Once you’re in, there is no getting out


Is the line moving?
[Photo from Boston Globe]

I never get in line for curbside service remaining in my car if there is any way to avoid it. And here is the reason.

It was a hot and humid Friday afternoon in July. I had a busy day wrapping up at work before heading out for vacation with the family the next morning. One of my last tasks was to go to the bank and cash a check to have money on hand for the next two weeks and while there make a deposit for the office account. It was 2:30 and I would have plenty of time to be back for a 3:30 appointment with a colleague whose purpose was to welcome me to my new position.

The bank branch I had used previously was a few blocks away, but it had recently closed so I headed further to one I had never used. Arriving at this unfamiliar branch, I decided to stay in the car and use the drive-up window. There was a double line of cars. The second, outside lane, had fewer so that seemed the best choice. Or was it?

Once in line, all movement of the cars ahead stopped. The temperature in the car registered 90 and the air conditioning was not keeping up. It was a full 30 minutes before I was in front of the pneumatic tube and loudspeaker connecting to the teller. After her greeting I placed the deposit and my check in the canister and waited.

In a few minutes I heard, “You need to provide more identification”.

With this I put my driver’s license in the canister that was sent out, and it “swooshed” past the adjacent line of cars to the teller. During this time two of them had completed their business and had moved on.

A voice from the speaker said, “This amount is above my authorization.”

Can you get it “OK’d?”

“Yes, but I have to find my manager.”

“OK”. I was about to add I’ll wait but what else would I do but wait?

After an interminable 10 minutes, I heard a swoosh. The deposit receipt and cash envelope appeared, and I sped off.
Back at the office it was now 3:50 and the man I was to see had left. This was not a good start. I opened the envelope and the cash amount was correct, and the deposit acknowledgement was there, but not my driver’s license.

I called the bank and asked for the manager, explained my problem and heard him say this. “I will put your driver’s license under the stack of envelopes next to the night deposit slot in the front of the bank. You can pick it up any time.” This sounded like a bad idea, so I told him to just keep it. I then called an old friend who was a senior vice president with the bank downtown. He was shocked at the response of the branch manager and said, “don’t worry, I’ll take care of it”. In forty-five minutes, he was at my office with an apology on behalf of the bank and handed over my driver’s license.

Since that harrowing experience, my preference is to park outside and do my business inside at McDonalds, the bank, coffee shop, and any other business where my car delivers me.

By Savvy Senior

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