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Coexistence April 5, 2006

Posted by Teller in Counter Open.

Working as a teller, you have to learn how to get along with all types of people. This applies to both your co-workers and customers. If you don't accomplish this you will become very unhappy in a very short space of time.

It's often a balancing act. Having good co-workers helps you handle the stress of dealing with abhorrent customers. Your co-workers are your support system, your sanity, and your family away from home. In my line of work, my co-workers change every few months. New trainees come into the branch and as a subsequent result people are transferred to other branches.

Our latest transfer is the coworker from hell. Contradicting his nauseating bragging of the speeds his Beemer can reach, he's tardy every day. When he finally shows up he spends his time away from his desk smoking. His returns are accompanied by a clouds of smoke. Our asthmatic co-worker had to switch places with me because she would need to use her inhaler everytime he sat next to her. We've taken to calling him the Chimney.

He's rude to customers and when you need him, you can't find him. Customers have begun avoiding him not because of his insolence but because he always posts their transactions incorrectly. Of all his shortcomings, the worst habit he has is that he rats us out to our manager. We never know what to expect because he keeps changing his modi operandi.

Last week the branch vault was short 10,000 KD. It had been the last day of the week so it was naturally busy all day. The money was only discovered missing at closing. Our senior teller and the assistant manager combed frantically through the vault for that missing 10,000. That amount of money doesn't disappear into thin air. I went through the logs of all transaction to and from the vault trying to find any discrepancies. For a full half-hour after the money was confirmed missing, Chimney sat at his desk finishing up on his paperwork. Then he got up and left wishing us all a happy weekend. My anger grew at his sneering face. At the time, I thought he was delighted at the thought of leaving early while the rest of us stayed behind to solve where the cash had disappeared to. Our assistant manager tried to stop him from escaping but the manager waved him out.

Then our manager showed us the bundle of 10,000 KD in his hand. Chimney had snatched the money off the senior teller's desk after he'd transferred the money into the vault's custody and given it to the manager who hid it in his desk! Chimney's been out to get our senior teller since he got to our branch. He succeeded. The senior teller got a verbal warning.

Now we are tense and wary of each other at work. Instead of banding together against Chimney it looks like he's only planted seeds of distrust and they are growing at the speed of Jack's beanstalk.



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