.

Me: *I look them up on my computer and list them for her. There’s at least 5 or more. Meanwhile, the other two tellers are busily working helping the growing line of customers.*

Caller: Ok now tell me all your branches in north Louisiana.

Me: *Again I look them up on my computer and list them for her. Again there’s about 5 branches or more. By this point I have already been on the phone several minutes.*

Caller: Ok now tell me all your branches in central Louisiana.

Me: *I pause and look up at the long line of ACTUAL customers waiting with ACTUAL business to do and given that this phone call seems like it’s going to take a while longer and given that there are LOTS more branches in that area plus the surrounding areas (like 20 or more) I decide I need to get off the phone and get back to work.*

Me: I’m sorry ma’am but I have a long line of customers here waiting to be helped. I need to either put you on hold for a few minutes until we have a small break in foot traffic or I can give you the number to our dedicated 24 hour live agent telephone customer service.

Caller: *screaming* WELL EXCUSE THE HELL OUT OF ME!!!!!!

Me: *I jerk the phone away from my ear and look at the handset like it just bit me, weigh my options for a second, decide this person isn’t even a customer and has no intention of being one and hang up without saying another word*

Me: *I look up at the line of customers who have been waiting pretty patiently.*

Me: Ok! I can help whoever is next!

(Yeah I shouldn’t have hung up on her but oh well, I did. I always expected this to come back one day and bite me in the ass but it never did. I have submitted this both to NAW and NAR because frankly I feel like it fits in both categories.)

Things Are About To Take A Dark Tone

, , , , | Right | September 7, 2017

(I’m the only dark-skinned person working in my branch. I’m pretty used to snide commentary from customers, but this one…)

Me: “Good afternoon, sir!”

Customer: “Wow, I’ve never gotten any brown sugar lovin’ before! Come give me a kiss!” *makes a kissy face at me*

Me: *too dumbfounded to speak*

Customer: “I’m just kidding, I need to deposit these.”

Me: *still so dumbfounded that I run his transaction and send him on his way without speaking another word*

Coworker: “I cannot believe that just happened.”

That Escalated Quickly

, , , , | Right | September 7, 2017

(The teller next to me is very popular with customers and they sometimes get lost in conversation with her.)

Customer: “So, our barn cat had a litter and they’re just as precious as can be.”

Coworker & Me: “Awww!”

Customer: “Yup, we’re working on giving them away but…”

(I tune him out to help a couple of customers myself. When I come back…)

Customer: “…so they arrested my mom again, even though the neighbors had stolen every last thing out of her house! And that’s why I need to cash the check, to get her out.”

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