Help! I’m “Elaine” and I’m Afraid I’m Difficult!
Elaine: I was looking at my chart [at the doctor’s office], and it said that I was difficult. Why would they write that?
Have you ever seen the Seinfeld episode, where Elaine can’t get medical treatment for her rash because it’s been noted in her “chart” that she’s a “difficult” patient? Well I think I’m having a similar experience!
After waiting nearly 20-minutes in my car behind someone who was having coin counted, (even though there is a huge sign on the window that clearly states, “Please, No Coin!”) naturally, I was a wee bit perturbed by the time it came for me to put my checks in the drawer for deposit. When the teller returned with my receipts, I realized she had mistakenly put the checks into the wrong accounts. After pointing this out to her, she asked me to park my car and come inside so she could resolve the issue and I wouldn’t hold up the line any longer. Annoyed, I refused and asked to see the branch manager (thus rendering my fait accompli?). I explained to the manager that after having just waited 20-minutes in my car behind someone who was having coin counted, I didn’t think I should have to park and expected the error to be taken care of while I was still at the window. The teller was completely flustered, the manager reluctantly complied. Ten minutes later, I was on my way. Over? I am afraid not.
I’m not a suspicious person by nature but ever since “the incident”, I get the feeling that, like Elaine in Seinfeld’s episode of The Package, I may have been branded a “difficult” customer. I mean, is that possible at a bank? Seriously, weird things happen when I go to the bank now. First, I realized that the flustered teller was gone. Haven’t seen her since that day. Then, no matter who the teller was at the window when I got there, they knew me, by name, even if I’d never seen them before and despite the fact that most of the time I’m depositing company checks into a business account that doesn’t have my name on it. Also, regardless of who’s taking care of me, I noticed they’re, overly friendly to me, some even talking loudly and very s-l-o-w-l-y to me and while I know this may sound very superficial, they all seem to have the same kind of “a deer in head-lights” stare and similar frozen-like smile on their faces when they see me. The kind that doesn’t move at all, even when they’re talking to me!
It makes me want to scream out, “Hey, you don’t have to pretend to be friendly toward me. I am not going to do anything! I really am a nice person! I had to wait for COIN TO BE COUNTED!”
A few weeks later, my bank got a new branch manager. So now, the flustered teller and the old manager are gone. From the time the new manager started, it occurred to me that no matter who was at the window when I drove up, she always ended up “taking care” of me. She too, has been freakishly, friendly and again, referred to me by name, the very first time she saw me.
If I were paranoid, I might think there’s a picture of me somewhere, with my name on it and a notation about the incident (perhaps taped to a counter or on a screen that I can’t see) alerting the tellers to a potential problem or line hold up customer, alerting them, to me!
The clincher came two weeks ago when my branch actually closed and the accounts were “moved” to another branch. When I went there for the first time, I decided I’d go inside to check it out. I suppose it could be my imagination but when I went inside, I actually thought I saw a security camera following me! Scratch that. I know what I saw, when I moved, the camera moved!
There were two lines open, one clearly being run by a newbie teller and the other being serviced by the new, now old, manager from the closed branch. I got on the newbie’s line because there wasn’t anyone else on it but when the new, now old manager looked up and saw me she said, “Oh, hello, Karen…” and quickly waved me over to her line while looking at the newbie teller. She invoked the deer stare and frozen smile and said, “I’ll take care of her.”
What The Heck? And what do you think? Is it possible I’m on some kind of list now that will forever be forwarded from branch to branch?
Help! I’m Elaine and I’m afraid I’m difficult!