Sunday, January 28, 2007


The line in the bank yesterday was long. I'm not used to being there on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, and the crowd there then always surprises me. While I was waiting, one of the clerks was cooing at a customer's baby, and chatting at length about planned Caesareans versus emergency Caesareans. Shortly thereafter, someone pulls up to the drive-up window and asks about ordering Girl Scout cookies from the daughter of one of the tellers. The cookie order was scribbled down, with name and cookie choices, and I was still standing in line.

I wasn't really irritated or anything. But thoughts were flitting through my mind that this isn't the way customers should be treated. The socializing and the non-work activities should take a backseat to waiting on the bank customers.

But then I realized something. People here know each other. They're interacting like people instead of like automatons who are cogs in the Human Resource Department. If I go to a different branch of our bank, I have to show ID and jump through all the banking hoops that most of the rest of y'all live with regularly. I don't have to do that at our bank.

For example, yesterday I needed to get into the safe deposit box to look at savings bonds. (By the way, for those of you who have to fill out college financial aid forms and need to find the value of savings bonds, the government's online Savings Bond Calculator makes a breeze of that job!) Did I have to show ID to get into my safe-deposit box? No. Did I even have to tell them my name? No. I just said that I needed to get into it, and the girl (the NEW girl who's hardly ever waited on me) went to fetch the box and the paperwork. The girls at the bank all know our names, where we live, that our kids are connected to us and not somebody else's kids, what my husband's job is, etc etc.

There's information galore available on protecting one's identity. But the bad guys can be sophisticated with their forged documents and their slick way with computers and ID numbes. But actually knowing people is safety in a whole different realm. There ain't nobody who could get by with going into my local bank and cashing one of my checks, taking money out of my savings account, or dipping into my safe-deposit box.

Lots of times, the label "Podunk" is used in a derogative manner. But to me, there's something dear about Podunkville. The guy that I used to sub paper-route for lived in the nearby big city of 60,000 people. He said that coming out here to do paper routes was like visiting Mayberry. Hooray for Mayberry!

1 comment:

  1. You are so right about small towns and people knowing who you are. I am dreading going to the city for DH's schooling. If I need anything here I just call and they know who I am. They will even bring it to the house if they are going by and I can go in and pay later. It needs to be ordered they just do it without a deposit or paying for it first. You can charge it at alot of the businesses if a family is short at the time but then again most placed lets you charge it and they give churches and organizations discounts for buying at their stores. You can't beat living in a small town.