Thursday, October 19, 2006

Drive-thru banking

Try to recall the days of banking convenience before the advent of the ATM.

I'd rather not.

In fact, banking and convenience had little to do with each other, in my opinion, before the worldwide implementation of the automated teller machine.

I came of age in the Me Generation, where face-to-face contact with living, breathing people to access my funds and visit my money was all but outlawed by service charges and additional fees.

So much so, that I came to rely upon the ATM banking paradigm and had, before moving to my small town, wholeheartedly embraced it as the preferred method of my day-to-day financial institution bizzyness.

I know, I know, we all have war stories whereupon the only solution to a financial snafu (caused by the bank, of couse) could be found in the loving arms and soothing voice of a flesh and blood banking representative.

But for the most part, I prefer dealing with the silicon and plastic bank networked automatons.

The locally owned bank that holds my moola in my small town has decent walk-in hours, 5 lanes of drive-up tellers (with expanded hours), yet only 1 ATM machine that is located inside the well lit, camera surveiled, climate-controlled foyer of the bank itself.

To use it, I have to park my car, get out of my car, lock my car (out of habit, not necessity -- not much jacking of 10-year old rice boxes in my small if I had a Silverado extended cab, that would be a different story), and pass through a double set of glass doors to access the little cash spewing wonder.

Insult to injury, the one and only ATM is a one-way ticket -- that's right, withdrawal only.

It won't take deposits!

To make a deposit, I am thoroughly frustrated at having to deal with a pleasant, smiling, always helpful bank teller within the four walls of the bank interior, or at one of the multi-laned, covered and well lit drive-up teller windows via plastic tubes and compressed air.

And then they have the nerve and unmitigated gall to always be ready with dum-dum lollipops for each of my girls in a variety of flavors.

Sigh. Guess I'll just have to deal.

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