Currently, I am inspired to explain rules of etiquette at the bank. It seems like a logical, good idea to me.
Rule #1: “Be polite to the tellers and all bank employees.” It is completely unacceptable to treat the people entrusted with taking care of your money with disrespect. The tellers are real, live people with social lives, feelings, cell phones, and school work to do. You are not allowed to walk into a bank and act like you own the place, no matter how much money you have and no matter how long you have banked with the company.
Rule #2: “No cussing about the bank or the banking industry within earshot of the employees.” This falls with rule #1, but it needs to be addressed. If we have to put a hold on your check, it is for a good reason. It is more than likely to protect you in case the person who wrote the check does not have sufficient funds to cover the check. Do you really want to use money you don’t have? And more importantly, we are doing our job. Yelling at us and explaining that you “cash this check all the time at the other bank” is not valid evidence, nor is it a valid argument for your case. Just be polite and ask if there is any way the money can be available sooner. And please smile when you say this, that really helps us feel more generous. Most importantly, you are not at “the other bank” right then, you are at our bank, so calm your body.
Rule #3: “Get off your cell phone.” You can not multitask, it has been proven scientifically. So why do you insist on coming into the bank, involved in an intense conversation about something important, and then try to deposit a check or withdraw money? Tellers can’t help but feel weird when you give them one word answers to their questions; they feel like they are an intrusion to your life. Hang up the phone, or wait until your conversation is over to approach the teller window.
Rule #4: “Bring your ID, your valid ID. Two forms of ID.” I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to cash a check or withdraw money for a customer, and when I ask for their ID, I get lip (“Why do you need to see my ID??”) or I get the “Oh, I don’t have it with me.” Really, dear, carry your ID with you at all times, and not just for the bank’s benefit. Afterall, when the cops pull you over while you speed over to the other location that breaks the rules, I know self-righteous indignance isn’t going to fly with them.
Rule #5: “Plan ahead.” This includes bringing your ID, allowing enough time for a transaction to take place, and preparing your own deposit slip before you get to the teller window. Other customers do not want to wait in line while you dig in your wallet for ID or a secret piece of paper with your account number on it. Also, plan to get to the bank at least 30 minutes before close if you have to come in late. If it is 6:02, and the bank closes at 6:00, do not call the Customer Service line to complain. We close at a specific time for a reason, and we can not let you in after hours for security reasons. If your work schedule is not awesome (we’ve all been there), talk to the manager or bankers at your favorite location. They might not be able to do anything for you, but as a customer, you have to try!