I once had a
commercial customer come to my teller window for a change order. I was
a little confused when, according to her change order list, she asked for
$45 in ten dollar bills along with the other currency. She argued with
me when I told her that was impossible.
After about ten minutes of trying to convince her, I finally
had to count out four bills which she agreed was $40. I added one more
which totaled $50. She finally believed me.
I WAS at my bank to make a deposit when the clerk behind the
counter turned to the computer for information. As she touched a button, a small part
suddenly flew off the machine. All sorts of odd symbols started flashing across the
screen. I heard her gasp, and then she turned to me in wide-eyed wonder and exclaimed,
"It's swearing at me!"
WHILE waiting in line at the bank, a co-worker developed a
very loud case of hiccups. By the time he reached the teller's window, the hiccups seemed
to have worsened.
The teller took my friend's check and proceeded to run a computer verification of his
account. After a minute she looked up from her terminal with a frown and said that she
would be unable to cash his check.
"Why not?" my friend asked incredulously.
"I'm sorry, sir," she replied, "but our computer indicates that you do not
have sufficient funds to cover this amount. As a matter of fact," she continued,
"our records show your account overdrawn in excess of $5000."
"It can't be!" he cried. "You have to be kidding!"
"Yes, I am," she answered with a smile, counting out his cash. "But you
will notice that your hiccups are gone."
DURING my first year in
mortgage banking, I chose follow-up as my prime objective and made sure my clients knew
it. On one case, a joint-venture construction loan that had required hours of preparation,
I was eager to advise my client that I had finally received a letter of intent. I called
his office only to be told that he had left for the day. Frustrated, I relaxed by
sail-boarding in the harbor near my home. As I sailed along on I noticed a large powerboat
cruising nearby and was astonished to discover that the man at the helm was my client. I
tacked close to the cruiser, and waved. Incredulous, he waved back and slowed the boat.
"Just wanted to let you know I've received a letter of intent," I called out.
The deal was sealed soon afterward. Attached to the client's agreement was this
postscript: "When you say you follow up on a deal, you really mean it!"
WHEN I became manager of Chase Manhattan Bank's World Trade Center Branch, I would
sometimes assist the staff in waiting on customers at the service counter. One day, a
young man approached and insisted that I approve his cheque to be cashed. I explained that
we cash cheques only for our bank's customers. He replied, "You must be new.
Obviously you haven't been told that everyone knows who I am and always accommodates
me." When I asked him who had approved his cheques in the past, he pointed to the
nameplate "J. G. Besso" on my desk and said, "Why, the manager, Mr.
of course." Needless to say, he did not get his cheque cashed.
IT WAS the usual busy day at the bank where I work. After a glance at the line of
waiting customers, a harried-looking man came up to the side counter and demanded,
"What do I have to do to change the address on my account?" Without missing a
beat, the clerk replied, "You have to move."
WHEN I worked as a part-time bank teller in college, a good-looking young man began
making almost daily trips to my window to withdraw or deposit money. I wasn't sure it was
because of me until he presented this note with his bank book: "Dear J: I've been
SAVING this question in the hope that I might gain some INTEREST. If free Friday, would
you care to DEPOSIT yourself beside me at a movie? I've taken into ACCOUNT that you may be
previously engaged; if so, I'll WITHDRAW my offer and hope for Saturday. At any RATE, your
company would be much enjoyed, and I hope you'll not ASSESS this as too forward. CHECK
with you later. Sincerely, B." I couldn't resist such a charming and original
FIRST National Bank of Washington Ill., tried to encourage business through billboard
advertising, but conveyed quite a different message when the following ad was displayed:
"Loans make life easier, at FIRST."
ONE day a young man came up to my window at the bank and whispered, "Please
deposit this hundred dollars in my savings account." I handled the transaction and
whispered back, "Have a good day." He started to leave but changed his mind.
"I'm sorry we have to whisper," he said, "but if my car knows I've
deposited money, it'll break down again." With his finger to his lips he
AN INVESTMENT banker I know was sitting in the lobby of a San Francisco hotel when she
saw a familiar face nearby. She was sure he was a former client or colleague, so she
started walking over to him. Just then, Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. secretary of
state, strode in and took the seat my friend was about to occupy. She was saved. She had
planned to open the conversation with Helmut Schmidt, the former chancellor of West
Germany, by asking: "Didn't we work together at Chase Manhattan Bank?
MARTIN BOWEN, president of the Fort Worth First City
National Bank, was seen standing in front of the automatic teller in the lobby one day
while it performed a transaction rather slowly. After a brief wait, Bowen was heard to
say, "Come on it's me!"
AS A free-lance secretary, I type story manuscripts. When an
author pays me, I print the name of the story across the top of the check. Once when
I took a check to the bank, the teller suddenly froze. Only after I had explained my
procedure to a bank officer did the reason for the teller's reaction become clear. The
story was called "Your Money or Your Life," and that, of course, was what I had
written in bold letters across the top of the check.
THE young woman who entered our bank to cash a check looked
so hesitant that I went to help her. "Please sign the back of the check," I told
her, "as you'd sign a letter." She looked at me gratefully, scribbled on the
check and passed it to me. Signed on the back was: "Yours affectionately, Pamela.
I WAS working as a bank teller in upstate New York, where I'd
recently moved from New England. One day a customer pulled up to the drive-in window. The
microphone was off, however, and I didn't know what he was saying. I turned on the mike
and, just to let him know that I hadn't heard him said "Please?" To my
embarrassment, the customer glared at me and said, "May I have a pen, PLEASE?
AT THE bank where I used to work, we tellers were constantly
cautioned either to know the person who wanted to cash a cheque or to request proper
identification. One time a young man, who minutes before could produce no ID, returned to
my window with what he considered the perfect identification. Tucked under his arm was his
high-school yearbook opened to his class picture. I cashed his cheque.
A little old lady went into the Bank of Canada one
day, carrying a bag of money. She insisted that she must speak with the president of
the bank to open a savings account because, "It's a lot of money!"
After much hemming and hawing, the bank staff finally ushered her into the
president's office (the customer is always right!). The bank president then asked her how
much she would like to deposit. She replied, "$165,000!" and dumped the
cash out of her bag onto his desk.
The president was of course curious as to how she came by all this cash, so he
asked her, "Ma'am, I'm surprised you're carrying so much cash around. Where did
you get this money?" The old lady replied, "I make bets."
The president then asked, "Bets? What kind of bets?"
The old woman said, "Well, for example, I'll bet you $25,000 that your balls are
square." "Ha!" laughed the president, "That's a stupid bet. You
can never win that kind of bet!"
The old lady challenged, "So, would you like to take my bet?"
"Sure," said the president, "I'll bet $25,000 that my balls are not
The little old lady then said, "Okay, but since there is a lot of money involved, may
I bring my lawyer with me tomorrow at 10am as a witness?"
"Sure!" replied the confident president. That night, the president
got very nervous about the bet and spent a long time in front of a mirror checking his
balls, turning from side to side, again and again. He thoroughly checked them out
until he was sure that there was absolutely no way his balls were square and that he would
win the bet.
The next morning, at precisely 10am, the little old lady appeared with her lawyer
at the president's office. She introduced the lawyer to the president and repeated
the bet "$25,000 says the president's balls are square!" The president
agreed with the bet again and the old lady asked him to drop his pants so they could all
see. The president complied. The little old lady peered closely at his balls
and then asked if she could feel them. "Well, Okay," said the president,
"$25,000 is a lot of money, so I guess you should be absolutely sure."
Just then, he noticed that the lawyer was quietly banging his head against the
wall. The president asked the old lady, "What the hell's the matter with your
lawyer?" She replied, "Nothing, except I bet him $100,000 that at 10am
today I'd have The Bank of Canada's president's balls in my hand.
THE bank where I work had just installed its first
cash machine. I encouraged an elderly gentleman to take an application for the new plastic
identification cards, explaining that he would be able to get cash any time of day or
night. He declined, saying, "Lady, anything I'd need money for that late at night I
shouldn't be doing."
EARLY in her third pregnancy, my neighbor took her two active
preschoolers to the bank with her while she conducted some rather lengthy business.
The bank teller gave them jelly beans from a candy dish and began working. All was
quiet for a while, but then the children grew rambunctious. As their mother
struggled to maintain order, she heard the teller say cheerfully, "Have another
one." Too harried to notice the candy dish in his hand, she wailed,
"That's just the trouble! I'm going to!"
A FRIEND of mine spent two weeks touring the West with a Boy
Scout troop. They were in a bank cashing checks, and one boy was having trouble because he
had lost his wallet. He still claimed he had identification, but he didn't want to show
it. The pretty, young teller insisted, so the Scout leaned forward and whispered in her
ear. She motioned for him to come behind the counter. My friend, who was tall enough
to see over the counter, saw the blushing boy tug out his shirt tail, fold his belt over
in, back and then pull up the label on his underwear to show his name neatly printed
there. The teller cashed his check.
I WENT to my bank to refinance a loan on my yacht. Making
small talk with the loan officer, I told her that she was the main reason I came to that
branch. Not even looking up from her paperwork, the loan officer responded, "You
don't fool me, sailor. I'll bet you have a woman in every bank."