Happy gas at the bank

Anyone who has read my blog for a while probably realizes that I have a major fascination with all things absurd. If its weird, strange, stupid, idiotic or just plain silly, I’ll probably write about it. Today is definitely no exception to this theme.

About 3 weeks ago, I started my new job. I like it. Its nice. But as with starting any new job, there are things which you have to get done during those first few weeks that you never have to do again. For instance, direct deposit of paychecks. For the first time in over a decade, I am working at a place that pays me weekly. I’m used to every two weeks or bi-weekly, which I thought to be pretty standard in terms of pay frequency. Normally, it takes about 2 pay periods to get direct deposit set up, so your third check is direct deposit. Since our checks lag a week, I just received my second check, a paper check, requiring me to go to the bank to deposit said check.

So, its lunch time and the bank is a few miles away through lots of traffic. Not the ideal situation, but not terrible. I hop in the car and head out on my journey. Besides the dozen stop lights, I made pretty good time, at least up to the point I actually got into the bank.

Its a rare thing for me to carry my checkbook, and thus my deposit slips, because I almost never need it. Over the last few years, I’ve averaged about 1.5 checks written per month, all of those being done from my house and then either dropped off at city hall (the monthly water bill) or mailed (that other 0.5 check). Thus, my checkbook is generally never on my person.

That being said, the drive through teller is out because I don’t have a deposit slip. The ATM deposit is an option, but I prefer not to wait for them to empty the thing, which delays my deposit, so I trek on inside. There are three women behind the counter, two waiting on customers and the third counting out checks.

Given that I don’t sign checks until I am actually in the bank and my need to fill out one of those generic deposit slips, I walk over to the little side counter and begin my paperwork. In the couple minutes it takes to fill that out, two people walk in and get in line, along with a third person who seems to work at the bank that has also moved from their desk to the line. So, there are now 3 people in front of me where there were none before. No worries, I’m on lunch and have plenty of time.

I start listening to the people who are being waited on, and realize that they are the same people who were at the counter when I arrived, and neither of them look to be going anywhere soon. Yes, I am that nosy. After several minutes, the third teller finally finishes off the large stack of checks she was counting and opens up her line, moving one person out of the waiting line. This leaves one man and the female employee in line in front of me. Progress!

It as at this point where the absurdity steps in. The first person in line happens to be the female employee. I don’t know if it was some kind of training she was given, but she turns around and says loudly to the 8 of us now in line, “Who here in this line is going to Florida tomorrow?” It was said in that chipper, Stepf0rd Wife, kind of voice that just grades on my nerves. She continues on, still in that obnoxiously loud voice, about how cold it is outside, and how its supposed to snow this weekend and how it might make it to 50 next week and on and on and on. She just would not stop.

Douglas Adams, in his Hitchhiker’s series, stated a theory that if human beings stopped talking, they might start thinking. Part of me wonders if that woman would have shut her mouth for just a few moments, she would have realized that her blabbering was not making the waiting go by any more quickly or less painfully.

To make matters worse, another female bank employee walks over and starts walking down the line asking each person, “Excuse me, but is there anything I can do to help you?” The obvious answer would be, “Yes, why don’t you go open another teller window?” but we all know that is not going to happen. She gets to me and I explain that all I need is to deposit my check. What does she do? She turns, grabs the manager by the shoulder, turns him around and says, “This man needs to deposit a check. What should we do?” If only I could deliver lines like that!

The manager gives me a total blank look. You could see the look in his eyes that told of his brain spinning overtime, trying to think of something to say to that. Wisely, he said nothing, smiled, and ignored the idiotic question. They moved on to the next person in line, knowing there was nothing he could do to speed up the line. Genious.

Yes, the check is now in my account and all is well, but I just wonder if there is a sub-category on the bank employment application, listed under the Female Gender as ‘Stepford Wife’. There just can’t be any other explanation for that kind of behavior.