I'm a teller at a bank. There are some good reasons to dislike banks, but there are other things that are just misunderstood. Here are some of those things.
  1. If you want money I need to identify you.
    I know you know you're you. But I still need to make sure you're you. The reason for this is so that people can't just go around to banks with someone's account number and name, act all huffy when asked for ID and leave with tons of someone else's cash. Makes sense right? You'd be surprised how many think it's outrageous. They want to tell me how long they've been banking here. They want to talk about other employees who know them. They want to do everything but swipe their card or pull out ID.
  2. We don't have new bills.
    There is no U.S. mint in back. Around the holidays we special order new money but when it's gone that's it! We get cash from deposits and weekly shipments all of which is used. I get that you want a nice bill for a card and I'll look for one within reason, but I can't magic you new money. And if I could, I would be in my solid gold house washing my rocket car with Dom Perignon, not sifting through grody bills to find you an acceptable ten spot. Cash gets around, that's kinda the point.
  3. I'm not ignoring you.
    If I don't wave you up after the last customer left, don't take it personally. There's a lot of things I might be doing, none of which are not helping you for the fun if it. I have to stay w/in my cash limit, help drive-up, print reports, get approvals, balance cash dispensers and a myriad of other tasks all using a computer that was cutting edge about 15 years ago. Also, if I go on my break right when you got to the front, it's bc I have to or I get written up, not bc I just felt like it.
  4. We don't have unlimited amounts of cash.
    See #2. Banks can and do run out of money. If you find yourself in need of a large sum of cash DO let your bank know ahead of time so they can order it for you. DON'T roll in at noon on Saturday and act incredulous that your request for 17 grand was denied. If you're buying a car on Craigslist, consider having the other party go with you to your bank to have a cashier's check made. It's much easier and safer than meeting some stranger in a weird part of town with 4 months salary in your pocket.
  5. If you want a lot of money in cash, we're going to ask you some questions.
    I'm not usually nosey but at times my job demands I pry. You see, enough banks have laundered enough drug money because they didn't ask enough questions that the Feds stepped in and said, "You guys need to start asking questions." so we do. Nothing too crazy. Your job, your social, if it's your account; pretty standard. Don't get bent out of shape. Try to suppress your inner Ayn Rand and just answer the questions. If you aren't financing terrorism or a drug kingpin odds are you'll be fine.
  6. Take off your hat and sunglasses before going in and leave your backpack in the car.
    The thing about banks is, they get robbed, which is a traumatic thing to go through. So it would be nice to take off anything obscuring your face and leave behind any large bag before you enter the bank. Oh and don't walk straight up to me and slide over a piece of paper with a note on it either. I know you think you're doing me a solid by scrawling out your preferred denominations but you're going to give me a fucking heart attack. Especially if you're still wearing your cap and wayfarers.
  7. Don't call your branch, call the number on the back of your card.
    There are a few exceptions, but most of the times you call the branch, you really want card services. Weird charge on your account? Trouble logging into online banking? Wallet got stolen? All this stuff gets handled by card services. Plus, you're most likely just gonna wait on hold bc in the branch we have real live customers impatiently waiting to do their transactions. And if you are dealing with a banker, shoot them an email. They are all over their email and they can reply right away.
  8. Have a friendly conversation.
    Trust me, it's better for both of us if you engage in a little banter. I know banks can be intimidating but it makes everything go faster and more pleasantly if there's a little back and forth in the midst of your bank business. Plus, odds are, you'll be back before too long and I'll be helping you again. So let's be bank friends! This also has the added benefit of giving you some leverage to reverse fees down the line. Friendly people's odds of getting out of charges are much better, just sayin
  9. We do actually check your signature.
    If you like to do cute non-signatures at stores when you check out (I'm looking at you smiley face signers) you're gonna have to rein it in at the bank. As antiquated as it seems to use a signature as proof of identity in the age of fingerprint password phones, we still verify that your John Hancock matches up to what it was when you signed up for your account. So if your signature has changed you should update it. And don't get too cute with how you sign things cuz I'll make you redo it.