20 Ways to Piss Off Your Local Bank Teller

[Hey guys! Have a feisty one about what to not do at a bank for y’all today while still at the beach ;) Brought to you by a new blogger on the scene, Marc, from SelfEmploymentMovement.com. Check it out and then show him some love over on his site! (As long as you’re not one of the people doing the following below – hah)]

I’ve spent the last 3 years as a bank teller at a major American bank. It can be fun, and it can be boring, but it’s always stressful.

We deal with money which people have a strong emotional connection to and makes them do stupid stuff. I’ve seen fraudulent check-writing grannies, customers getting beat up and robbed right outside our doors, and a kid once cashing stolen checks from a businessman who happened to be at the bank when the cops snuck up to arrest him. It’s always something!

A lot of you probably don’t step foot in a bank branch much these days with the technological advances that we’ve seen lately, but when you do, here are some sure ways to piss us off (and some ways to avoid doing so). At the end of the day we have the same goal as you: to process your transaction correctly and efficiently.

What to Not Do at a Bank:

#1. Sneeze, cough, bleed, wipe your butt, wipe your snot, or sweat all over your money or your ID and then have the nerve to hand it to us. Basically, no bodily fluids. Ladies, it’s not cute when you pull your ID from your bra after you just hit the gym. We have to handle that stuff with our bare hands! With all the fluids, dust, dirt, and who knows what else we come in contact with, our hands are filthy at the end of the day. I have to wash my hands before I eat or go to the bathroom. Basically, be a decent human being. Is that too much to ask for?

#2. Joke around with bomb threats, robbery threats, or death threats. There is a time and place (I think?) for these kinds of things. Your bank is absolutely, definitely not one of them. We take them very seriously and don’t like to joke around with our lives. We want to go home to our families at the end of the day. It gets old and it’s not amusing. Ask us about the weather instead or how our days are going.

#3. Ask us “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!” Never utter those words to us. We don’t give a shit who you are and it won’t make us treat you any differently. Treating us with respect, instead of trying to intimidate us, will get you further with whatever your request is.

#4. Slap on perfume/cologne to hide the odor of being a drug dealer. If you sell the good stuff, we do get a contact high whenever we open our cash drawers. Use the ATM and save us the hassle or simply don’t be a drug dealer. Whichever works for us.

#5. Line up at the door before we open. Is it that important that you have to deposit your pay check bright and early before most people are even awake? (including me; I’m not much of a morning person) There’s other ways such to do this such as using an ATM, your smart phone, or you can avoid the situation altogether by setting up direct deposit! It’s also fishy and causes security concerns. We aren’t afraid to call the cops…

#6. Bring us 20 pounds of loose, unrolled coin and expect us to deposit it the same day. No, we can’t roll it for you; that would take all day. And no, we don’t have a machine that counts it. That’s called a CoinStar. Good news is that we can ship it to our main cash vault and it’ll be deposited to your account within a couple business days. It’s actually pretty awesome and convenient if you can wait a couple of days.

#7. Slip us your phone number, expect a date, and cuss us out when we reject you. It’s just weird. We’re not gold diggers, but we do know what your bank account looks like. How many times has such a stunt worked out in your favor? Show some respect and we’ll respect you. Doesn’t mean we’ll say no, but you’ll have more of a chance.

#8. Walk in and expect to receive more than $10,000 in the exact denomination that you want it. Believe it or not but we don’t have that much money on hand at any given time. We have to forecast how much money we’ll have on hand at any given time that has to last us a couple days until our next shipment comes in. This large of a withdrawal can throw things off and poses a security and safety risk for us, you, and other customers. People go crazy when they see “lots” of money and things could potentially escalate quickly! We can definitely accommodate you but we’ll have to special order it for you. Give us a call a couple days in advance and we can work with you.

#9. Staple your deposits together. We have to scan every piece of paper so if there’s a staple attached that we don’t catch, it’ll break our machines which in turn means your trip to the bank will take longer than usual….and so will everyone else’s which just makes everyone livid. Paper clips are fine; staples are a big no-no.

#10. Bitch at us for doing our jobs. Part of our job description includes minimizing risk for ourselves, our co-workers, other customers, and our shareholders. If we need a second opinion from a supervisor, don’t freak out and cuss at us. One, it’s rude….and two, it makes us want to help you a little less than we already wanted to. Seriously, just be nice! You’d be surprised how much this will change how much we’re willing to help!

#11. Try to cash a check without the other person being there. When a check is written out to someone, that person specifically, has the right to the funds. If it’s not you, I can’t give you the money because the person who the check was written to can say that we gave someone else their money. We’re just trying to minimize the risk and keep our jobs. However, we can make exceptions; we take into account what your relationship is with us such as if you guys have a joint account, how much the check is made out for, how long you’ve been a customer of ours, and what your balance looks like. At the bank I work at, we are able to make judgment calls for anything under $100 without any repercussions if things don’t end up well. Again, be nice to us, and it’ll help you get the result you’re looking for.

#12. Be a complete ass. A large part of our job is talking to you. Yes, we want to genuinely know how your day is going and make a personal connection but we also are in the sales business. If you’re going to be an ass to us, don’t use a teller. With all these technological advances these days such as online banking, mobile banking, and ATMs (which have been around forever,) you can choose not to interact with us. Please, use them.

#13. Expect to receive foreign currency the same day you walk in. Sure, branches are in different geographical areas so banks close to the Mexican border might have Pesos on hand and banks close to the Canadian border might have Canadian Dollars on hand but it doesn’t mean a branch in any other region does. It most cases, you can order foreign currency and you can pick it up from us in 1-2 business days depending on what time of the day you place your order. If you need it sooner, airports usually house foreign currency exchange businesses that will usually give you a worse exchange rate than a bank will but you can get it right away.

#14. Complain when the exchange rate is different than what you see in the newspaper or online. The exchange rate is constantly changing. The bank doesn’t take a “cut” or a “percentage” but we do “buy” (take in) foreign currency and “sell” (give you) foreign currency at different rates because of the fact that the exchange rate can be so volatile. Believe it or not, but most banks are in it to make a profit (shocking!) so they can’t afford to lose money from this risk. Don’t expect to get the rate that you see in the newspaper or online. Unfortunately, it’s just not gonna happen.

#15. Hide your money under a mattress. It has a certain disgusting odor that makes us gag. It’s also displeasing to touch and that dead skin, old sweat, and whatever other nastiness is now on our hands, clothes, and our work area. Thanks…. There’s really no reason to put it in your mattress. If you’re that paranoid that your bank will fail, put it in a safe. Also, the FDIC insures all checking and saving accounts up to $250,000 so if your bank fails, your money is safe. See, there’s nothing really to worry about.

#16. Complain when we have to fill out extra paperwork when it comes to federal regulations. We’re really just doing our jobs. You know how difficult it is doing taxes and stuff like that, right? Well it’s even more tedious when the government oversees everything that you do. You have nothing to worry about if you’re not doing anything illegal. Actually the more you complain, the more suspicious we become.

#17. Don’t fill out a deposit slip fully or correctly. We ask you to fill them out because all the information is needed to make a deposit. It makes our lives easier and gets you on your way quicker. If there’s a problem with your deposit, the more information we have, the easier the problem can be resolved and the quicker you can get your money.

#18. Complain if you have to wait or if we ask you if you bank with us if you don’t. You aren’t our customer so we really don’t owe you a damn thing. I can cash your check and give you your money but it doesn’t really motivate me to move things along if you complain and bash me or the company I work for. Just be nice, it’ll get you a lot further and out a lot quicker. We’re actually doing you a favor. We know nothing about you so there’s more risk involved for us. If you want to avoid dealing with us, there’s usually no reason why your own bank won’t cash your check if you aren’t complete scum.

#19. Complain that it’s busy on a pay day, Friday, 1st of the month, 3rd of the month, middle of the month, day right before a holiday, or the end of the month. These are peak days and are extremely stressful for us. You mouthing off to us doesn’t help and it slows us down which not only slows you down, but all the people waiting in line behind you. Don’t be that guy. Usually, the best time for you to come in would be Tuesday or Wednesday around 10 am or in the afternoon around 1:30-2 pm.

#20.  Walk in a couple minutes before we close. Don’t be that guy! We’ve been open for hours and are exhausted. Being a teller involves paying close attention to everything you do and talking to every customer you help; it’s mentally draining! The last thing we want to do is deposit your check, withdrawal cash, pay your mortgage, your credit cards, and your auto loan. It takes a little longer than the 3 minutes you’ve allotted yourself to go to the bank.

So I’ve told you a couple of easy ways to make your branch teller mad, but that’s no real help, is it? What can you do to make your trip to the branch as pleasant as possible?

It’s pretty simple: help us have fun and enjoy being at work.

We’re not machines and we like interacting with our customers. We enjoy the face-to-face human interaction of our jobs. If we didn’t, we’d be in a call center.

Talk to us and get to know us; finance can be a boring, monotonous subject if you let it get to you. Help us break up the monotony. Anything you can do to make our job easier such as having a deposit slip fully filled out, having all your information readily available, or knowing how you’d like your cash back when you cash a check is a huge plus.

Treating us with respect and how you’d like to be treated will make your trip to the branch as enjoyable as possible.

Marc blogs over at the Self Employed Movement where he helps people (including himself!) go from being unemployed, underemployed, or unhappy in their jobs to being self employed. He’s most proud of dropping out of college and pursuing his childhood dream of playing professional soccer, while also helping his dad pursue his childhood dream of running a vintage motorcycle shop. When he’s not cashing your check, making your deposit, or trying to stick it to the man in his spare time, he enjoys living life with his fiancée and their pug, Sabine. Sometimes he has some interesting things to say on Twitter too: @SelfMployedMvmt

PS: If you liked this, check out our old post here on 35 things NOT to do when ordering delivery ;)

[Old school bank photo by Wystan]

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  1. Ali @ Anything You Want July 15, 2015 at 6:03 AM

    Haha some of these are pretty funny! Customer service jobs are always good for some entertainment!

    Although I have to say that I myself have struggled with the foreign currency one. I use Bank of America, and some branches in my city have foreign currency and others don’t. Not sure why.

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      It may be that some are closer to areas of higher amounts of foreign business/transactions/clients than others?

      1. J. Money July 19, 2015 at 10:16 AM

        I turned in some recently at our local bank but they only accepted bills and not coins :( And then they had to ship them off to be processed – hah. But at least I didn’t have to fill out any of the paperwork or do much but wait for it to be cashed out and dropped into my account :)

  2. Kristina-Cents and Order July 15, 2015 at 6:58 AM

    This is great! I worked in a bank branch for 10+ years and agree with every one of your points. Especially #10-you’d think people would be thankful you’re being cautious and protecting their money!

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 10:46 AM

      Right?! I’d love it if I was doing something I’m not too familiar with and they double checked to make sure that everything was done correctly!

  3. Sylvia @Professional Girl on the Go July 15, 2015 at 7:36 AM

    OMG #7! That is the worst when you work in customer service because you’re trying to stay professional and polite but some people can not take a hint. When I was a cashier, this guy asked for my number and I told him that I wasn’t interested. Did he drop it? NO! This fool sent his mom. HIS MOM! It was weird and crappy and your mom should never be your wing man!

    Another thing I didn’t like was customers throwing their money down on the counter, instead of putting it in my hand. Who says I want to be struggling to pick up loose change! Touching my hand won’t give you cooties. Put the money in my hand dang it!

    This list is why I got an office job that deals with money on paper, because people are rude and think their always right. When most of the time they are not. Ahh.. it felt good to let that out. lol

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 10:48 AM

      Feel free to vent! :)

      Oh wow…he pulled the mom card? I wonder how many times that has worked for him? lol

      YES! It’s completely rude when people throw bills, change, or their cards at me. Like what made you feel like you had to do that?

    2. J. Money July 20, 2015 at 11:17 AM

      That’s hilarious about the mom, haha…. wow.

    3. Now Buddy September 27, 2017 at 4:41 PM

      Ladies and Gentleman! I used to work as a teller for Bank of America. I also worked as an instructor at a Beauty School. And as a Hair Stylist. Have any of you gone to get your hair/brows/hooves serviced? I’m betting yes. While some of your petulance is not without merit, a good deal of it is plain rediculous! Last time I checked there were no requirement for anything other a High School Diploma and some hands on experience to work as a teller. Of course poise, a steady demeanour, appropriate fashion sense, good focus, an award winning personality, and perhaps a slightly above average I.Q couldn’t hurt, along with being able to pass all those pesky background checks, etc. A cute figure never hurts either. But let’s be realistic here; your essentially entry level customer service reps, not Manager of Branch Operations or Senior Loan Officers! Everyone hates working with/ touching the public. As a Hairstylist, I had walk in clients, that would show up literally 30 seconds before closing and expect a full shampoo, full highlights and lowlights, a trim, a blow dry style, AND be educated on how best to maintain their new personal investment they just dropped $500! Not to mention our sales quota‍♂️ I wonder how many repeat clients, not to mention kick ass tips I would have gotten with the attitude in this article. And keep in mind your lofty expectations of special treatment the next time your find yourselves client side to a fellow grunt in the service industry, and a parting tidbit you may find interesting? A LOT of your masseuses, Cosmotologists, esthetician etc now have DEGREES!! Just a little cure for the weenie whining. Your welcome‍♀️

  4. Robin @ The Thrifty Peach July 15, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    This is too funny! I used to work at a bank, though not as a teller, but I remember hearing them talk about all their crazy stories. And #6 is so true!

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 10:50 AM

      I’m sure you’ve heard some stories then! If it’s a child turning in their piggy bank money I’ll happily help them with their loose change because its a huge deal to them but if you’re lazy and rude, I don’t have as much patience.

  5. Walnut July 15, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    The worst is the first “ice cream cone” day of the year when you deposit for the local ice cream joint. Tons of old, crusty cash comes in (you know, that single that pretty much died at the bottom of your center console), old, crusty change, and everything in that deposit was handled with sticky ice cream fingers. Nothing like the first ice cream day of the season to plug up the cash counting machine and make the deposit take FOREVER.

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 10:54 AM

      Oh man! I could only imagine…

      Fast food restaurants are always bad too. Lots of “crusty” cash and a lot of times the money smells like the food and its not very appetizing.

    2. J. Money July 20, 2015 at 11:18 AM

      Hahaha…. we don’t have that day over here I don’t think, but now I totally want to eat some :)

  6. Jon @ Money Smart Guides July 15, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    The thing I don’t get when it comes to coins is that my bank won’t even accept them if they are already rolled! It blew my mind when I tried to deposit about $60 in rolled quarters and dimes. They never gave me a reason, just that they don’t accept them. When I replied “you don’t accept coins as currency” they just looked at me.

    Overall though, I agree with every point. I worked as a teller for a bit and some customers made me love the job and others made me hate it.

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 10:57 AM

      Hmm that is strange. Maybe they have different policies than the bank I work at?

      Believe it or not but we had a guy who would get a box of quarters ($500 worth) and said that he was looking for a certain year and mint to collect. He turned them in newly rolled 2 weeks later and we realized that 25-50 cents was missing from each roll!

      Not saying that you did this, of course, but maybe something like this is why they don’t accept any rolled coin?

  7. Dee @ Color Me Frugal July 15, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    I don’t think I could ever be a bank teller- but hats off to those who do it! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 10:58 AM

      There are fun days and bad days just like everything else. You definitely have to be “tough” to take a lot of abuse, patient, and professional.

      Thanks for reading!

  8. Even Steven July 15, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    I used to work at a bank dealing with the same issues, little trip down memory lane. I also used to work on the customer service part of it and not surprisingly people get that much braver with their choice of words on the phone. Fun article, thanks!

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:22 PM

      We answer the phone every now and then too and I’ve experienced some of the same “pleasantness.” People become loose cannons on the phone for some reason lol. Glad you enjoyed reading!

  9. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar July 15, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    #11. Try to cash a check without the other person being there.

    This was a pain in the ass when my wife and I got married. We got checks to one, the other, both of us with my wife’s maiden name, and both of us with the same last name. The bank wasn’t helpful about it even though we had a marriage certificate. Some of them had to wait until the name change went through!

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:25 PM

      This can be a tricky situation that you don’t think about until it actually happens to you. As far as the bank that I work for goes, we’ll cash a check with both last names on it if we see the marriage certificate and the bride is present. It should be no problem if both of you are there with the certificate. I guess some banks aren’t as helpful as others?

  10. Ella Blue July 15, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    This was great! I’m sure the “don’t be an ass” one could have summed up most of this list. Customer facing jobs are always amusing!

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:26 PM

      Yeah it basically can! There’s just all sorts of different ways you can be an ass I guess!

  11. Christina Garofalo July 15, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    Lol @ #17 — amazing that old school Depression-era mentality still exists. It’s definitely not an easy job you have. I give you a lot of credit.

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:28 PM

      I’ll gladly take the credit :) Thanks for reading!

  12. Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries July 15, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    Those should be the rules posted on the wall outside a bank before you come in.


    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:29 PM

      I’m down…let’s start a bank! :)

  13. John @ Frugal Rules July 15, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    This is awesome Marc! I worked in a bank for about a year, right after college, and saw many of these things myself. #16 always just ticked me off for some reason – especially when they’d say that the law didn’t apply to them. Complaints about it only made me take my sweet time at filling out the forms.

    It always intrigued me to see how people would spend their money and how they didn’t or wouldn’t grasp why they had little money.

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:33 PM

      Yeah, I hate it when people think they’re above the law. I’m not trying to get anyone in trouble, I’m just trying to do my job!

      It’s been very interesting to see people’s behavior/tendencies/thoughts when it comes to money. It’s been fun to see how my view of it has also shifted. It was CRAZY the first time I saw over $250,000 in cash but now its just paper and not such a big deal.

  14. Kayla @ Kat Script July 15, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    Ew! I never even thought about some of these like money in a mattress being covered with ickiness or the smell of a drug dealer. Yuck! Thanks for this funny post. I don’t think I’m a hated customer, I not guilty of any of these things. :)

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:34 PM

      Feel free to come by my branch anytime :) Thanks for reading!

  15. Mrs. Crackin' the Whip July 15, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    I think to work in a bank, you have to accept that money is a contaminated object whether you see the bodily fluids exchange or not!

    I typically handle my employer’s bank deposits. On occasion someone may write up the deposits for me or someone may bring in a check. Here’s what annoys me; the commentary and jokes about how long they could live off the that much money, or how many countries they could visit, or how they could pay off their mortgage. It’s just not cool or funny and it diminishes my trust. I have heard all the jokes before. Keep your mouth shut!

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:42 PM

      It was something I didn’t think about going into it but its something I just have to accept. My hands are filthy by the end of the day and I have to wash them first thing when I get home. It’s just a part of the gig!

      I agree that that’s not cool and totally unprofessional. It’s uncalled for and not needed. I always try to be totally professional f I don’t know the customer and if they are the first ones to joke around I know its okay to be a little more loose and joke around with them.

  16. Tawcan July 15, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    ROFL, I should totally try a couple of these one of these days.

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:43 PM

      Just make sure you don’t go to my branch :)

  17. mobilehomegurl July 15, 2015 at 12:14 PM

    Funny yet informative post! I’ll be sure to keep these tips in mind next time I’m at the bank. Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 7:57 PM

      I’m glad it was entertaining and you learned something from it. Thanks for reading!

  18. Amy @ DebtGal July 15, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Great post! I learned several things. I’m also pleased to say that I’ve been guilty of only one of these – not completing the deposit slip correctly. I’ve forgotten to total up multiple-check deposits, before.

  19. Iron Mike Sharpe July 15, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    #20 is pretty stupid.

    Most banks are only open when most of us are at work, leaving a very small window to get to the bank.

    It would be better if places like the bank, post office, etc opened and closed three hours later than they normally do.

    1. Dude on a Mission July 15, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      I agree, but will also say that some banks have changed their hours for the better. For example TD Bank has extended evening hours during the week and pretty decent hours on Sat and Sun.

      To clarify, I’m not a TD employee or anything – the non-profit I volunteered used them. I have personally used a Credit Union for the past 15 years and would never go back to a For-Profit Bank, especially after the mortgage crisis/bailouts/etc.

    2. Marc July 15, 2015 at 8:05 PM

      The hours can be pretty inconvenient. There’s times when I need to do stuff on my account and sit with a Personal Banker and can’t because I’m working when we’re open so I feel ya. There’s a bunch of stuff you can do online or through a mobile app (at least with my bank) and we’re coming out with new ATMs that you can talk to a “live” teller (someone in a call center) so you can cash a check even on Sundays!

      Even though I work for a For-Profit bank, I’d recommend credit unions over a big name bank….they usually have better policies in place for the customer and provide a better work environment for their employees.

      1. J. Money July 20, 2015 at 11:21 AM

        I agree – Credit Unions are where it’s at.

  20. Kate July 15, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    I worked as a phone banker during college and this post makes me thankful that I never worked with customers face-to-face. The worst experience I had was an angry customer calling to complain about something. He made a lot of threats against me…..after giving me his name and SS#. I was able to pass him off to a manager, but was definitely rattled the rest of the day. Please be nice to the people you talk to when calling the 1-800 number for your bank as well!

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 8:09 PM

      Good point! We’re all people whether you interact with us face-to-face or over the phone. We really do want to help you out but we also have to juggle our job requirements during the process. It’s difficult to do that sometimes…

  21. Hannah July 15, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    The coin machine thing was actually a big surprise to me, my bank won’t even take the big pile, but they did give me coin sleeves, so that was nice.

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 8:11 PM

      We’ll happily give you the sleeves to roll them yourself and sometimes I’ll even help you depending on how much you have and how busy we are. Like most things, there can be exceptions made…usually.

      1. J. Money July 20, 2015 at 11:23 AM

        Yeah! I tried bringing in a glass jar of coins and they pretty much told me to go roll them myself, haha… Apparently they had to do with all the coin machines ‘cuz they kept breaking down or something :(

  22. Dude on a Mission July 15, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    People still go to banks? Like, people under 35? Weird.

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 8:14 PM

      I’d say the majority of customers are a part of the older generation or business accounts. A lot of “younger” people do need things like Money Orders to pay their rent or to cash their pay checks…(some places don’t offer Direct Deposit or the customer doesn’t want it for some reason) A lot of it is also service issues like ordering a new debit card or resetting a PIN number.

      1. Dude on a Mission July 16, 2015 at 9:22 AM

        Do you ever think about what may happen down the road with (probably) fewer people using physical bank locations? I’m sure there will always be physical banks, but what happens when the majority of transactions can be done online or over the phone? I’ve probably been to a bank <5 times in the past 10 years (for my personal banking, that is). I personally don't want to see more branches close because that means less personal interactions for people who want that, as well as lost jobs. Just curious what someone on the "inside" thinks.

        1. Marc July 16, 2015 at 1:49 PM

          I think there will be less of a need for bank centers as well as for those that work there (tellers, personal bankers, managers, etc.) All the branches that I’ve worked at (4 in 3 years) have seen a reduction in staffing hours (mostly tellers.)

          Hate to say it but when the current older generation passes, there won’t be such a demand for branches since the “younger” generations are more willing and used to do banking via the new technological avenues.

          People will still enjoy the face-to-face interaction and will need somewhere to have service taken care of so there will still be some branches but probably not very many. It takes a lot of capital and wages for a bank to have an open branch so it may not be worth it for all of them to keep branches open. Ally and the like have had good success while not having any branches. I think less branches is where most banks are headed. There could be a good business opportunity for a bank to do the opposite and open more branches but that would be capital intensive and risky.

          I do think that there could be a shift from tellers working in a branch to tellers working in a call center somewhere as the bank I work at has ATMs where you can speak to a teller that’s sitting in a call center. I think being a teller is a dying profession and there won’t be much need for them in 15-20 years but I’ll hopefully be moved on to something different by then.

  23. Millennial Money man July 15, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    Cool post! I had an hour long conversation with my new business banker yesterday. He turned out to be a Dave Ramsey fan…hopefully it made his day a little less boring :)

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 8:16 PM

      It’s always a plus when we can relate with our customers about a shared interest or hobby! It also gives us a reason to remember you.

  24. Shannon @ Financially Blonde July 15, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    Very funny and sadly very true! I used to work at a large bank and I had so much sympathy for the tellers because you just never knew what kind of customer you were going to get that day. Plus, it wasn’t like you could walk away or hang up the phone on them because they are standing right there looking at you. I am personally not a fan of going into the bank branches, not because I don’t like the service, but because I love ATMs and mobile deposits so much more.

    1. Marc July 15, 2015 at 8:20 PM

      They do say that we’re the first line of defense lol. There are just days that you constantly get yelled at, others when you deal with crazy people all day, and others when you feel like you’re a therapist!

      With ATMs, mobile apps, and online banking, there is hardly a reason to come into the branch but people have their reasons for not using these avenues so we have to be there to assist them. The only reason that I can think of why I use a teller is when my grandparents in Germany send me Euros for my birthday and holidays.

  25. Scott July 15, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    Well, this post has made the local tellers’ jobs in my bank a bit easier! I never have my deposit slip filled out when I go in and I always ask them to look it up for me (violation of #17). Looking back, I remember one teller taking the time to fill out a wallet card for me with all of my account numbers on it, but I later put it aside to make room for other cards in my wallet. I made a deposit just the other day without a deposit slip! In my defense though, this is somewhat two-sided, as I have ordered checks from them twice and still do not have any. I’ve been banking with them for years. Still using starter checks. I did get a giant box of deposit slips from them though. That should have told me something, but it was lost on me until I read this post!!! Starting now, I am reformed.

    1. Marc July 16, 2015 at 8:19 AM

      Glad I’m making the lives of tellers easier one reader at a time :)

      Not only does having a deposit slip completely filled out save us time but it also reduces errors because you should know your information a lot better than we do.

      Deposit slip and check orders/reorders can be tricky because most banks use 3rd party suppliers for these kinds of things so it may not necessarily be the bank but the vendors that are messing things up.

  26. Nelson July 16, 2015 at 3:48 AM

    I’m hardly ever at a bank anymore now that we have smartphone apps. You can rest assured that I will not do any of those things. Although I’m slightly tempted to dress up like Heath Ledger’s Joker and drive a bus through the back door. However, I’m guessing that would be frowned upon.

    1. Marc July 16, 2015 at 8:24 AM

      Yeahhhh it would be slightly frowned upon :) Of all the places you would want to try to rob (I don’t condone this) a bank should be very low on your list. It could very easily be a federal offense and you’re basically screwed for life. The odds of you getting away and actually getting enough money to make it “worth” it are very slim. Just my 2 cents :)

  27. Paul July 16, 2015 at 3:09 PM

    BTW, you get the best exchange rates by using an ATM when you get to your foreign destination.

  28. Vicki July 16, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    After reading this yesterday it stuck with me all day. It sounds like there is an expectation on your part that customers are beholden to you. In #18 it was stated that you aren’t my customer but every customer is your customer and without people coming into the bank tellers would not have a job. There is a mutual exchange and tellers also have some responsibility to act professionally and not get pissed off every time someone gets it wrong. Some people have mental health issues, can’t read, fear of institutions, are elderly and are human. It happens. I get it, customers can be rude and discourteous and for sure some customers they may need to be reminded how to act and this is a list of reminders from stuff which may have happened in your experience. Having said all that I have recently dealt with bank staff who acted like I was a nobody and treated me like shit. They screwed up royally on a large sum of money in a transaction and pissed ME off. When this happened I went to another person who was probably the nicest, most helpful bank staff I have ever had the pleasure to deal with. When all was said and done wrote an email of compliments and complaint to the manager. I have also recently dealt with bank staff who act like I should know the ins and outs of a transaction even though it is my first time doing it this way. This was all with an institution I had to deal with but trust me I am saying good bye to them as soon as I possibly can. I have also recently dumped a bank for being once again acting like they are royalty. I might sound like I am a difficult customer though I can assure you I am not. I believe in taking my power back and being a self advocate for myself. I am tired of financial institutions acting special with my money. These days for my day to day banking I only bank online and only have a bank which is an online bank so there are no branches, I can use any ATM I want for free and only I have to handle my smelly money, my sweaty debit card, restrain myself from my impulses to ask every person I deal with out on a date and can bank in my PJ’s without judgement.

    1. J. Money July 20, 2015 at 11:27 AM

      I’ll second this comment – there are a ton of people who SUCK at their jobs in customer service. Always acting like you’re putting them out for doing their job and constantly checking their cell phones and gossiping to the people next to them while ignoring you right in front of them. It def. goes both ways for sure, good job putting it out there :)

    2. JR April 28, 2019 at 11:23 PM

      Thank you for making those comments. The tellers who acted professionally are all gone from my bank. In their place, are tellers – and now all women – who fawn over ANY man who walks into the place – he could be covered with manure – and treat women – unless they are friends with them – and boy, they know a lot of them – like crap. I can’t change banks, and I need to go into the bank for my transactions. I expressed my concerns – and compliments – to another branch manager of the same bank. Was it handled professionally? Now, I am but laughing stock. And I’m not exaggerating. If there was another way, or another bank, so I would never have to interact with this scene….

  29. GoGo July 17, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    OMG this is amazing. I myself have been a teller for 4 years and could definitely tell you some stories! #1 is so on point, I could not believe how disgusting some people are. You have blood all over you and your money? Nope. Your dog ate and then shit out that 20 and you want me to take it? Are you crazy? You and this 4k in 20’s you’d like to exchange for 100’s smell like weed and you don’t bank with us? HAHA! The struggle is real.

    1. Marc July 19, 2015 at 5:06 PM

      Ahhh you too?! These all hit way too close to home lol.

  30. Tallen July 19, 2015 at 9:58 PM

    #6 stumped me. No coin counting machine? Really?!? I’ve lived in 4 states and been taking change in about once or twice a year for well over 20 years and have never seen a bank without a coin counter! I thought was standard equipment, like a safe and security cameras lol

    1. Sara August 7, 2015 at 11:55 PM

      That one really threw me too – and I’m a teller myself! I was really surprised that there could be a bank that doesn’t have a coin machine, but then again, it’s quite possible that those smaller branches that are inside malls and grocery stores might not have them.

  31. Gary @ Super Saving Tips July 19, 2015 at 11:31 PM

    From my days as a bank manager, I remember being called over for lots of #11 and #16, which often resulted in #12. Often it was family members trying to cash their relative’s check or withdraw their money without their permission. For some reason they just couldn’t fathom why we wouldn’t allow someone other than the actual account holder to just walk away with their money.

    1. J. Money July 20, 2015 at 11:29 AM

      The nerve ;)

  32. Jason B July 20, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    I worked at a bank for nearly 2 years. This post is spot on. I’ve encountered a few of these situations.

  33. Tolu Idowu July 21, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    I was going to write why would want to piss off your bank teller, but then I read through the article. Its a good thing to keep the bank tellers well motivated so they can keep providing high quality services. Nicely written

  34. Funny about Money July 23, 2015 at 8:26 PM

    OMG, to coin a phrase… That is astonishing. You have GOT to write a book about this stuff.

    Seriously, people who can work with the public and remain calm at all times leave me in awe. If you’ve been doing this for three years and not throttled some yokel, you have the patience of Job. I can’t even stand to drive on the road with my fellow morons, and that’s with two layers of steel between us!

    1. Marc July 26, 2015 at 4:55 PM

      Let me know if you have any publisher friends :)

      But seriously, patience and professionalism are 2 key traits that you have to have as a teller or you won’t be able to cut it. It’s funny, I’m a lot more patient at work than I am driving home lol. Thanks for reading!

  35. Kathy July 24, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    I’m surprised that all banks don’t have coin counters. Mine do and very happily take my bags of coins to count. I always deposit them into my savings account so I’m sure that helps but it seems like a coin counter would be a standard piece of equipment in a bank, similar to their computers and vault.

    1. Marc July 26, 2015 at 4:59 PM

      A lot of you guys have told me that your bank(s) do have coin counters so I’ve learned something from you.

      Before I worked at the bank, I was a customer so I’ve never known anything else. My guess is that coin counters are pretty expensive and a lot of centers don’t get that much loose coin in to make it worth getting? It’s probably a lot cheaper for my bank to just ship it out to the main coin vault.

      I can see why some banks having coin counters and some not having them could create some confusion now. Thanks for the insight!

      1. Beth June 18, 2023 at 5:44 PM

        Several years ago, one of the major US banks was involved in a class action lawsuit because their coin counting machines were found to be inaccurate. When this was announced, most large banks immediately discontinued offering this service in order to avoid potential risk to both their clients and their shareholders

  36. Joe July 27, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    I was at the bank a few weeks ago with our kid and this guy came in with a motorcycle helmet. He walked up to the teller and she asked nervously “you’re not going to rob us are you?..”
    Man, I was about ready to grab my kid and make a run for it.

    1. Marc July 27, 2015 at 10:07 PM

      I had a guy last week say “I kinda feel like saying everyone get flat on the floor!” while he had his fingers in the shape of a gun and he was waving it from side to side. Really dude?!

  37. Dawn September 5, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    You’ll be surprised how often I deal with number 19 as an Assistant Branch Manager. When people complain about the long line I tell them “well it is the first of the month” and they look at me like I’m crazy. Then they proceeded to tell me to hire more people. Normally it’s the person who is waiting next in line that does all the complaining. Another one that I deal with a lot is when customers get upset when a teller goes to lunch or break.

    1. J. Money September 7, 2015 at 12:45 PM

      Yeah, you’re never allowed to eat there, how dare you ;)

      1. Marc September 15, 2015 at 2:29 PM

        I feel your pain, Dawn. The worst is when you’re holding it during a rush and it slows down a bit so you run to the bathroom and people still get mad!

  38. Javabala October 5, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    Aww, bank tellers have it SO hard…

  39. mario November 16, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    Bank tellers are like robots handling your cash. The one I have to deal with the tellers are ignorant. Get a real job!

  40. Bobbi May 30, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Question: What is the policy about employees no longer with a bank discussing their ex clients money affairs with their friends and family. Thanks.

  41. Tracy September 15, 2016 at 3:34 AM

    This is in response to Vicki’s comment. Sounds like the common denominator for most of your troubles is you. Your choice of going strictly electronic is probably the best choice for all involved. What #18 is likely referring to are non-customers who go into a bank and get thier panties all in a bunch because the bank won’t bend over backwards to serve them. What? You don’t have $8,000 in large bills? That’s ridiculous! Sorry no…we don’t have a money tree in the vault that is abundant with $100 bills, and with what large bills we do have on hand, we reserve for our customers who actually hold accounts with us. You can have a mix of bills, including some sweaty stinky 50’s and $20’s or…take the check to your own bank and let them put a hold on it until the funds clear. Don’t mistaken that for bad customer service because it is providing good customer service for those who are actually…you know…customers.

    1. Now Buddy September 27, 2017 at 5:27 PM

      Couldn’t pass this up, you make it too easy. Tracy, have you ever heard of Secret Shoppers? Or maybe did you bother to interact with a few financial institutions before you plunked down your little weeks worth of a nest egg? Or better yet, the good ol ‘policy item’, which is generally the only way to GET a non member check cashed, at least without a shitty fee. The policy item refers to a check drawn off of the bank the filthy annoying worthless non member has brought it to. Perhaps that non member was checking out the service, OR maybe they just had some unfortunate luck and didn’t have the ability to get to their own bankKeep in mind, that check didn’t materialise from thin air, IT CAME FROM ONE OF YOUR CLIENTS!
      On another note, I read a very interesting blog recently on how banks influence how checks post, with the full intention of making sure a portion of them bounce so they can skim those fees. Personally it always looked fishy to me, and I sure can’t say I’m surprised. You say your not gold diggers, but even the account policies are significantly more opulent, convenient and money saving for those fortunate enough to be able to keep higher balances deposited. It’s shameful, truely disgusting.

  42. Shelly May 30, 2020 at 6:30 PM

    Retired banker here. Loved this! Adding: if I ask for your ID, don’t give me a hard time about it – I need to know you are YOU! Or say “where’s so and so, she knows me”. I don’t care – I am the one waiting on you right now. I have a few stories of my own :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. J. Money June 1, 2020 at 9:27 AM

      Haha… TRUTH.