I mentioned a few days ago that I was in need of quarters for the washer and dryer in our building. The stop-gap hand washing of several pieces of intimate wear was one thing, but I’m not going to try doing sheets, towels, and larger garments by hand. Gabriel García Márquez wrote about Love in the Time of Cholera. Today I learned about banking in the time of COVID-19.
So off I went to my bank in search of quarters. There were a few folks waiting outside while a security guard kept things moving smoothly. The system is simple: there are two kinds of customers, those who need actual real live teller assistance, and those who can use the ATM.
The vast majority of those waiting were in good spirits, understanding that we live in very difficult and scary times. Folks chatted politely – from a good distance of course – and informed newcomers about how the “triage” system works.
Except for one person; yes, there’s always one.
A spry older fellow was standing in the vestibule, awaiting the go-ahead from the security guard to enter the bank where two clients could be accommodated at a time. The two ATMs were both available, yet whenever someone opened the door to ask if he was waiting to enter the bank or use the machine he went apeshit. Hollering then mumbling in equal parts about how no one understood the rules. Whining to the guard who could only shrug.
When I got to the teller, she was still shaking her head at this guy who had kept up his bitching while she served him. And what did he annoy people and hold up the process for? To negotiate a loan or overdraught? To get a credit card replacement? Nope, he made a deposit. Something he could, some would say should have done at the ATM.
People being people this is not surprising, especially under the current very stressful conditions. Rather than lower themselves to this asshat’s level of rudeness, in true Canadian fashion people just ignored his tantrums.
I think one lesson, perhaps of many, that people are learning because of our situation is to be open to others. Very open, more open than you might be expected to be during normal circumstances. Assuming this is his usual behaviour, I imagine that with no pandemic to deal with, this guy must get into arguments constantly. But we do not live in normal times. Openness is essential at this time.
Go with the flow. Let it slide. Hang loose mongoose. Chill out. Lighten-up Happy. Mellow out. Chillax.
If we all manage to keep this message in mind for the duration of the COVID-19 it will go a long way to saving our sanity. But once this is over, if I ever see that little arsehole again I’m going to give him such a rap on the horn…