Inside Lane

Be Kind to Your Banker

I am a full six months out of my role as a banker, and I have to tell you…I don’t miss it. While I was working for the bank, there were several things that happened–all post-worthy, none of which I felt comfortable posting then. But now?

Following are some of the things that happened over the course of the past five years. All of them are true, unembellished, and can be corroborated by coworkers–save for the one, and let’s just start there:

  1. A man put his hand down his pants and started to masturbate at my desk. Well, first he told me I was pretty. THEN he put his hand in his pants.
  2. A plumber was sitting at my desk, and started cleaning gak out from under his fingernails while I helped him. That’s bad enough, right? He was cleaning gak from under his nails WITH HIS TEETH.
  3. Another man sat across from me, bit off his fingernails and spat them onto my desk blotter while maintaining eye contact.
  4. One of my branches was located inside a highrise, next to a bank of elevators and a stairwell. I went in to the building and knelt down to unlock the lock at the very base of the door, and looked up when one of our creepiest customers said, “Hello, Lane. I’ve been waiting for you.” He tried to push his way into the branch with me, but I kept him out and called for my opening team-member for help. That customer never came back to that branch.
  5. While trying to remember enough Russian to have a short conversation with a native speaker, I accidentally said she had given me great pleasure (in the biblical sense) when I meant to say it had been a pleasure speaking with her.
  6. A manager told me that my face made people feel stupid. She did not elaborate. She also told me that my glasses made me look like a nerd. Another manager told me I needed to wear more jewelry, and more lipstick. I worried that she had never looked me full in the face.
  7. I complimented a woman on the feather jewelry she was wearing, and she–without guile–thanked me effusively, and shared the story of how she had found the feathers in a WalMart parking lot.
  8. Another woman came to my desk on one of the hottest days in August, and sat there for over 20 minutes telling me that God had used her menstrual cycle to tell her that her husband was not cheating on her, and that she had confirmed his fidelity by confronting his favorite Twin Peaks waitress. Then, exhausted by her story, she sighed, “I guess I should leave. My kids are in the car.”
  9. Yet another woman came in with her dog and stood over my desk talking. All I could see was the dog’s PROLAPSED ANUS, which was about three feet from my face.
  10. I was working in the drive-thru, when a man pulled up to the commercial window directly on the branch wall. I turned on the speaker to ask how I could help him, just as he pulled a gun out of his glove box, aimed toward me. He put the gun down very quickly, but my life flashed before my eyes even faster. When he drove off, a coworker told me he was a Dallas Cowboy.
  11. A man came in twice one day, once to do business, once to stand across the lobby and take pictures of me.
  12. A man came in with a bloody gash in his head, busted up knuckles, and sat at my desk. I managed to get him some wipes, and some bandaids, but he refused any real help. (I did call later to check on him. He was fine.)
  13. Any number of men who told me they were in love with me, wanted to take me out, or just wanted to sit at my desk to “watch [me] smile.” Or, who wanted to tell me to smile more. Or, who wanted to drop things for me to pick up.
  14. Any number of people who were having a bad day and decided my desk was the hill to die on, and who would absolutely unload their frustrations with God, the school district, the pest control guy, cable customer service, and their goldfish onto me. In five years, three people called me back and apologized later. But that mess was daily.
  15. I could go on, and on, but I will leave you with this short conversation I had with a man, which I transcribed for a select audience at the time:

Man: (grumbling about “bitch wife” he is divorcing.)
Me: (nodding sympathetically)
Eminem: (crooning softly in the background about tying a woman to the bed and setting her on fire.)
Man: Eminem, man. He gets it. He really gets it.
Me: er…
Man: His songs speak to me.
Me: well…don’t be a Stan?
Man: (laughs darkly)
Me: (shudder)

So, when you go to the bank, and you are tempted to throw your ID at the teller, or snot at the banker, or hiss at the manager, please be civil instead. Because the banker knows in which chair that incontinent gentleman sat, and might offer it to you as silent punishment for bad behavior.


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