Thursday, May 27, 2004

Bank Report

Yesterday, I briefly saw what it means to live in a small town.

I went to the bank across the street from the office to deposit my paycheck. Diana*, a dark-skinned, 20-something, was my teller.

There was a hubub behind the window. Tensed shoulders and furrowed brows made it clear this was serious. I soon understood “Who’s leaving early?” and “Who’s going on break?” were the subjects of heated debate.

“Every time I come over here,” I said, “it seems like there’s some drama back there.”

“The problem is we’re always short staffed,” Diana said.

I pointed to the sign in the lobby announcing the bank’s need for help. It’s been up for months.

“Well, you’re recruiting,” I said, “isn’t it working?”

“I guess not.”

“Must be the threat of robbery. That would dissuade me,” I said.

She said two out of town branches of the bank have been robbed this week.

“Doesn’t that make you nervous?” I asked.

She scoffed, making that little pfffffft sound to indicate the question was ridiculous. “ I know everyone who comes in here,” she said, “if somebody tried to rob us I’d just say ‘You better stop, or I’ll call your mom.’”

*indicates a changed name

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