Why do people.... [perplexities from work]

I’m a bank teller, and I’ve made some observations about the customers that can be perplexing sometimes.

Why do people hold back a bunch of related transactions and give them to the teller one at a time, instead of giving them all to the teller at once? Often the order they dole them out is a needlessly difficult order to do them in.

Why do people in a drive-through all line up in one line, usually the line immediately next to the building? We have three other lanes and a walk-up window, and idle tellers, while the cars go through one … at … a … time.

Corollary: Why do people who have been waiting behind another car who get impatient pull away from the drive-through entirely, instead of moving to one of the empty lanes?

Why do people who have to throw their transaction into the drawer (because their car is parked too far away to reach it) get surprised when they can’t reach the receipt and/or cash in the drawer that results from the transaction?

When someone writes a check, they print the whole front of it except the signature line. Why, when someone brings in a check with an blank “Pay to the order of:” line, do they sign their name in it? Why not print it?

Why do people give out checks with a blank “Pay to the order of:” line?

Why do people, when asked for an ID at a bank, respond with “I’ve been banking here for 50 years!” (Do I even look 50? I’m 27.)

Why do people so rarely listen to what I tell them when they need some kind of special endorsement on a check? Got a check written to your two-year-old and you want to know what to put on the back to get it cashed? “Write your child’s name, then sign your own and write ‘signing for minor’” Invariably, it comes back “Kid Smith. Bob Smith. Minor.” What happened to the “signing for” part?

Yeah, I’m not really looking for answers. What do your customers or co-workers do that’s just perplexing?

Not specifically related to banking, but whenever I’ve had more than one transaction to deal with and given them to a clerk all at once, it never ends well. I wind up having to repeat my requests, or something gets left out. I’d much rather deal with them one at a time and be sure that everything is taken care of, even if it is a little more difficult for you. Your convenience is not worth part of my business getting messed up or omitted.

I personally will always choose (and wait for) the window lane, so I can clearly understand what the teller is saying. I have a hard time understanding voices through speakers and it’s a lot easier for me to see someone’s face. Also, I just tend to prefer dealing with people instead of computers or tubes and speakers.

Why do people who are specifically being paid to give us data whine for about half an hour over how difficult it will be to get that data, every time we ask for data? We’re not asking for a report obtained crossing six tables obtained from 5 different systems, just for single tables and they should have known we were going to ask for them weeks ago.

Why do people call me to place an order and then act surprised when I tell them that I need their credit card information?

Why do they throw a tantrum when I verify the information on the credit card?

Why do people act as if I am a bitch because I don’t happen to know off the top of my head if their wedding cake slices (a wedding cake that they have yet to even fucking order, so have no clue how big the slices are) will fit in a particular box and suggest that if they like the box, then they just need to make sure that the wedding cake slices are small enough to fit in the box? Or how about this – why the fuck do people assume that I happen to know off the top of my head the exact dimensions of everything that might ever possibly go into a box, bag or other container? Seriously, you sell the shit, why can’t you fucking measure it? wipes drool from chin sorry about that…I’m gonna go now…

It’s not about my convenience, it’s about the customer’s, or rather, it’s about the customer getting pissy when they have to wait - for instance, when someone brings me a check to cash and they don’t have enough in their account to cover the check so I have to go get permission to cash it, which means tracking down a supervisor, who then looks at the account and decides… and then they give me a deposit. What do I care for myself? I’m being paid to be there all day. But the customer has to wait longer and gets upset.

That makes sense; I hadn’t thought of that because the speakers are the same at the window and the tubes, but it would be easier with a face as well. I don’t know if our speakers are hard to understand, since I’m always on the other side.

Why do people who know their business extremely well because they deal with it every day expect those who don’t to know all the ins-and-outs just as well?

Aren’t deposits always processed after withdrawals though? So even if I gave you a deposit first, if I had a withdrawal on the same day, the withdrawal would show up first on my bank statement? That’s the way most banks I’ve worked with do it, so it seems understandable to me that someone would present them in that order. But then again, I would probably at least ask to make sure.

Where I worked it was credits before debits. I don’t think the order they appear on your statement has any bearing on the order they were processed in.

As a former teller, older people were the worst. I had plenty of good interactions with every cohort, but it was often older folks who insisted that they’ve been doing a forbidden transaction for years already, or didn’t need ID because everyone should know them by sight.

Lots of older people also insisted on conducting one transaction at a time. In this case, it wasn’t so bothersome, and was often for their own benefit in keeping their transactions in order so that they don’t forget one.

This applies to all lines in retail outlets. I think the answer is that people see a line and know that it’s open, whereas if no one’s in a line, it’s possible the line is closed. Notice how often that the cashier has to tell people they’re open when they open a new register.

Very often I can find a much shorter line hidden among the long ones; people don’t take the time to look for a shorter one, but rather just get on whatever line they see first.


Constantly, CEASELESSLY, the people I wait on ask me for Two Lotto tickets. I ring them up and give change. Also Two Fantasy Five tickets. I ring them up and make change. Also 4 Mega Millions. I blow my fucking brains out.

I wait on almost exclusively Philippinos, and my wife thinks it may be a cultural, “Bad-luck” thing to do multiple gambling transactions at once. Regardless, I want to serial-murder everyone who does this, and their whole families. Such an utter waste of time.

And yes, I DO ask, “Anything else?” and they either say “No,” or ignore me.

Shit. Now I’m all stabby.


What exactly is so hard to understand about ‘these are the formats I accept: (list)’?

Why don’t people READ?! And related to that, why do they think I can’t? Look, moron, you wrote it down didn’t you? So you don’t have to tell me, because I’ll read it.

Why do people think that I’m going to wake up one day and change my mind about how things are done? Put in the box, you’ve always been supposed to put it in the box, don’t hand it to me you idiot, but it in frigging box! YES, you need to fill out a mockup request form, you’ve always needed to before, I’ve never done it from verbal or email requests.

Is it some secret of banking that if you want cash, you may need an ID? Or maybe it’s a secret that you’ll get finished with your business faster if you go to an empty line instead of waiting behind 3 or 4 other people? Does it take knowing the ins and out of banking to write what someone says to write when you’ve just asked them what to write? (I wouldn’t be surprised at the occasional person not getting it right, but it’s probably at best 5% who write all the words I say the first time).

Yes, the multiple transactions thing is one that I only wonder about because I do this stuff all day; clearly people can have good reasons for giving out one transaction at a time. I asked why, and I got an answer, now I know. These aren’t even pet peeves, am I not allowed to wonder without being accused of “expecting people to know all the ins and out”?

I’ve got one since there’s a bank type person in the thread.

Why do cash deposits post immediately to my account while checks wait until midnight or even the next night?

When I can, and have, cashed a check only to turn around and immediately deposit it. That seems needlessly time consuming for both the teller and myself.

Why, after hundreds of emails and conversations about how they’re supposed to call the help desk if they have a computer problem, do people still call me or come to my desk to ask “do I need to call the help desk?” when their computer is not behaving. I might or might not be the one who ultimately gets assigned to your particular issue. That’s what the help desk is for, they decide who should get the call.

Worse are the ones who call and start the conversation with “I know I’m supposed to call the help desk…” So, you know how it works and think you are somehow the exception? Your problem is so important that the rules don’t apply to you?

It’s because people today have a delusional sense of self-entitlement.

I blame it on the Internet.

Sure, you’re allowed to wonder. But it was that example in your OP that rang a bell with me, so I commented. I used to be a teacher, and it’s often a big no-no in that profession to assume knowledge on someone else’s part.

I realize you’re not a teacher, so I don’t mean to hold you to an unreasonable standard. But I notice this sort of thing a lot, and it annoys me. People who are very good at their jobs (which I’m sure you are) sometimes lose perspective when the non-anointed slow them down in some way.

To be sure, some customers are morons. But it really irks me when someone is simply ignorant (in the literal, non-pejorative sense of the word), and is then treated rudely for not knowing the drill.

Not saying you’re doing that, just remarking.

If you need to get a part for your car, you should know what type it is. Year, make, model.
Not that hard is it.

I’m not old, but as far as “forbidden transactions” go, I’m guilty. But I’m also right. My bank seems to randomly make up reasons why they can’t do what I want, typically around depositing checks and wait periods. Mr. Athena and I are both self-employed. That means that once a month, we come in with rather large checks (of which half goes to taxes, etc.) and hell if at least twice a year some teller gives me some horseshit about how the money won’t be available for ten days, or I need some special management approval to deposit a check with the business name on it into this particular account, or something like that.

So yeah, I bitch. I do the same thing every month. The checks are typically within a few hundred dollars of each other, and they all go into the same account. Don’t tell me the rules are somehow different because it’s a thursday or you are having a bad hair day or whatever; if you could do it last month and you will magically be able to do it next month, chances are that you are wrong, not me.

People calling 911 to tell me that they had a wreck on the highway. When I ask for the phone number they are calling me from and they say, “well it’s my cell phone…” :confused: REALLY? And here I thought you had a really long phone line for your house phone. (I know this may sound petty, but after a hundred + calls like this a day…it’s irritating.)

You could always ask, “Can you give me this cell phone number?”