Monday, January 9, 2012

Banned from the Whooshy Thing

When I was a little girl, I loved it when my parents would go through the bank drive-through window.  This was before ATMs were common, and my dad would communicate with the bank teller through a speaker, making withdrawals or deposits by placing things in and removing them from a plastic cylinder that made a satisfying whoosh sound as it shot up the the tube and into the bank.

I thought of it as the whooshy thing.

If the teller noticed me in the car (and I made insane faces and hopped around frantically in the backseat to make sure that she did), a lollipop would be included in the cylinder when it whooshed back with Dad's receipt.

It was one of the great disappointments of my childhood, however, that I was never allowed to put the cylinder into the whooshy thing myself or press the button to make it whoosh.  I wanted to do it badly, but there was just no way I could reach from the backseat, and my parents rightfully assumed that letting me out of the car would be dangerous.

There was a kind of nostalgic excitement, then, when I moved to my current town and opened a bank account at a branch that has whooshy things.  At last, I could make them whoosh!  Clearly, this was the pinnacle of adulthood.

It didn't work out quite that way.

You see, after you get your receipt out of the cylinder, you're supposed to close the cylinder, place it back into the slot and drive away.  You are not supposed to either a. press the button again for another whoosh, or b. toss the cylinder in the backseat and drive away.

Extra whooshing was met with increasing levels of irritation each time I visited the bank:

Me:  <extra whoosh>
Teller:  "Did you need something else"?
Me:  "Oh no!  Sorry!"
Teller:  "Have a nice day."

Me:  <extra whoosh>
Teller:  "Did you need something else?"
Me:  "Oops!  I accidentally pressed the button again."
Teller:  "Have a nice day."

Me:  <extra whoosh>
Teller:  "Did you intend to press the button again, Ma'am?"
Me:  "No.  It's just so tempting, you know?"
Teller:  "Please, have a nice day, Ma'am."

Me:  <extra whoosh>
Teller:  "Please don't press the button if there is nothing in the cylinder, Ma'am."
Me:  "I blame my father.  He never let me make the thing whoosh."
Teller:  "Please, have a very nice day, Ma'am."

Driving off with the cylinder, however, is much worse than accidental whooshing.  I don't know how much those cylinders cost, but probably not enough to make up for the irritation of the people who've been behind me in line to use the whooshy thing.  Luckily, those people have always had horns on their cars, and I only made it all the way home with the cylinder once.  After that, I learned that frantic beeping meant to look in my backseat.

Me: <rushing into the bank> "Oh, I'm so sorry!  I accidentally drove off with this!"
Teller:  "That's alright, Ma'am.  Thank you for bringing it back."

Me: <rushing into the bank> "Oh, I'm so sorry!  I accidentally drove off with this!"
Teller:  "Thank you for bringing it back, Ma'am."

Me: <rushing into the bank> "Oh, I'm so sorry!  I accidentally drove off with this!"
Teller:  "Ah, you again, Ma'am.  I tried to flag you down.  Thank you for bringing it back."

 Me: <rushing into the bank> "Oh, I'm so sorry!  I accidentally drove off with this!"
Teller:  "Um, Ma'am?  The bank manager would like me to suggest that you consider using the convenient ATM machine outside.  Do you know which line it is?"
Me:  "I'm not allowed to use the whooshy thing anymore?"
Teller:  "It might be easier for everyone if you used the ATM."
Me: <heartfelt sigh>
Teller:  "You have a really nice day now, Ma'am."

1 comment:

  1. Bwahahahahaha....

    My mother ran into a similar situation, only they disallowed her use of the drive-thru after she mangled the plastic cylinder one day.

    Backstory: Here's the really awesome part... She banks at Suntrust and the most convenient branch to where she works is on I-29 near Sam's Club/Ingles/Shoguns at Old Blackstock Road. That particular drive-thru is angled in such a way that cars have to merge right into I-29's flow of traffic heading to Westgate Mall. After making her transaction one rainy afternoon, she went to put the cylinder back in its teleportation shute and fumbled with the proper alignment. Just as she put the car into drive and rolled up the window, she saw the cylinder fall to the ground, roll down the hill into the onslaught of traffic and get run over by a semi.

    She was so embarrassed that she pulled into the hardware store next to the bank and 1. did the 'Frogger' through I-29 traffic to retrieve the shattered cylinder 2. purchased duct tape 3. repaired the cylinder as best she could and 4. reentered the drive-thru lane (with her sunglasses on) to drop of the repaired item.

    When she thought she was free and clear, she heard, "Mrs. Lancaster, if you have a moment, can you please come inside and speak to the branch manager."

    That was 2004. They STILL remember my mom at the branch drive-thru AND she continues to refuse to get out of her car when making deposits.


    Stacey Lancaster