Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Shambling Underclass.

I did some banking for another entity today. Not at my bank but at another. One of those dismal places. You know. I was struck by how much it resembled a shipping container. Everything looked slapped together, as if every item in it could be moved in 30 minutes flat and not a trace left of what had gone before (good luck future archaeologists!). I has hustled by an employee as I stepped in, caught in mid-groan at the long line up. She had Tim Horton's coffee and donuts at the entrance with a huge sign that proclaimed "OUR CUSTOMERS ARE IMPORTANT!" or some such oxymoronic drivel and she offered me one.

As I viewed the snaking queue of grumpiness around me I bit my lip. Tight. I so wanted to say : "If we're that important would you stop serving coffee and open another teller window for feck's sake?" Well, "teller window" is a huge exaggeration, everything being mobile and plastic, including the tellers who were all dressed up in sparkly dresses and sweaters. Frivolous I thought, being grumpy. Sparkling bankers. And these were the men.(Kidding!)

So I get my coffee served up to me. Now I'm overloaded: I've got my purse, a grocery bag, my book in its own wee bag, my deposit bag and a coffee with a napkin and stir-stick to manoeuver. It shuts me up. I'm busy.

See? I never do physical banks. I'm all on line now so I don't have to fret and muse inside such 20th century aberrations. But some organizations. Don't. Want. To. Change. And at my age I choose my battles very carefully. So I do the shipping container shamble.

As a geezer, I remember banks as being solid. Pillared. Marble. Hushed. Vaulted ceilings. Polished brass. Obsequious dark-suited tellers. Manager cruising around. Keeping an eye. This place? I've seen better Walmarts.

I don't remember waiting back then. Certainly not in a queue of 20 on a snaking carpet with arrows. As if we're all halfwits and could turn in the wrong direction towards the doors if not guided by our betters.

So a half hour of my life goes by that I'll never get back. In a shipping container. Delicately balancing a Tim Horton's coffee. Watching myself on a video above me. As all of us queuers are.

Oh, did I say half-wits?

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Anonymous Grannymar said...

I bet there were staff waltzing between desks behind the counter, looking like they were lost, instead of taking care of the 'oh so important customers'.

Thu May 29, 06:14:00 AM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Susan Scott said...

Of such is life made sometimes. But ... you provided a few minutes of worthy comment in your post, thank you!
Maybe to write to the banks and say: hey peeps, not nice and enough already with the donuts and coffee. Give us service instead - you're using our money. Better treatment please ... just my two cents worth.
Garden of Eden Blog

Thu May 29, 07:49:00 AM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Jan Morrison said...

Yes. We are constantly being bought off with cheap trinkets when all we want is common decency and good old fashioned service. I went to the shore.

Thu May 29, 12:33:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Nothing is like it was in the past.
Memories of 50 years ago
and being in a successful
business and when I walked in
my bank I was served immediately
with a smile.
Living in a rural area at this time and for 30 plus years
with a new identity
I relate to your sharing.

Thu May 29, 05:32:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Government Funded Blogger said...

Everything looked slapped together, as if every item in it could be moved in 30 minutes flat and not a trace left of what had gone before.

This is trending stuff WWW,disposable service ,disposable products and maybe disposable people.
Remember Soylent Green?

Thu May 29, 06:16:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Hattie said...

We still have a bank here that offers old-fashioned services. That is because we have a lot of old-fashioned customers who have lived here all their lives and have their assets in savings, mostly. They still pay their bills in person or by check. They get their SS checks in the mail and come down to deposit them. Likewise, we are well supplied with post offices and get daily mail delivery except on Sundays.
I'm enjoying it while it lasts.
At the Senior Center a local resident was complaining that her daughter insists that she learn to use a computer. She says she has gotten by fine all these years without one and can take care of her finances without one. I told her she could a lot of fun with digital photography. Maybe I should not have talked up computers to her, eh?

Fri May 30, 05:17:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Hattie said...


Fri May 30, 05:18:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Should Fish More said...

In my small town, even though my bank is 70's version of modern, I go in occasionally, hear 'Hey doc, how ya been' from the banker that keeps urging me take out a loan.

You know what else used to be neat places? Post offices, the ones built during the CCC days under FDR. Most had murals, and marble floors.

Fri May 30, 05:59:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Anonymous nick said...

I don't often need to go into a branch of my bank (I also do most things online), but when I do they're extremely courteous and efficient. And banks here never offer coffee or pastries. Incidentally, I hate Tim Horton coffee but luckily it's never been sighted in Northern Ireland.

Sat May 31, 07:45:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Anonymous R J Adams said...

OH, I've been in that bank a number of times - and that doctor's waiting room - and that supermarket.
Everything is disposable today. Even people. Especially people!
(written by another grumpy geezer).

Sun Jun 01, 11:17:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Of course, chatting amiably to each other and admiring each other's sparklies.


Mon Jun 02, 01:37:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


As if THAT would make a difference! My inner cynic says absolutely not. Do we have a choice? :)


Mon Jun 02, 01:39:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

The sparkly gew-gaws. Absolutely.

Mon Jun 02, 01:39:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


We are nothings now, I am so reminded of sheep. Bleating. Wilderness.

Dignity and integrity has been stripped.

It is a horrible feeling.


Mon Jun 02, 01:40:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


We're nearly there, my friend. MacDonald's and their ilk have the recipe.


Mon Jun 02, 01:41:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


I do love the idea of old fashioned service, here we don't even have a local bank, everything is "centralized for your convenience". Hello?


Mon Jun 02, 01:42:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


Yes, the post offices. Serious, stately, looked like they would last forever. Now they're stuck in the back of the drug-store with a clueless lout in charge.


Mon Jun 02, 01:44:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


Just you wait. Tim Horton's is crawling all over the US, next stop Britain.

And I agree it is lousy coffee but it fills in the time when you are shuffling in a horrible queue.


Mon Jun 02, 01:45:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


I'm glad you're in my gang!


Mon Jun 02, 01:46:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Anonymous Rummuser said...

I have not been inside a bank's office in years. We can do everything online at least almost everything. I am actually surprised that you had to go personally to a bank. But, it was a nice gesture to load you with coffee and doughnuts!

Tue Jun 03, 04:25:00 AM GMT-2:30  

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