Thursday, September 01, 2011

Legends of the Bank Teller: Pen Depot

Losing pens is something that every bank teller should be used to. If you're a bank teller and you aren't used to customers walking off with your precious writing utensils, you've probably only been on the job for a few days. It's gonna happen. Just get used to it.

I was used to it at the drive-thru. In fact, I was so used to it that I had pens that were set aside for the sole purpose of handing them out to people in their cars. These were the pens I didn't like. Either they were awkward or didn't write well or just didn't feel right in my hand. If I didn't care about the pen, I didn't care if the customer stole it. That's a lie, I still cared. I think it's kind of annoying. I think it's really annoying, actually.

But that's not the point. The point is, it's a different world inside the grocery store branch. It's not different in the sense that people don't steal pens like they do at the drive-thru. It's different in that it happens a lot more often. But it happens in a different kind of way.

Sure, there are the typical, thoughtless customers who pick up the pen, endorse their checks, then put the pen in their pocket. They just aren't thinking, which I find to be a pretty standard routine for the general public. But what I've noticed in the in-store banking world is that there are a lot more instances where people just blatantly take the pens. They're bold about it. They even announce what they're doing.

In the two months since I moved to Virginia, I've had three people walk up to my station, use the pen and then just tell me they're stealing it. How many of you out there would just walk into a bank and announce that you're going to steal something? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Also, I've had more than a few people come up and ask if they can "borrow" the pen while they're shopping. I guess they want to cross things off their list as they add to the shopping cart. Of course I say yes. It's good customer service to bend over backwards and give these people whatever they want, right? Besides, they promised to bring it back, and no one in the world ever goes back on their word. Funny how I never see them or the pen again.

I've wanted so badly to say no to these people who want to "borrow" my pen. I want to point out the fact that we're in a grocery store. There's about half an aisle that's dedicated to school supplies. You know what you can find among those items? Pens! A whole package of 'em! 10 for a buck! They might not be as snazzy as the click pen I've got sitting on my counter with the comfort grip, but you know what? It gets the job done!

There... I feel better.

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