Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile It's Me Previous Previous Next Next
The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
Customer Service Rudeness; Potential Racial Issues
Yesterday I discovered that there are no branches for my bank here in Boston. It wasn't a huge issue since all I really need is some cash so I figured I'd stop in at any other bank and make a basic ATM withdrawal. I found a bank that looked semi-local and stopped in.

I went to the counter to ask how I should proceed since I don't have an account but just need to make some basic cash exchanges (a roll of dollar coins and less-than-20s in bills). I got pointed to the ATM and said to come back with cash since I don't have an account there. Excellent, no problem. I go back out to the lobby, withdraw some money, and return.

The first teller is otherwise occupied so I get a new one. I explain what I want and put some of the money I just withdrew in the window. She stares at me blankly like a lower life form just spoke gibberish at her. I repeat and rephrase the request and get bits and pieces of the request repeated back, still like I'm asking for an unusual and undignified thing. She starts mentioning that she's out of rolls of dollar coins and waits, and stares, and waits, like she expects me to take a hint and walk off. I just stare blankly back at her while I wait for it to process (or accept I'm not going away). Even at my own bank they almost always have to go back to the vault to get the money so this is nothing new to me. She then starts to ask if I have an account there. "No." Would you like to open one? "No, I just need some cash exchanges." More blank staring like I just asked her to do something rude. She finally takes some of the money as the manager walks in and then asks the manager to exchange for rolls of dollar coins. I then stand there waiting for a couple of minutes while another customer arrives behind me. She's gossiping with the manager while the manager is getting the rolls of coins. When she returned I remind her I also wanted other bills with the rest of the money I put out and she takes care of that then gives me the roll of dollar coins.

"Is that everything?"
"Yep, perfect, thank you." (as satisfied as possible, possibly without letting on how rude she just was)

As I'm leaving I hear her greet the customer behind me like an intimate friend and they launch off in casual conversation and business.

*rolls eyes* Whatever.

At some point in the conversation I realized this may have been a race thing. It was at that point I made the connection that both of the tellers are black and that all the customers in the branch were also black. Only the manager who walked in during the conversation, a desk agent, and a business suited male customer who walked in as I was leaving were white. Huh. I may be oblivious to the subtleties of racial tension.

Current Mood: surprised surprised

4 comments or Leave a comment
scixual From: scixual Date: February 5th, 2014 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or maybe it was just a rude/confused teller and a regular customer.

Imagine all the times you've shopped in a store where all the customers and staff are white. You probably wouldn't assume particularly good/bad service was because of race.

Edited at 2014-02-05 05:08 pm (UTC)
zimzat From: zimzat Date: February 5th, 2014 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Normally I wouldn't think anything was because of race. Oh, just to be clear I'm not attributing this to her being black (might not have been african american but some other nationality for all I could tell) but to the difference between us. It's also possible this person was just having an off day.

I've gone to several different branches of my bank back on the west coast and they've had no problem comprehending a request of "I would like to get a roll of dollar coins". I've gone to other banks and needed a check cashed that originated at their bank when I didn't have an account there and things sailed fairly smoothly in those occasions too.
lakeguy From: lakeguy Date: February 6th, 2014 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
wow very rude

I don't think I've ever actually physically seen a us one dollar coin

zimzat From: zimzat Date: February 6th, 2014 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I keep around a roll or half a roll in my backpack most of the time. I wish they'd phase out the silver ones because they sometimes get mistaken for quarters and I have to correct the person. No such issue with the gold color ones.

They also come in quite a few designs on top of two different colors. *shrug*
4 comments or Leave a comment