Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Above the Law...

Today I had a young customer at work who we've had problems with before, although I've never been the one to deal with him. In fact, I've never actually been there when he's come in with a problem, like the time he yelled at us for using his name. Today, however...

He mumbled something from the fourth lane of the drive up, something I didn't quite hear due to the rain and wind and train going by. I heard the words "money market" and "deposit in to checking." I thought he'd asked me to cash his check against his money market account and deposit it into his checking account. We don't cash checks and then deposit the cash into the account. It breaks policy when we do that. AND, when we DO do it, it's only with checks drawn off of our bank, since we can make sure the funds are available before cashing out the check (although we're asked not to even do that...). But when I looked at the check, it was drawn off another bank. We never cash out checks and deposit them if they're drawn off another bank. It's just bad business, easy fraud, etc.

So I figured I misheard him, and I deposited it into his checking account. He drove away, and a minute or two later, he sashayed into the lobby and flounced up to the counter. "I was just in the drive..."he started to tell Debbie when I walked up, "and he [pointing to me] was supposed to cash this check against my money market and deposit it into my checking account."

So I had heard him correctly.

I stepped in and told him that we don't cash out checks and deposit the cash, so I just deposited it into his account, and since it was drawn off another bank it would be available tomorrow. And then he threw this big hissy fit about how we were the only branch that gave him problems and how the people in Palatine did it for him all the time (totally breaking every rule we have). "This is ridiculous," he must have lisped at me across the counter four times.

My manager just explained to him that we don't do that. And he tried to explain to us how to do our job, how it was okay for us to break policy, and how he was above the law.


And when he went in to talk to the manager, I counted my till and went home, since it was time for me to go.

I don't know what ended up happening in the end, but this little incident got me thinking. Why do we each think we're above the law? Why do the rules not apply to us? I'm sure there are places where you get special favors from the people there who know you, but do you then expect them? And do you expect them at other places, too?

At my favorite Chinese restaurant Yen Ching we almost always get a free egg roll or fried rice or something when we get take out, and we don't get charged for it because they love Robb and I there.

We're above the law.

At Pizza Hut I used to get free pizza because a friend of mine worked there. I was above the law.

But I don't expect to walk into any Pizza Hut and tell them I know Eric and they should give me free pizza. I know it's a courtesy and a favor because I have a relationship with someone that works there. I am not entitled (there's that word) to anything. I am not REALLY above the law. And I am not a pompus enough ass to think that I am, unlike my swishy "friend" from the bank today.

Are there places where you are above the law?



Emily said...

My stepfather owns a coffee roaster. That's about as far as my reach goes. I pay cost for my java.

I think it becoming more and more common that people feel entitled. I blame TV. ;-)

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I agree that people are feeling more and more entitled, and I hate it. I blame everyone who tried to make us feel "special" and told us we could be and do and have whatever we wanted if we just wished for it hard enough (Disney, anyone?).

I think maybe we need less of a Disney mentality and more of a Stones mentality, in that
you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes,
you might find,
you get what you need.

End of story.

Argent said...

Out little group of four used to pay discounted league rates at our local bowling alley - we were regulars there every Saturday night for years and years. It's closed down now, sadly (probably for giving out too many discounts to people like us).

I think you're absolutely on the money (sorry!): we are forever being told we can have what we want and we can have it now. We're creating a world of spoilt brats - and I don't mean just the kids.

David said...

I love your use of adjectives. I also love how people will complain about you right in front of you, as though 1) you aren't there, or 2) you're supposed to feel like more of a schmuck. Oh, the presumption of ignorant, entitlement-minded Americans.

To answer your question, I think people believe themselves to be the exception to the rule because of an inflated view of themselves and because they are only thinking about themselves. Such people have never worked in a service industry profession (such as bank teller, custodian, or window-cleaner), and refuse to acknowledge that there are good reasons for regulations.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

So very very true, Dav.

Faux Trixie said...

First of all, I bank at National City and they are super stringent about their policies. It's money for God's sake.

I am "above the law" at the White Hen and the Starbuck's by my work. They'll occasionally give me free coffee because I'm there so often. I also get the royal treatment (sometimes) at Chesapeake. Marilyn at Yen Ching does the same thing for my family... I miss Yen Ching. So delicious.

A human kind of human said...

I am above the law at work - or so many of my co-workers think. (I am the civilian secretary/personal assistant to the Commanding Officer of a military unit.) Truth is, I do not attend the Tuesday morning session in the Main Hall because I have to man the phones for the whole unit as I can usually answer any query; I do not attend Roll Call as I am then in my boss's office going over our/his diary for the day; I have free access to every office and section in the unit because when my boss is busy or absent from the unit, I get to do his practical work for him (and must answer to him when he gets back); etc. etc.... and I do wish that my co-workers were reading this comment.

Sorry Justin for venting on your blog!

Try my "Obituary" post and let me know if it makes sense to you.