Sunday, August 02, 2009

Fun at the Bank

One day, not too long ago, I went to the bank to visit my money. Waiting in line, I noticed a thirty- something man standing off to one side. He was wearing a baseball cap. The baby in his arms was also wearing a hat. Well, that was sensible. We’re in the Southwest, after all, and it probably was 106 degrees outside.

A bank employee was standing next to the customer, but neither man was talking. The bank employee looked nervous; the customer looked angry.

They were joined by another employee. She said something to the customer that I couldn’t hear. But I did hear his response. Was the man overdrawn? Behind in car payments? Complaining about a bank error? No. As it turned out, he didn’t want to remove his hat.

That’s when I remembered the sign on the door. Please remove hat and sunglasses for security reasons. Sounds reasonable to me. Banks in this city seem to get robbed on a daily basis. I’d seen too many news reports with videos that featured bank robbers wearing hats and sunglasses.

But this guy insisted on keeping his hat on his head. I guess he thought it was un-American to ask him to remove his hat in a bank, even for security reasons. At one point, he lifted the hat off his daughter’s head, pointed toward the spot where he thought the security camera was located, and remarked, “Suspected bank robber.”

The male employee said, “That isn’t funny, Sir.”

In the end, they compromised. The man pulled the hat off his forehead so that the camera could get a clear view of his face.

I thought his attitude was really weird. I’m not insulted because I have to remove my hat and sunglasses. After all, that rule was made for everyone’s protection including his—and for the protection of that baby he held in his arms.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don't Get Your Hopes Up About the Job

Waiting in the check-out line at the library, I couldn’t help but hear a twenty-something man talking on his cell phone. He was discussing his job application with a prospective employer.

My ears perked up as he listed a number of “concessions” that he needed from any employer.
“And I’ll need at least one Sunday off a month,” he said. “And probably a couple of Saturdays too. I put that on my application.”

Well, okay, it’s a drag to work weekends. But I did it. Several times, in fact. And a lot of other people do, too. You tend to agree to that if being available to work weekends is one of the requirements for the job—and you really want/need the job. Had I not been willing to work weekends, I wouldn’t have had a job at SmartMart for over three years.

Given today’s economy, that fellow probably isn’t going to have a job either. Too bad, because he left with a woman and a couple of small children who called him “Daddy.”

Yes, some companies offer flexible work schedules, but generally the employer, not the employee, decides the definition of flexible. With all the people in this country who are out of work, that man’s prospective employer will, no doubt, find someone willing to work the hours required for the job.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't Run Me Down

HELLO Mr. SUV driver.

Yes, that is a pedestrian—me—in your path as you try to sneak in a left turn before the north-bound traffic slams into your gas guzzling, over-priced hunk of steel. I realize that you didn’t notice me, but, according to the walk sign, I have the right of way. So stay right where you are until I finish crossing the street.

I apologize for having to walk to work in the dark. Believe me, I like it even less that I have to get up at 4:15 a.m.

And I don’t understand how you could not have seen me. Yes, it is dark out here, and, yes, I am wearing a black coat, but the intersection is well lit. And the flashlight I’m waving all over the place should give you a clue that someone is attempting to cross the street. What do you think the beam of light is? A signal from an alien spaceship?