We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what it's like working at a bank and what they want the public to know. Here are some of the best submissions.
1. First off, don't come in to a bank looking sketchy AF.
"Please remove your hats and sunglasses before entering a branch! It's just common sense. You may be walking in with no bad intentions, but that does not mean that I know that behind my teller line."
2. Here's an example of how not to be sketchy:
"Bank tellers are not flirting with you and we're not all naturally chatty and super friendly. It's part of the job to know our customers and their habits so we can identify potential fraud and be aware of suspicious activity. If you're still convinced your teller is into you, please don't slip them your number on a sticky note or slip of paper. Over 90% of bank robberies are note passers and it looks super shady."
3. Also, don't ever do this:
"People actually play robbery jokes. It's not funny. Please don't go into a bank saying 'this is a stick up' and laugh. We have that fear every day, don't give us a heart attack."
4. Real banks are nothing like the movies.
"Most banks have SIGNIFICANTLY less [money] than the movies portray. We don't have some insane vault with diamonds and millions of dollars. If we order too much money we get yelled at and fined."
5. Yes, they have to see your I.D. No exceptions.
"People act like you're asking for their soul when you ask for their driver's license."
6. They are not in charge of fees and policies. Please stop taking your frustrations out on them.
"I desperately wish customers would realize that the people they deal with on a day-to-day business have ZERO part in the decision making that has upset them. Of course that won't happen and we will continue to get ripped into for choices made above our heads."
7. So don't come at them with your overdraft fees.
"It's not my problem that you spent $50 at McDonald's and overdrafted your account."
8. They get used to being around money.
"After a while you kind of forget that you're counting thousands of dollars. It sorta turns into Monopoly money. I mean, you're still cautious, but you're not as nervous about it. 'Here's one hundred, two hundred... two thousand eight hundred.'"
9. But they will never get used to this:
"One time a customer brought in multiple buckets of unsorted change. Our small bank did not have a coin sorting machine, only a counter, and it had to be sorted before it could be ran through the counter. Needless to say, we had to sort those huge buckets of coin by hand. It took days."
10. They put up with a lot of shit.
"I could fill a tomb with my horror stories: I've had to call police more times than I can count due to the aforementioned threats, fights between customers, people attempting fraud, drug addicts harassing staff, not to mention armed robberies. I've had to be quarantined due to unknown chemicals/substances on money. And I've had to call the bomb squad because a local homeless man left his duffle bag at our front door after spending the night."
11. Sometimes, literal shit.
"Once we found poop in the lobby teller line. Like someone pooped themselves and let it drop through their pant leg and just went about their day."
12. Really, there are a lot of shitty situations.
"A customer came in with a taped up $100 note to exchange for a normal one. Then as I went to unlock my cashbox, still holding her bill, she said, 'Yeah, my dog got to the bill. If it was a one or a five, I wouldn't have done anything, but since it was a hundred, I had to get it!' I immediately dropped her bill...Her dog had eaten the bill and once he had 'passed' it, she got it out of his poop and taped it back together!! She assured me that she had washed it a ton..."
13. They see a variety of customers, like this finger-licker:
"The weirdest encounter I had was when a car pulled up to the drive-thru with a really pale, sunglasses-wearing older guy driving. He wanted to deposit some checks and get cash back, but every time he picked up or put down an item, he would lick all of his fingers. Lightly and expertly, like a reflex. Pulling out I.D.? Lick. Placing checks in tray? Lick. Taking cash? Lick. Giving cash BACK, because he wanted tens instead of twenties? Lick to count it, lick to put it back in the envelope, lick to take the new envelope with tens.
Finally he left, but at one point I thought there was a real possibility I had just met either a vampire or an alien in a human suit."
14. And this not-so-sneaky guy:
"The craziest was when a client came into the branch wearing sunglasses to withdraw a thousand in cash. Seemed normal, but then later that same day he came up to me without the sunglass (the same person that completed the withdrawal not even two hours earlier) and tried to say that someone impersonated him and withdrew cash from his account without his permission. I had to remind him that I knew him by face and name as he came in frequently, and that I personally identified him. No, glasses are not a good disguise. You are not Clark Kent, sir. Needless to say his claim was denied."
15. They've also witnessed some crazy-ass things go down. For instance, this mummified cat:
"An older woman used to come in about once a week and ask to go into the vault where the safe deposit boxes were located. These rooms are private and only one person in allowed in at a time. She would stay about 15 or 20 minutes and always come out crying. One day, she came in very upset because she had lost her box key. The standard procedure was to contact a locksmith to drill the lock.
The locksmith comes out, and the branch manager goes into the vault to open her box. My manager comes out looking like he's about to puke and the locksmith is just standing there wide eyed, like he doesn't know what the fuck was going on. My manager takes the lady into his office and the next thing we know, animal control is showing up. This lady's cat had died a few months back and she was keeping its fucking body in her safe deposit box and visiting and talking to it once a week. The poor thing was completely mummified and we had to call a hazmat crew to come out and clean the box and vault to make sure nothing had been contaminated."
16. Or the bloody money:
"I once had a woman come in with a bag full of crumpled cash. This wasn't bad, and I'd definitely seen it before. However, the woman stopped me, stared at me with a super serious look and said, 'I'm really sorry to do this, but will you accept this cash if it's covered in blood?' After half a minute of stunned silence, she added, 'It's dry though, we laid them out to dry." A couple phone calls later, I put on some gloves and took out the hazard bags. I counted up the cash and sealed it up. That day, I learned that even when covered in blood, it's still legal tender. I washed hands at least four times and disinfected every surface of my teller window."
17. The people with tons of money seem to be the most unhappy. :-/
"I think the one thing that bothers me most about the bank I work at is that clients with the most money in their accounts, like millions of dollars, are some of the meanest, unhappy people you'll deal with and that they think it's okay to treat you like garbage. They are also the ones that complain about $2.50 paper statement fee but refuse to go paperless to avoid said fees. They think everything should always be free for them."
18. Don't be a shitty human. Just be kind.
"Just be nice to your tellers please. I worked as a teller for seven years and put up with more than my fair share of rude/angry people yelling at me for something that was entirely out of my control. Please don't yell at the little college girl in front of you just trying to pay her bills. Also, don't swear at me through the drive through and not expect me to just cut you off. I'm not paid enough to listen to your bitching, and the kids in the lobby don't need to hear that language."
19. Finally, if you're a regular, take time to get to know the staff.
"All in all, it actually is a pretty rewarding job. For every one or two annoying customers, there are so many others that were great. I had one customer who was so appreciative that I remembered her name and always took the time to ask her about her family living overseas, that she brought me in a really beautiful Christmas gift and a lovely card. I honestly teared up, because it can get pretty abusive in there around the holidays when people are overspending and upset about the balances in their accounts. It just makes it really nice to get the appreciation."