Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Its not often that I have a full tank on a day off, with no prior commitments on my calendar, so I decided to take a drive into the city.  I live on the edge of town, close enough to have my zip code included in the city limits yet far enough out to avoid traffic and other big city headaches.

I ventured into the city today with one purpose, to find the ultimate give for my son from a store that could only be found smack dab in the middle of the business district... where you must pay to park.  I didn't know the exact location of the shop so I took advantage of the many red lights I encountered en route to dig for change for the parking meters.

3 dimes, 1 nickel and a million pennies.  That should buy me about 20 minutes if and when I found the place.  I needed more money.

But wait, a bank!  With a parking lot!  Feeling like things were starting to fall into place, I turned into the parking lot and entered the bank lobby.  It was a credit union, but not the one I bank at.  I used the ATM, accepting the $1.50 fee, and grimacing for the hidden video camera because I knew my credit union would be tacking on a user fee of their own.  Of course the ATM only spits out bills, and there was no way I was going to stuff a twenty into the parking meter, so I entered the bank and stood in line.

Actually I was the line.  I waited patiently until one of the two tellers finished doing what ever tellers do when there is no customer standing in front of them.  She motioned me over and I laid the crisp twenty I had just retrieved from the ATM machine on the counter. 

'I don't have an account here but I was wondering if I could get some change for this?'

The teller didn't even blink.

'Actually we only serve members.'

I was still smiling but I swear I could hear my eyes blink.. 3 times... very loudly.  She however wasn't smiling.  She didn't care that I just paid $1.50 to get that $20 from her ATM.  I wasn't a member, I wasn't even a guest.  For all practical purposes I was an uninvited intruder. 

I wasn't asking to cash a check, or buy a money order.  I just wanted change for a bill I just got from the ATM in the lobby.  Change... that was all I was asking for.  Change for the parking meter because you have to pay for the privilege to park in the city. 

'Unbelievable'.  I said with a laugh.  'Merry Christmas!'

She didn't return my greeting.  No 'thank you' or 'sorry'.  No 'have a nice day'.  Nothing.

I don't belong in a city where one must pay to park to shop.  I don't belong in a members only city, where you must fill out an application WAC to qualify for a smile and courtesy, where a visitor can't even walk into a bank to get change for the dang parking meters. 

I can't think of anything I need badly enough in town to put up with that ever again.

Except for the  ultimate give for my son from a store that could only be found smack dab in the middle of the business district.  Grrrrrrrrr!

That city is enough to turn a saint into a scrooge!

Where I live there are no parking meters.  In my town the stores and restaurants have their own parking lots... where you can park for free!  (what a concept!)

Did you know that when you say 'Merry Christmas' to a complete stranger in Widefield, Security or Fountain Colorado, most people will smile back and return the greeting.

God Bless Smalltown, USA!

Merry Christmas everyone!  (yes, even the grumpy members only bank teller).


mumma4evr said...

most banks around here wouldn't do it either!!

princesssaurora said...

That is awful... but typical of today, isn't it?  I am so sorry!!!

be well,

hestiahomeschool said...

We have moved from Cincinnati to a small, small town. Today we had FULL SERVICE at a gas station. The girls were flabbergasted. They had never seen that before. Everyone is sp nice and laid back and kind. People wave when you drive past. yesterday a funeral went by and everyone pulled over and parked their cars. The girls had never seen that is so, well, civilized in the city!

rbrown6172 said...

unbelievable!!  what has happened to common courtesy??  merry Christmas!!

jckfrstross said...

Merry Christmas:)


cyn4mc2856 said...

Everyone has a bad day...but this teller was outright rude!  It's hard to believe that CU missed an opportunity to charge another fee...just for changing the $20 into smaller bills.  Maybe they will give that consideration and change policy for the New Year. HA

You handled it well!


deshelestraci said...

Oh yeah.  I rarely go into Nashville.  Cuz even a trip to the free library costs a fortune when you include parking and eternally hungry children.

sdoscher458 said...

Some people carry a brown paper bag and place it over the meter as if it were broken I have seen people do this. I don't know if I would chance it though. I also remember a movie where the hero goes along main street knocking the head off of every meter he finds...he does get arrested. How many of us have wanted to do that? Lol...have a merry Christmas dear and wish that to Gabe for me, Sandi

dhga30047 said...

It's sad that just plain customer service has gone out the window....  No more please, thank you or even have a nice day....  very sad....   Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Donna

mutualaide said...

Merry Christmas from this small town shopper!

glensfork4 said...

Merry Christmas for small town USA, Hardscratch, KY.......

Please wish Gabe a Merry Christmas too.....and a big THANK YOU.


midwestvintage said...

 I love small town USA also.  Unfortunately we do have to pay to park at some places but almost everyone will still say Merry Christmas right back at ya.


astaryth said...

Just popping in to wish one of my favorite families a Merry Christmas!!