October 30, 2015

On Being a Teller


Wednesday, October 28,  marked 2 years since I began working as a teller, and I don't quite know how to feel about it. On one hand, I feel great-- accomplished, if you will. This was my first real job post school and I think I have done pretty well. On the other, I feel a unaccomplished. I spent so much money on university and attaining a Master's degree in the sciences, but I found myself processing banking transactions for a living. I never wanted to enter into the realm of sales and customer service, but I found myself here and had to go at it full-force! I take my jobs seriously, you see, and although I hate offering credit cards, and pushing accounts to people who already bank comfortably in other places, I understand that it is a job requirement, so I do my best to sell our products and be cordial to our customers (even the rude ones).

As previously stated, I never saw myself in this position and when I started, I did not expect to be there long-- much less 2 years. But it is a part of life. So, I take it in stride.

I have been writing this post for months wanting to share my experience as a teller, but did not know how to go about an introduction. But this is the perfect opportunity. Here I will share a bit of what it is like being a bank teller:

slow days // staring at the walls. On a really slow day,  something like the black mulch spontaneously combusting into flames from the summer heat or a grasshopper sitting in one place for several hours will easily serve as entertainment that day.

"new girl".
*whispers* "Who's the new girl?"
- um, Jhan has been with us for almost two years now.
Some customers get a little nervous when they see someone new behind the teller line. But for the life of me, I cannot understand why some people think I am new. That question gets asked at least once per week. Even after working there for 2 years. And even though I work part-time, I still pushed 40 hours most weeks. I think it has to do with changing my hair often. I will be publishing a post on that later.

cash differences. Customers will eagerly notify you if you have mistakenly shorted them $0.87. Trust me, I know.  In the same manner, there are also customers-- though very few-- who will be honest and return the extra cash you have given to them in error. Bless their hearts.

safety concerns.  I would say that my branch location is in a pretty safe neighborhood. Unlike other branches I have helped out at, we don't have a ceiling-high glass panels separating us from our customers... but that did not stop us from getting robbed last summer...

the crazies.  From the guy warning you to "watch the 3 o'clock news" if he happens to "drop down dead" in front of you (on a Saturday no less) to the woman angered by the fact that the full account number for her mortgage payment was not displayed on the receipt-- you know, for her to lose the receipt and that number is accessible to anyone who finds it... We have our share.

relationships. My favorite aspect of banking is the ability to build relationships with customers. I get to share in the joys of first time pregnancies and the end of a long chemo treatment. I get to sympathize with those who have lost their parents and celebrate with those who are going on their first date in years. It's amazing how much people trust you enough to share bits of their lives with you just because you help them manage their finances. This is something I really enjoyed about being a teller and I hope to never forget.


  1. This was neat to read about your experience as a teller. There's a teller at my bank that I really like. I always hope that when I get there she is there :). Thanks for sharing!

  2. My sister works at a bank as a teller and in loans. She was so scared in the beginning. It is really a lot to know and although, it isn't where you saw yourself it is a very complex and challenging job.

  3. Before you said it, I was about to suggest people probably thought you were new because your hair was different.

    Thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading about specific parts of people's lives.


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