The Wrong Line
I’m waiting in line at the bank. There’s only one person in line ahead of me, and four tellers.
One teller is occupied by a man who is a small business owner doing a transaction, and claiming he did not get enough money back. A second teller is called over to review the situation, while the first one just watches. A third teller puts the “next window, please” sign up while she tends to the obscure paperwork that persists in a computerized world of electronic banking. That leaves the fourth teller, who is taking care of someone who is in training to run with the glaciers.
I say to the person ahead of me: “Down to one teller.”
Her: “Well, I’m not in a hurry, and it’s good to just relax. They’ll get to us when they can.”
Me: “That’s a nice, peaceful attitude, except if you are in a hurry, since some people have schedules.”
Her: “You have to expect these things.”
Me: “You have to expect two tellers to tend to one person and another to close her window while there are people in line?” (More people have now formed a queue behind me.)
Her: “I’m sure there is a good reason for it. You can’t always be efficient.”
Me: “There is every reason to be efficient whenever you can with customers in line who could take their business down the street to three other banks. Isn’t this about customer service?”
Her: “I’ve spent 20 years in retail, and I know that things just happen and the customer has to wait until you’re done.”
Me: “If that’s your attitude, I’m glad you didn’t work 20 years for me in a store that I owned!”
Her: “You can’t understand these transactions unless you’ve been in the position. I’m well versed in retail from the inside, and I know the priorities.”
Me: “Did I mention I’m a consultant? I believe I outrank you.”
© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.