The Tube

November 10, 2009

On Thursday of last week, I ran by the bank and put in a couple of deposits. It took forever, but by and by, I got my receipt and moved along. I eventually picked up Mrs. theskinnyonbenny, and we headed to the airport for a weekend trip to the Boston area. (More on that in a future post.)

The bank branch started phoning Mrs. theskinnyonbenny, and they eventually left four messages complaining that I had driven off with their dumb tube. They threatened a $50 charge to our account to pay for the tube replacement. If they're going to charge that kind of change, they better have the video ready to prove that the tube rode off with me. Of course they won't -- I would certainly know by now if I had the damned thing.

But don't think I won't swing through their drive through, take a tube (without stating who I am -- can I borrow your car?), and come back the next day to return it as the one they think I stole. Because if they do charge me $50, that's exactly what's going to happen.

Rest assured that I am not the one who took their tube. Once upon a time, I was a drive-through teller, and every couple of days, some dingleberry would drive off with the tube. Ususally, it was back within 15 minutes or so, but it meant that we had to close the lane and make all of the lined up people mad. Would it be too much for each branch to stock a couple of spares? Because of this, I am exceptionally conscious of returning the tube when I leave.

Today, I called the branch to tell them that they were barking up the wrong tree, but that branch's chief tube detective is already gone for the day, and apparently, the chief tube detective is the only one qualified to deal with this problem. And by the way, they're closed tomorrow. The lady started going through a schedule of when I might try to call back when I offered the alternative of leaving my number so that the chief tube detective could phone me as it fits into her busy schedule. Tracking down missing tubes is a booming job in this tough economy.

While we're talking about drive-through banking, I might as well share some things that made me the world's worst drive through teller:

  • When I would get thirsty, I would short the next five customers in a row ten cents each. Then, I would go to the coke machine and buy a fifty cent coke, making my drawer balance and solving the problem of my thirst. I did this nearly every day.
  • While I counted the money from the barbecue and seafood hut down the road, I would shamelessly beg the man to bring me his lunchtime leftovers the next day. Often, he cam through for me. I don't think that place is open any more, but it was damned good.
  • If no free barbecue was in the works, there was a back door just for the drive through. I would sneak out, walk across the parking lot to Popeye's, and come back and eat chicken sitting indian-style on the floor. That way, the waiting customers couldn't see me eating chicken instead of waiting on them. Once, I got busted by the branch manager eating on the floor while the lines were around the building, but all I got was a, "Hurry up and finish that chicken! The lines are around the building!"
  • I once sent $400 and change out to the wrong lane -- where a depositor by name of Clyde Ennis took the cash and denied doing so. We didn't have cameras out there, and it was my word against his, and he got away with it entirely. I'm 100% sure of where I sent it -- as sure as I am that I didn't steal Capital One's tube on Tuesday. You'll notice that I remember the name 15 years later. At some point, I might be in a spot to do a favor for Mr. Ennis. Baton Rouge is a pretty small town.
  • Although I didn't participate, there was an occasional substitute teller who enjoyed being really rude to the customers, and I egged it on for my own amusement. She would tell chew them out for not buckling in their children or refuse to take the money that was sweaty from being between giant breasts in an un-air conditioned car. I could make no such refusals since I was permanently assigned to my branch. Breast-sweat money was a constant part of my day to day life back then.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some old fishing lures and pocket change that I need to put away. I keep them in the garage in stolen drive through tubes.