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That might sound like no-brainer but I was
confronted with a recent episode of
exceptionally flaky behavior at a bank
involving an untrained recruit that led me
to this conclusion. Allow me to explain
what happened.

It was a Monday morning and I went into
my bank to do a deposit and eventually I
got to a teller. The teller was a pretty,
twenty-ish blonde with a talkative, ditzy
personality. First she informed me that
she wasn’t a full-fledged bank employee
yet, that she was still a trainee. This made
me uneasy right away. I mean, would you
like to hear that from, say, your doctor?
That your physician is just TRAINING
and doesn’t know everything about the job
yet? I know banking isn’t a life and death
situation like medical care but
nonetheless the implication was that
since the employee isn’t fully trained
there could potentially be slip-ups in the
actions she’s being asked to undertake.
And as we all know, our money is very
important to us.

As it went, the employee managed to do
the deposit successfully after which I
asked if I could purchase a bank draft
from her. Unfortunately, preparing a bank
draft was not a task she was able to
undertake: She’d never done one before.
She did attempt to do it but ran into
obstructions on her screen right away so
she asked the teller next to her to help
her which she did.

But the problem was, at the same time as
the other teller was trying to help the
trainee she was still servicing a customer
of her own. As such, the trainee was
getting half (or less) of her attention
while the other half was with the client
she was servicing. And the new teller was
so clueless on bank drafts she couldn’t
even position the document in the
printing machine properly and had to get
the other teller to do it for her.

So there I was -- watching as not one but
TWO people, a trainee and another teller,
were attempting to prepare a bank draft
for me.

To me this was all wrong. Since the
trainee had no knowledge of selling bank
drafts the transaction should have been
taken over COMPLETELY by a
competent, fully-trained employee. I
mean, in other professions untrained
employees usually don’t get full access
to customers. So why should it be
different in a bank? A trained employee
should have moved in and taken control
of the situation and demonstrated to her
how the task was done. As a customer, I
would have found this very reassuring.
But that’s not how they did it this day.
And the strange thing is, I’ve purchased
many bank drafts at this branch before
without any difficulties so it was unusual
that on this particular occasion it was a
problem for them.

But the good thing was, at least with
another teller overseeing the task it
would assure that it would be done
correctly. Or so you’d think right?

Anyway, the trainee fumbled through the
process and got the bank draft done. She
then asked me if I wanted anything else
and I said I’d like a receipt that listed the
transactions she’d processed and the
current balance in my account. So she
printed up a receipt and handed it to me
and I took a look at it.

The funny thing was, as I was reading the
receipt I sensed that the teller was
observing me, as though she was waiting
for a reaction from me of some kind. It
could have been that she didn’t know
herself if everything had been done
correctly and was waiting to see if all
looked good to me. The receipt itself
confused me. There were a series of
transactions on it leaving me with less
money in my account than I originally
thought I’d have remaining.

However, I couldn’t come to any
conclusions about the receipt at that
moment so I accepted it. I slipped it into
my wallet, thanked the teller for her
service and walked out of the branch.
Then while I was standing outside the
branch on the sidewalk I pulled out my
wallet and extracted the receipt and took
another look at it. Then I saw what had
happened.

The trainee bank teller had taken a
whopping SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS
from my account without being asked to
do so!

Holy smokes! I immediately turned
around and rushed back into the bank and
went straight to the same teller and
showed her the receipt. I asked her how,
after purchasing the bank draft, my
balance could have gone down to where it
currently stood. The other teller entered
the picture again and reviewed the
transactions. She explained that the
trainee had accidently pushed the wrong
button on her computer and that was what
had caused the colossal debit from my
account. She quickly corrected the
mistake by crediting my account the
missing six thousand dollars.

Now, I have had experiences in the past
where bank employees were
DELIBERATELY stealing money from
my bank accounts. But that impropriety
was always done at the behest of lawyers
or government agents and it was part of a
pattern of relentless criminal harassment
I was subjected to for many years. That
wasn’t the case in this instance.

But this incident does demonstrate why
bank employees dealing with customers
should be FULLY TRAINED before
getting access to our bank accounts. If I
hadn’t said anything I would have been out
a lot of money. Banks should know that
it’s not in any way fair to the customer to
be told that you’re dealing with someone
who’s not fully up to speed in their
position when you go to a teller for bank
service.
 
Should bank tellers be TRAINED before
getting access to our bank accounts? I say
YES, they SHOULD be trained.
SHOULD BANK TELLERS BE TRAINED?
September 14, 2018
SHOULD BANK TELLERS
BE TRAINED?
September 14, 2018
Should bank tellers be TRAINED
before getting access to our bank
accounts? I say YES, they SHOULD
be trained. That might sound like no-
brainer but I was confronted with a
recent episode of exceptionally flaky
behavior at a bank involving an
untrained recruit that led me to this conclusion. Allow me to explain what happened.

It was a Monday morning and I went into my bank to do a deposit and eventually I
got to a teller. The teller was a pretty, twenty-ish blonde with a talkative, ditzy
personality. First she informed me that she wasn’t a full-fledged bank employee yet,
that she was still a trainee. This made me uneasy right away. I mean, would you like
to hear that from, say, your doctor? That your physician is just TRAINING and
doesn’t know everything about the job yet? I know banking isn’t a life and death
situation like medical care but nonetheless the implication was that since the employee
isn’t fully trained there could potentially be slip-ups in the actions she’s being asked
to undertake. And as we all know, our money is very important to us.

As it went, the employee managed to do the deposit successfully after which I asked
if I could purchase a bank draft from her. Unfortunately, preparing a bank draft was
not a task she was able to undertake: She’d never done one before. She did attempt
to do it but ran into obstructions on her screen right away so she asked the teller next
to her to help her which she did.

But the problem was, at the same time as the other teller was trying to help the trainee
she was still servicing a customer of her own. As such, the trainee was getting half (or
less) of her attention while the other half was with the client she was servicing. And
the new teller was so clueless on bank drafts she couldn’t even position the
document in the printing machine properly and had to get the other teller to do it for
her.

So there I was -- watching as not one but TWO people, a trainee and another teller,
were attempting to prepare a bank draft for me.

To me this was all wrong. Since the trainee had no knowledge of selling bank drafts
the transaction should have been taken over COMPLETELY by a competent, fully-
trained employee. I mean, in other professions untrained employees usually don’t get
full access to customers. So why should it be different in a bank? A trained employee
should have moved in and taken control of the situation and demonstrated to her how
the task was done. As a customer, I would have found this very reassuring. But that’s
not how they did it this day. And the strange thing is, I’ve purchased many bank
drafts at this branch before without any difficulties so it was unusual that on this
particular occasion it was a problem for them.

But the good thing was, at least with another teller overseeing the task it would assure
that it would be done correctly. Or so you’d think right?

Anyway, the trainee fumbled through the process and got the bank draft done. She
then asked me if I wanted anything else and I said I’d like a receipt that listed the
transactions she’d processed and the current balance in my account. So she printed
up a receipt and handed it to me and I took a look at it.

The funny thing was, as I was reading the receipt I sensed that the teller was
observing me, as though she was waiting for a reaction from me of some kind. It
could have been that she didn’t know herself if everything had been done correctly
and was waiting to see if all looked good to me. The receipt itself confused me.
There were a series of transactions on it leaving me with less money in my account
than I originally thought I’d have remaining.

However, I couldn’t come to any conclusions about the receipt at that moment so I
accepted it. I slipped it into my wallet, thanked the teller for her service and walked
out of the branch. Then while I was standing outside the branch on the sidewalk I
pulled out my wallet and extracted the receipt and took another look at it. Then I saw
what had happened.

The trainee bank teller had taken a whopping SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS from my
account without being asked to do so!

Holy smokes! I immediately turned around and rushed back into the bank and went
straight to the same teller and showed her the receipt. I asked her how, after
purchasing the bank draft, my balance could have gone down to where it currently
stood. The other teller entered the picture again and reviewed the transactions. She
explained that the trainee had accidently pushed the wrong button on her computer
and that was what had caused the colossal debit from my account. She quickly
corrected the mistake by crediting my account the missing six thousand dollars.

Now, I have had experiences in the past where bank employees were
DELIBERATELY stealing money from my bank accounts. But that impropriety was
always done at the behest of lawyers or government agents and it was part of a
pattern of relentless criminal harassment I was subjected to for many years. That
wasn’t the case in this instance.

But this incident does demonstrate why bank employees dealing with customers
should be FULLY TRAINED before getting access to our bank accounts. If I hadn’t
said anything I would have been out a lot of money. Banks should know that it’s not
in any way fair to the customer to be told that you’re dealing with someone who’s
not fully up to speed in their position when you go to a teller for bank service.

And as an addendum to this story, let me give you one more anecdote about an
asinine e-mail communication I received from another employee of this same banking
organization just a few days later.

I was interested in opening an account at the online brokerage division of the same
financial institution. It’s possible to fill out an account application online but part of
the process requires that you print out the application and I don’t have a way of
doing that. So I sent them an e-mail explaining that I don’t have printing capabilities
and could they please send me a paper application form for me to fill out in writing.

A few days later I got a reply from a man who called himself a “wealth expert” with
the answer to my query. And surprisingly, this expert’s answer wasn’t “Yes we can
send you a form, please provide us with your mailing address to send it to.” His
answer was “I’ve attached a PDF copy of the form in my e-mail for you to download
and print.”

A PDF copy!

I think this employee’s response is a clear statement about how the mind of the
young person works today. They’ve grown up in an era where paper and the postal
system aren’t relevant anymore, where all interactions are done on computers and
smart phones. If you can’t send it via e-mail then you can’t send it at all.

Come to think of it, I don’t get paper account statements from this bank anymore
either. That’s the youth of today, living in the virtual world of Tron, a digital world
where paper and ink don’t exist. How sad.
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And as an addendum to this story, let me
give you one more anecdote about an
asinine e-mail communication I received
from another employee of this same
banking organization just a few days later.

I was interested in opening an account at
the online brokerage division of the same
financial institution. It’s possible to fill
out an account application online but part
of the process requires that you print out
the application and I don’t have a way of
doing that. So I sent them an e-mail
explaining that I don’t have printing
capabilities and could they please send
me a paper application form for me to fill
out in writing.

A few days later I got a reply from a man
who called himself a “wealth expert” with
the answer to my query. And surprisingly,
this expert’s answer wasn’t “Yes we can
send you a form, please provide us with
your mailing address to send it to.” His
answer was “I’ve attached a PDF copy of
the form in my e-mail for you to
download and print.”

A PDF copy!

I think this employee’s response is a
clear statement about how the mind of the
young person works today. They’ve grown
up in an era where paper and the postal
system aren’t relevant anymore, where all
interactions are done on computers and
smart phones. If you can’t send it via e-
mail then you can’t send it at all.

Come to think of it, I don’t get paper
account statements from this bank
anymore either. That’s the youth of today,
living in the virtual world of Tron, a
digital world where paper and ink don’t
exist. How sad.