Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Members Only

I live in a small town.

Small towns have limited resources, like banks and grocery stores (there is only one grocery store).

When I moved here over the summer, I had to switch banks because apparently here in the PNW, bank chains are sort of one-town-only. Which is understandable since I hate huge bank chains and tend to stick with the smaller, more customer-friendly branches.

So began my quest for the right bank. 

I looked a few up on the internet, drove past a few more and judged them by the look of their landscaping (who really wants to bank at a location that looks like downtown Crapville? Graffiti is sort of a no-brainer. And what're they doing with the interest from those loans if they can't even weed-eat the property?).

Since I take FOREVER to make a decision (because I like to examine all the angles), I still hadn't selected a bank by the time I had a need for rolled coin one summer day.

I don't remember WHY exactly I needed the rolled coin, only that I did, so I stopped by the local credit union to conduct my business. I was in a bit of a hurry, I remember, so I wasn't going to have time to open an account but I would have the chance to experience their customer service.

I think I needed to withdraw twenty bucks from the outside ATM, too, which is the only reason I could think of why I didn't just go to the gas station across the street.

I should have gone to the gas station.

I waited twenty minutes standing in line behind one other guy while the three tellers helped one person with some kind of extensive withdraw. Two were just chatting their bleach-blonde little heads off and the one was standing there with this look on her face like, I have no idea what I'm doing but they won't shut up long enough for me to ask a question so I'll just wrinkle my brow while I stare at my computer screen in hopes that the building will catch fire and burn to the ground.

Why did I stand there for twenty minutes and watch this ridiculous display of stupidity? I'm not really sure. Maybe I was as stupid as they were.

Finally, finally, one of them reluctantly eventually noticed me and the other guy standing there. 

She frowned and asked him to come over. 

He stomped up to the counter, did his business and within three minutes he was out the door.

The gal then directed her stare at me, which I took to mean Hello! How are you today? Come on over and let's take care of you.

I suppressed the automatic urge to smile (because that's what friendly people do. They SMILE, and this whore didn't deserve my ray of sunshine) as I approached the counter, expressing  my desire to exchange my legal tender for a few rolls of dimes.

Shitty Bank Lady: And what is your member ID?

Me: I'm not a member. I just need some coin.

Shitty Bank Lady: [raises one eyebrow, pushes my twenty back across the counter and turns up her nose] I'm afraid our services are for members only.

Me: [briefly considering slapping her face and smashing the lobby to flinders*] 

*Flinders: [flin-ders] 
1. Impressive crushing or splintering of object(s)
2. The act of decimating an area (usually involving alcohol and my brother)

Me: Um. What?

Shitty Bank Lady: [a slow smile spreading across her stupid face] Yes. Members. ONLY.

I just KNEW she was enjoying every second of this. I narrowed my eyes and mulled over this bit of information for a moment. Deciding that she'd already wasted my time, I figured it wouldn't hurt to waste hers. Plus, there was no one in line behind me, so I felt free to be a jerk without witness (aside from the security cameras).

Me: You can't exchange this twenty dollar bill for rolled coin? 

Shitty Bank Lady: That's right.

Me: That's stupid. 

Shitty Bank Lady: [staring at me with a satisfied smile]

(OH! I KNOW WHAT IT WAS I WAS DOING! HAH! Jay and I were taking our combined brrod of children to a nickel arcade museum thing on the coast that has really cool antique machines, like the one in the movie Big. THAT is why it was so important for me to have a ton of useless coin. Because WHERE in a tourist town are you going to find a load of nickels and dimes? A bank? Yeah, but it was Saturday and what if that tiny town didn't have any open banks? Better to be prepared.)

I digress.

I asked to speak with her supervisor, my gaze landing on her name-tag the moment the request left my mouth.

Holy crap. She was the branch manager.

(An after-thought. Why was the MANAGER working a teller position? Because they all suck there. That's why.)

The encounter ended some minutes later with me stomping out of the bank in a huff, sans coin, and the manager watching me go, her hands placed neatly in the counter, her mouth twisted up in a smug smile.

Perhaps you sense my bitter tone at this recollection.

Good job.

She really pissed me off with her explanation that they had to track where their rolled coin went, like she ran the Federal Reserve and everything was super top-secret.

Okay, swell. Write down in your notes that Emily came in and requested four rolls of dimes. She was wearing capris and a yellow tank top. Her hair was a bit wind-blown and ginger-colored, but otherwise did not seem to be a threat. She paid with a twenty and left. Security of remaining rolled coin: secure.

Luckily, Jay had a ton of change at home, so we were all okay once we got to our destination.

What set me off on this rant, you might wonder.

Today I received a flyer, inviting me to check out my town's voted-most-friendly bank.

They very same bank where I was prohibited from buying coin.

The smiling lady on the front? That jackass branch manager.

I have a mind to set that flyer a-flame and toss it through their drive-up window.

**I'm not really going to do that. Relax, Obama Drones. Go waste your time monitoring everyone's cell phone calls.

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