Friday, December 2, 2011

Is It My Mind That Is Lost - Or Theirs?

Lets hope the shotgun isnt loaded!!

Earlier today I strolled into Sterling Savings Bank, in Seattle, to cash a check drawn by one of their customers. When I approached the teller he gave me one of those hand signals telling me he would help me when he got off the phone. I endorsed the check placing it along with my identification on the counter. When he got off the phone he picked up my ID and checked it against the name on the check. He then raised my ID to the light like you would if you were doing a TV version of checking to see if money is counterfeit. I thought that was a little weird but said nothing-
After examining my identification he told me I had to take off my hat and glasses. I thought that maybe he needed to check my photo with “my actual face” so I went along with it. I didn’t get the glasses part, as I’m wearing glasses on my drivers license, but did as he asked. Figuring I was identified I put my hat and glasses back on. He told me very sternly that I could not wear a hat or dark glasses in the bank. My glasses, by this time, had returned to their inside mode.
I asked him if he was serious!
He was very serious referring me to a note on the front door stating no hats or dark glasses could be worn in the bank.
I got my money and proceeded to the Managers “desk” to clarify this policy. The Assistant Vice President, Assistant Branch Manager failed to see me occupying space at the proper distance from her desk, nor did she acknowledge me, while she carried on with a phone call. When I re materialized, and was bid to step forward, I asked why they had such a policy? She referred me to the note on the door. When I admitted I had blown right by the note she got very defensive asking me “how I’d like to look down the barrel of a gun held by a robber!!” When I asked her if only robbers wore hats and glasses the communications went straight down hill.
I suggested they construct a large “boot room” adjacent to the front doors where customers could check their hats and glasses prior to entering the bank inner sanctum. You can see where this headed.
You’re wrong!
I asked her if I could quote her and headed for the freedom of the streets.
Lets see.
If I were considering an illegal withdrawal of cash from the bank the game would be afoot before the teller told me to take off my hat and glasses. It is too late when I’m already inches from the filthy loot.
What about customers that are packing iron into the bank under the imprimatur of a concealed weapons permit?
Can anyone imagine what I could be packing under my well-worn baggy Simms fishing jacket?
Long rain jackets, enormous over the shoulder purses, back packs, canes, crutches, who knows what lurks in the saddle bags attached to walkers, could potentially create a similar scenario of fear and knee jerk reactions towards customers.
Many banks, in the third world, have shotgun-packing guards controlling access at the front doors. They look you over and allow in a few at a time if they feel you present no risk- (Photo taken in Antigua, Guatemala) One can only pray that all those guns down there are issued without bullets, as dying in a crossfire between the bank guard and the guard on the Pepsi truck, who is sporting a shotgun and a pistol, would lack a certain sense of style.
So, where are we going with this? Scanners at the doors, being frisked, fingerprints, eye scanning, blood drops, DNA, ID implants similar to the one my canine friend sports…
Perhaps a little humor shown by the bank as they mildly apologize for asking customers to "bare all" would go a long way towards building customer understanding and appreciation. For customers to feel they are presumed to be in the bank for nefarious reasons isnt building trust or confidence in the bankers or in each other. Yes, banks get robbed and its tough on the people who experience that but lets not run amuck fueled by fear of each other just beause we can-
I finished my banking adventures by depositing the cash at the Stagecoach Bank. I chatted with the manager there about the previous bank’s policy. He laughed at their policy from behind Plexiglas so thick that Superman and the entire Justice League would be hard pressed to dent.
We need a flash mob to show up for a little nude banking….
So, is it me that’s nuts??

1 comment:

  1. (Received by emai) Totally loved your rant. It's unbelievable. Really. Once I was in b of a and they asked me to give my fingerprints to take cash out of MY account. I refused, made a fuss, spoke to a bank manager, got my money and as far as I know, that's the las time they tried to foist that on the public.
    You HAVE TO submit your rant to some newspapers, etc. well written and hits a nerve. And what about all the #$%#@&& robbers who are inside the bank????
    Good laughs