Anyone else privy to these ridiculously uncomfortable conversations at the bank these days? To wit:
“Good day, Mr. Cigerne..um…Mr. Cingare…
“Cignarelli. Don’t worry about it. It’s pronounced exactly like it’s spelled so I can see where you’d get confused.”
“Thank you, Mr. Cignarelli. How is your weekend going?”
“I asked about your weekend.”
“Do we know each other?”
“You are a valued customer and we’re doing our best to ensure proper customer service.”
“And you believe absurd banter is contributing to the cause?”
“My apologies, sir.”
“So, do you have plans for the weekend.”
“What are you planning to do?”
“Seriously though, do you think this helps? I mean, the whole bank-as-personal-life-intruder thing?”
“I mean no intrusion, Sir.”
“No, I’m sure you don’t, except, you’ve now asked me twice what I’m doing for the weekend, while wearing that professional smile and wielding that telemarketing voice and batting those severely-make-upped eyelashes – do you draw those on? – and we don’t even know each other, and now I’m really uncomfortable walking into my own bank without a pre-planned response for God knows how many questions about my personal life that I am quite certain I don’t want you to have access to.”
“Wow, Mr. Cignarelli, I had no intention of offending you. I am sincerely –
“Look, no, you misunderstood. I’m not offended. I’m just very distressed about having to worry about conversational issues when all I want to do is deposit my money into my account and get on with my life. But now I have to reveal my weekend plans to perfect strangers while they’re staring at my bank account and presumably determining whether or not I’m a financially responsible client and whether the plane tickets I’m buying for my trip to Greece are really affordable based on my available funds and thereby forming judgments and considerations and myriad other assessments about my character that I definitely don’t-
“No, let me finish. I don’t like this whole valued-customer customer service thing you’ve developed. I enjoy the glass wall between us because I can see you and not hear you. I give you money and you protect it until I need it, and I pay you for that service. It’s a great gig we have going. But now, now, you’ve gone and broken the glass and made me feel awkward about our relationship, and plus, the way you stare at that computer screen just says mountains about your opinion of my financial interests and I’m more than a little freaked out by this whole intrusion into my personal life.”
“We do have ATM’s sir.”
After an audible sigh, I say, “I just want the warmth of a human being without the words of a human being.”
Behind me, at the front of the line, a male voice shouts out, “We all lookin’ for that!”
I turn to see the man smiling.
When I turn back around, the teller is glaring at me.
I ask for my checks back.
She says she’s already put them through and then adds, “Is that what you need the money for?”
Now I have to change banks.