Does anyone else find it ironic that Girl Meets Debt use to be a bank teller? I mean, I worked in the finance industry for two years, helping people with their money decisions, while my own finances were such a hot mess! Hopefully the advice I gave out was more helpful than harmful to my clients
Many people who know me in my real life are surprised to find out that I went into banking in the first place since I am horrible at math (2+2=let me see check on my Iphone calculator). The one thing I did have going for me was that I have a natural talent for friendly chatter which is a benefit since bank tellers are the first people customers see when they walk into bank.
To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy working as a bank teller much. The low pay and getting robbed 4x in two years probably didn’t help either. The first time I was robbed, the guy slipped me a note demanding money or he would kill me. The second time was also an unoriginal note threatening the same thing. The third time a machete but no note was used and the fourth and final time, a guy came in with a black ski mask and gun, demanding money, just like in the movies. The last robbery finally made me realize that I just may possibly be the world’s unluckiest bank teller and with each incident escalating in violence, I figured it was time for a career change.
I am now currently in a career that has NOTHING to do with finances (or robberies) and I couldn’t be any happier about it. Nevertheless, my time at the bank did teach me the basics of finances (why don’t we teach kids this is high school???) and even though I didn’t put any of that information to good use until recently when I became serious about paying off my debt, I am just happy that I was able to retain all that helpful information. Girl Meets Debt random tidbit – I have atrocious memory. Ask me anything important that I am “suppose” to remember and I won’t be able to recall it without a nudge but ask me to recollect ANY Backstreet Boys song and I can sing it word for word no problem
As part of the “front line” of a busy downtown bank, I, (the world’s unluckiest bank teller) observed and experienced too many wacky things you wouldn’t believe to be true but it happened…let me try to recall them for you
1) I’ve had a few guys try to ask me out on a date while I was helping them with their banking. Awkward!!! Guys, whatever gave you the idea that it would be a good idea to ask out a bank teller while she was on the job? I’m flattered but don’t you know I can see your whole financial picture on my computer screen! That includes the good, the bad and the UGLY. Enough said.
2) Working at the bank has made me an expert at spotting fake bills, but it doesn’t take an expert to spot a really bad fake. If you try to deposit a fake bill that looked like you printed off your own computer in color ink that was fading and couldn’t even cut out straight, I will outright ask you “are you seriously trying to tell me you think this bill has a chance of being legit?” Yes, I can ask you that and you better have a good excuse before I call the police for attempted fraud.
3) Ditto for attempting to deposit a fake check!
4) If you get a phone call/email/letter asking you to send a small amount of money to Timbuktu to receive a larger amount of money that apparently fell from the sky and is eagerly awaiting your greedy hands, you are being duped! If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true people!!!
5) For all the Craigslist scammers out there, if you want to try to convince a stranger to cash a large check for you, promising them 20% of the amount, make sure you pick a shady adult not a sneaky teenager. Once, I had a teenage girl bring in a check that was obviously fake and I asked her where she got the check from. She said it was from her part-time job. I asked her a few more questions about her “employer” and she was obviously previously coached on her answers. I knew she was lying and it took every. ounce. of. willpower not to yell at her to tell me the truth. I told my manager about the situation and she said to tell the girl that we will deposit the check but need to place a hold on it for funds to clear first. The next day, my manager asked the girl to come back in to discuss the check and when she came in, the police were waiting for her with handcuffs. She’s only a teenager so the police were just there to give her a “warning.” She tried apologizing to me afterwards but I told her flat out “you knew what you were doing, I just hope you don’t do it again.”
6) If for whatever reason, your banking history is less than stellar and I need to place a hold on your check for funds to clear first, it is NOT part of my job description to listen to your long sob story as to why you need your money right away. I truly do feel awful and can sympathize sometimes, but it’s not my fault that the reason why there is a hold on the check is because you have had 6 bounced checks in the last 2 months!
7) I’ve also had people talk to me in a manner like they were “above” me somehow but just remember, I see your whole financial picture on my computer screen – you are not as rich and important as you seem to think!
Oh my goodness I sound like such a bitter bank teller haha. Good thing I am no longer in the profession! To be honest, it wasn’t all bad. After working there for so long I did build relationships with people and had quite a few regular clients that would come in the bank and wait in line just to see me. That made me feel special. I also felt good helping people make smarter money decisions everyday.
I would love to hear in the comments below if you have ever observed anything good, bad, or just plain strange while at the bank. Any other past or current bank tellers out there have “observations” to share?