I try to be a patient person. Though, according to Yoda, there is no try. There are situations that I face where I am either patient or not. And if I'm having difficulty being patient, I fake it pretty well for the sake of the customer. Because, as we all know, the customer is always right.
Yesterday, I worked a transaction for a customer. Scratch that, I attempted to work a transaction for a customer. Said transaction was to deposit a check and give cash back. Keep in mind that the check was not drawn on our bank. And, I'm sure I've explained before, the only way we can cash checks drawn on other banks, is if there's cash in the client's account to back it up. You know, just in case the check turns out to be not good.
This lady wanted $500 back after the deposit. Unfortunately, her account was about $250 in the negative. This meant that there was no chance I could give her any cash whatsoever. All of it had to be deposited, and the soonest she'd be able to get any cash would be this morning after that check cleared the bank.
So I explained this to her. I did so calmly and rationally. I returned her deposit slip to her so she could make the correction. She then proceeded to swear and semi-violently grab the deposit slip, ball it up, and throw it in her purse. She pulled out a blank slip, filled it out, huffed and puffed a bit more, then tossed the new slip over the counter at me. Please note, I'm using a large amount of restraint in not rolling my eyes at this point.
I deposited the full amount of the check into her account, then apologized to her once again for the inconvenience. She left, still visibly upset.
Why did I apologize to this woman? It wasn't my fault that her account was overdrawn by $250. I apologized because my empoloyers would expect me to do so profusely. I apologized because we live in a touchy-feely society that needs to make sure no one out there feels like an idiot, even if they genuinely are. Seriously, I'm pretty sure I know 5-year-olds that can add and subtract better than some of the people that I deal with on a daily basis. If you can't do it in your head, use a calculator. They're all over the place. You can get them real cheap at Wal-Mart... the solar powered kind. If you still can't find a calculator, count with your fingers. I know that sounds infantile, but don't be ashamed, it's better than forgetting how much money you've spent and then overdrawing your account and getting charged ridiculous amounts of money by the bank because they had to cover your incompetent butt.
And why does the bank charge that kind of money? Because they can. Because you let them. By not keeping track of your own transactions.