Yesterday I had an interesting exchange at my bank.
I wanted only to deposit one check and cash another. It took an inordinately long time at the teller window. When the supervisor helped the teller do an override, she asked me “And how are you today?”
I know she was trying to be pleasant but since she asked, I thought I’d answer honestly and expressed my frustration.
It is true that I did not have my debit card which I had reluctantly applied for because I was told it was easier than providing multiple picture IDs, having a retinal scan and doing bloodwork to vouch for my identity. I also explained why I did not have my debit card (when traveling I don’t carry unneeded cards and I had just returned from a trip).
“Well,” the supervisor responded, “if you had your debit card it would make it a little easier for us…”
I bit my tongue hard enough to make it bleed. I know it might sound harsh but it is true: most customers don’t dedicate themselves to making it easier for their service providers. In the whacky world of commerce we’d like to think those people we give our business and money to might actually try to make it easier for us.
Realizing that my situation wouldn’t improve, I silently completed my transaction.
Later my subconscious informed me of how the service provider could have communicated slightly differently and changed the tone of the exchange. Consider what might have happened had she said…
“Well, if you had your debit card it would make it a little easier for us…to serve you more quickly.”