Friday, June 09, 2006

How I spent my summer vacation, Thursday

Went into town today to have new tires put on the car, as opposed I guess to having old tires put on the car.

I called yesterday and made an appointment for 2:00 PM (14:00).

The tire-place is next door to Walgreens -- Walgreens is actually where the tire place used to be.

The bank is across the street from Walgreens.

When I talked to him yesterday, the tire guy said it would take 45 minutes to put on the new tires so I planned my little adventure accordingly.

First, I took the car to the tire place. Then I walked across the street to the bank.

The present bank and office building replaced a building that had been a local landmark for decades. The new bank was built just before that second in time when (1) local banks were being bought up by nationwide banks and (2) people stopped automatically going to the "main bank" to conduct their business.

The result is a bank lobby that is mahogany and marble wonder, half a block wide, and essentially completely empty. There are 12 teller stations, but usually only one teller. When there are two tellers for some reason, they spend most of their time talking to one another. Almost all of the offices are empty, as are almost all of the desks sitting out in the open. It's now just another branch of a multi-state conglomerate, and appears to have the same size staff as the branch at the local supermarket.

The first thing that I did at the bank was to deposit my Lotto winnings ($38.00, I'm considering buying a Porsche). Then I went over to one of the three empty sofas and sat down. There was no one within 30 feet of me -- at least until I pulled out my cell phone -- then employees started appearing from everywhere! They would check equipment that I could see was not plugged in; look for missing items on desks where I've never seen anyone sitting; stroll past and just look and smile. One finally asked "Can I help you?" I was going to correct her grammar but decided it was best not to.

Oddly enough, the person that I was talking to on my cell phone, with my butt on the bank's sofa, was an employee of the same bank at a branch in Missouri. She had called me and left a message. The local branch seemed to me to be a logical place from which to return the call.

I finished my call and walked across the street to Walgreens, probably seconds before the police arrived.

At Walgreens, all I wanted to do was buy some allergy pills. I have not done this lately -- it now requires the same process as buying a car, only it takes longer, and requires more ID. Given one hundred years and unlimited resources, I could not make METH out of a sinus pill. I tried to cut an aspirin in half the other night and cut my finger instead. I hope all that paperwork does reduce the amount of drugs out there -- it certainly brings everything at the Walgreens pharmacy counter to a screeching halt.

While I was in the process of buying the allergy pills, the woman from the bank in Missouri called me back. I told here where I was at and that I would call her in a few minutes.

Can you see where this is going?

That's right! I went back across the street to the bank lobby to place the call. I really do like that sofa.

Enter branch manager stage left.

"Can we help you?" (I really would like a refund of my school taxes!)

"No. I'm fine."

"Do you have some business to conduct?"

"No, I already made my deposit."

"Can we be of any further assistance?"

The woman at the branch in Missouri was yelling ”Let me talk to her!" in my ear.

I was going to ask where the Men's Room was but thought that might be pushing it.

It was becoming a boring game, and I could see through the window that my car was ready at the tire place, so I told her who I was talking to, and why I thought the bank lobby was the logical place to be doing that.

She walked away.

I finished my call and walked across the street to pick up my car.

If it wouldn’t have required yet more paperwork, I would have closed my account.


Carnealian said...

Bank people are so much fun to freak out. Because they're panties are so far up their behinds, they don't know what to do. Keep up the good work!
I think they've gone a little looney from loneliness -- all that time that I was in there were was only one other customer, a 20-something guy and his buddy

Ranea said...

What was their problem? I might be able to see their concern if you lugged in suitcases, or a pillow for a nap on their sofa. But a phone call doesn't seem to be a reason for them to get pissy.
I can see where they don't want people dropping in to eat their lunch, but I was clearly a customer

:P fuzzbox said...

A good comfortable sofa is hard to find.
there is so much furniture in that lobby it looks like a furniture store, lots of really nice lounge chairs, and several groupings of sofas -- the one I was one has a double back, really comfortable, if the parking was better I'd go everyday

Nicole said...

That is a great story! Although, I think it would have been hilarious if you had let your friend talk to the branch manager.
it wasn't a friend, it really was an employee of a branch of the same bank in Missouri -- I actually tried to put her on 'speaker phone' but ended up taking yet another picture of my thumb (dumb camera)

Pixie said...

Poor Jim, I love the comment about being unable to get the meth out of the pill LOL
Have a great weekend =)
it amazes me that people figure out how to do those things, like make steel out of what is essentially dirt, or glass out of sand, or sugar out of beets -- I never did get that aspirin cut in two, so I hit it with a hammer, they sure are bitter tasting (aspirin, not the hammer)

stan said...

Hammers are bitter, too. Trust me.
you try the oddest diets!!!!