Uncertainty and panic at the bank drive-through

$10 bill

Thanks for the $10 birthday check, Grandma. It was *so* worth waiting in line for 20 minutes at the bank.

The drive-through window at the bank is a problem. Once I slip my deposit into the transparent plastic tube and press the “send” button to make it whoosh away, I’m not sure what to do with myself.

I don’t want to face the bank window, because then the teller will think I’m scrutinizing her performance … as if I don’t trust her with the $10 check my grandmother gave me for my birthday. (And yes, Grandma’s a cheap old bag. That’s why I sent her to a home. You don’t earn a coveted spot in your grandson’s heart by writing $10 birthday checks each year.)

I don’t want the teller to think I don’t trust her, because that’s not the case at all. I always love to watch a professional at work … especially if she’s a gorgeous blonde with a Marilyn Monroe-like mole near her upper lip. Mmm. I love that.

It’s just at the bank, there’s nothing much to look at, because the window overlooking the drive-through lanes is tinted. So I can’t even see the teller unless I get out of my car and press my face against the glass.

Only it’s inadvisable to step outside of your car at the drive-through, because then you might leave the gearshift in “drive,” and the car will rumble through the parking lot and into the highway, causing a tanker truck sloshing with sewage to spew all sorts of unspeakable foulness upon passing pedestrians. And because it’s sunny, none of them will have an umbrella to shield them … unless, of course, they’re the type of person who carries an umbrella in warm weather, to protect themselves from sunburn. But that’s what they invented sunscreen for, and if you’ve slathered yourself appropriately prior to venturing outdoors, then an umbrella on a sunny day is rather superfluous.

So no, you shouldn’t leave your car at the bank drive-through. Besides, the teller tends to freak out if you press your face against the window. I think it’s because she doesn’t want nose prints on the clean glass. I can understand that. It’s not cheap to run a bank and to keep the windows clean. The big banks on Wall Street can afford clean windows, because they get all sorts of taxpayer bailouts and Congressional favors. It’s the smaller community banks that have to be on the lookout for indiscriminate smudges, because if they cleaned their windows each week, then they wouldn’t be able to provide their customers with free checking. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer financial perks to spot-free glass.

But back to the drive-through. I don’t want to face the window, but I don’t want to face forward with my hands on the wheel, either. If I’m staring into space, then the teller might not think I’m interested in the transaction. And I want her to know that I’m an equally committed partner in this all-too-fleeting interaction. I have just as much emotional investment in the outcome of this exchange as she does, and I don’t want to leave the impression that I’m apathetic and uncaring.

If she suspects I’m uninterested, then she might wait on somebody else — setting aside my transaction to give preference to the guy in the car next to me — and who knows what kind of painstaking transaction he came here to perform. With my luck, he’s probably trying to withdraw $1,000 in loose pennies, or something. The jerk.

At first, the teller might think this is all strictly business … but when she turns over the deposit slip that I’ve stuck in the plastic tube, she’ll see the eloquent love letter I wrote. You see, I scrawled it while I was waiting in line behind a behemoth RV belching smog. (Yes, I choked on putrid exhaust, but I did so in the name of love. That’s the kind of romantic tender-heart I am.)

In the note, I’ll map out our future together — the way I envision it with my adoring eyes and hopeful heart — listing the neighborhood in which we’ll live and picking names for our four unborn children.

Unfortunately, one has to print small to fit one’s future on the back of a typical deposit slip. I hope the teller can read my microscopic script. Or worse yet, I hope she doesn’t smudge the ink with her thumb. I poured my heart and soul into that epic haiku, and it would be a momental tragedy if the teller couldn’t read it. Our wandering hearts would never find each other, and we’d be left wandering in the desolate, stormy sea of loneliness … adrift without paddles … floating without hope … with no horizon or compass or painted drive-through lanes to guide us toward a loving embrace.

So yeah, the drive-through window at the bank is a problem. The tinted window separates me from the object of my affection, and when I look at the one-way glass, all I can see is my pathetic, pallid face staring back at me, forlorn and alone.

Oh sure, I could venture inside the bank and perform my transaction there, but it’s my lunch hour, and the drive-through is quicker. Besides, you never know who you’ll get stuck behind in line. The world’s most plodding, dawdling imbeciles are always ahead of me, shuffling forward with no sense of urgency and conducting transactions that last longer than the Ice Age. It’s like they live in the bank, setting up tents and sleeping bags as if they’re nerds at the premiere of a superhero movie.

Don’t they know that I’m in love with the teller? Can’t they see the desperate, anguished yearning in my eyes? Do they not realize that they’re preventing two hopeless, passionate dreamers from forging a bond?

I pull away from the drive-through with my $10 and a receipt. If the teller saw my love note, she chose to ignore it. I imagine the deposit slip was carelessly discarded, its loving words to be shredded … its idolizing message destroyed.

Ten dollars. What solace can a young man seek with such a mockable pittance? To what secluded destination can this lonely heart abscond?

If only Grandma had given me a better birthday gift, then I might not be in this predicament. The cheap old bag.

4 comments on “Uncertainty and panic at the bank drive-through

  1. Have you never heard of this wonderful thing called online banking? You download the bank’s app, sign in, click “deposit check,” take a picture of the front and back of check with your cell phone, and click “deposit.” I’ve not been to a brick and mortar bank since it was invented. I guess the bank is still there because the amount shows up on my statement and my debit card works. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did try the mobile banking app, because I wanted to avoid actually going to the bank. But I couldn’t figure out how to get it onto my phone, so I had to call the bank to get help. And then the app kept crashing, so I called the bank again, and they told me to delete the app and download it again. And then when that didn’t work, the bank told me to restart my phone and change my settings to allow the app to use my current location.

      And then I couldn’t get the app to take my password, so I had to call the bank again. The woman told me to change my password, so I did.

      And then I forgot what my new password was, so I had call the bank to get help resetting it.

      And then when the app finally took my password, my camera wouldn’t work when I tried to take a picture of my check — so again, I called the woman at the bank.

      She gave a deep, heavy sigh when she heard my voice. “Yes?”

      “Now the camera on the phone won’t work,” I said.

      She sighed again. “What exactly is it that you’re trying to do, sir?”

      “I’m trying to take a picture of my check so that I can deposit it with the app.”

      “Tell you what,” the woman said. “Why don’t you just come on down to the bank? I’ll deposit the check for you personally.”

      And so that was my foray into the mobile-banking world. Gotta love technology. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I would go to the bank too after all that. (When things go horribly wrong, I always say at least I can get a column out of it.) I have an iPhone and it worked perfectly. Once in a while I go to the ATM if I need cash. They haven’t figured out how to give cash through my phone yet. That’s probably coming soon. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      • That would be awesome if I get could get cash out of my phone!

        Right now it’s the other way around — whenever I want to update to the latest model (which I assure you is seldom), all of my money goes INTO my phone. 🙂


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