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We Will Give You Money To Leave

, , , , , | Right | August 5, 2021

I’ve started a new job as a manager-in-training on assisting guests with money services. We are in the middle of a health crisis and our establishment “requires” masks and a six-foot-rule.

It has been a slow morning. A guest comes in to cash a rather large check. He is not wearing a mask, but we are told that all guests are asked before entering the building, so if they are unmasked it means they had a medical exemption. It is company rules, and it’s a new job, so I don’t make a fuss.

I call for a subordinate to take over the transaction so I can leave to access the private vault, as we don’t keep that much cash in the register so early in the day. While I’m waiting for her, another guest approaches to inquire about a money transfer to another country. This guest is wearing a mask. I refer her to the required paperwork at the opposite end of the desk from my till, which is approximately five or six feet away. When my coworker comes to relieve me of the first guest, I go to retrieve the cash from the private vault. However, as I return, the first customer seems to be enraged.

Customer #1: “You’re telling me it doesn’t bother you to have someone breathing over your shoulder while you are trying to count [amount]? This is a lot of money I am getting! I don’t need someone looking over your shoulder! I don’t need everyone to know how much money I’m carrying out to my car! I don’t want people so close to me!”

Coworker: “Sir? I’m just trying to cash your check. I have to wait for my supervisor to bring the money up. I can’t get it myself.”

Me: “Sorry about the wait. I have your exact change here, sir! [Coworker] will be happy to count it all back to you so you can be on your way.”

Customer #1: *To me* “Don’t you have a policy in place?! There’s too many people here! I don’t want everyone to know I’m cashing this much on my check. I don’t want to catch the China bug!”

I assume he is concerned about two people serving him.

Me: “Sir, I apologize. [Coworker] couldn’t access as much money as you needed, but she could start the process while I got it for her to keep you from waiting so long. I’ll happily step aside and let her serve you so we won’t be so close.”

I then realize the customer is glaring at the woman at the opposite side of the counter with her money transfer.

Customer #1:She is too close to me. I don’t want to catch her Chinese stuff! She needs to back off.”

I, my subordinate, and the other guest, who is visually of Asian descent, are all just speechless for a moment. The woman has nowhere to “back off” to; there is a wall partition at the end of the counter and nowhere else for her to fill out her form.

Me: “Sir, this young lady is as far from you as she can possibly get. I have your money here. [Coworker] will happily count it out as she hands it to you, unless you would prefer her not to do so.”

Customer #1: “Don’t you have some rule about how far people have to stand away? This is a lot of money! She should be farther away!”

Coworker: “Yes, sir, we also have a rule that all guests must wear masks. Some people need exceptions to the rules. Would you like me to count your change, or should I just place it in an envelope for you today?”

Customer #1: “Obviously, you don’t respect your customers! Just put it in the envelope. I’ll never come back here again.”

He pulled all the money out and counted it himself — TWICE — at the counter before he left, all the while cursing us all under his breath. I apologized to the waiting guest. That guy was a jerk, but I’m stoked I have employees with a backbone!

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