Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Talking through a glass wall: Serving you and the people who want to know your business

Is it a new thing at banks to use thick glass walls with slivers of air as security between the customer and the teller? They need to find an easier way for us to talk to bank tellers without shouting embarrassing details that make everyone blush a little.

What about a phone on both sides of the wall? It works at the jail. Or maybe there’s this thin material with a pending patent at NASA that you can speak through but no weapon can break.

But this security measure and communication obstacle glass wall does work for the nosy ones of us who can be astonished at the embarrassing details of me overestimating my financial success.

If you’re in the room you might hear comments like these at the window (not necessarily coming from me):

-“I need you to write out a money order. The rental place won’t take a check from me.”
-“No, I can’t make more of a payment. I’m broke. You see?”
-“I received a warning in the mail that you’re getting ready to repossess my car. What’s the minimum amount I can give you, so the repo man doesn’t come?”
-“What the hell?! I didn’t withdraw that money!"

And as for the cavalier bank teller who thinks you can't read lips:

You say: "I'm sorry, did you say you were going to kick my *&&? Where's your manager?"

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to get my mouth so close the money drop opening that I could have licked the bottom of the window, just to say something to the teller I didn’t want everyone to hear.

You could say these blushing customers could be more mindful and organized and they wouldn’t have to say these things at all. But why make life harder than it already is?


Anonymous said...
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Girl with Brown Hair said...

That's why I always go to the bank at the grocery store - there is no window to separate me from the teller! So I can be as quietly aggressive as I want and nobody has to hear it but the aggressee. Aww yeah...

Anonymous said...

It seems that privacy goes out the window in the name of security. My question is, if there's a window protecting bank employees from nuts, who is protecting the customers from nuts? If companies cared as much about their customers as they care about protecting their money, perhaps customers would have more privacy. Why don't banks have "teller booths." They could restrict clients's teller access to the booth (analogize it to a phone booth or a confessional ...). If the customer tries to rob the teller, then the teller can just lock him/her in the booth and wait till the police arrive. Oh wait ... that would probably cost money to build booths. Wow, some 2x4's, plywood, nails, doorknob w/lock, some electronics, and some labor would probably cost WAY to much ...

City Sights and Observations said...

How insightful and clever! Thanks for pointing out that the glass wall says more than an embarassment to's an indication of how customers are valued.