Bank Tellers and their lunch breaks

We’re all aware of the sad plight of the bank teller so there’s really no need to labour the point. They and their fellow go-straight-home-after-work-on-Friday-to-watch-murder-mysteries bureaucratic brethren at the Post Office are well-known for their apathy and quite frankly just talking about them takes the wind out of my sails. I’m sure they’re acutely aware of their tenuous position in the universe – the ATMs have been patiently waiting out the front for the last 15 years while the last of the banks’ conversation-starved elderly customers die off – and the tellers are just waiting for the call from management to pack up their Sony Discmen, pick up their final paycheck and slip into their unfashionable 90s running shoes for one last commute home. It’s a tough gig being the Yahoo! of the service industry but they really don’t do themselves any favours either.

Can someone tell me why all bank tellers all decide to take their lunch break at the same time? Namely lunchtime.

Look, my family and friends will all tell you: I’ve never been one to begrudge a fellow human for performing a task vital for her survival. In fact I often support it. And of course this extends to ingesting foodstuffs in order to convert them into energy. What I don’t understand is why 5 out of the 6 bank tellers decide to take their break at exactly 12:29 aka “the time when all their customers normally come”.

It’s like the opposite of Uber’s surge pricing. They’ve gone ahead and flipped the supply and demand curve upside down and inside out just to fuck with us. Instead of surge pricing it’s just surge inconvenience: they’ve optimised the amount of fucks given so that when no one needs a fuck given they’re full of them, and when we do need fucks they’re all out. If they were capable of feeling real human emotions I bet they’d be having a big old laugh at us from their soul-destroying lunchroom.

They really need to take a cue from their younger, more optimistic counterparts in the hospitality industry. Workers in bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes around the world have understood for centuries the basic logic of off-peak meals. Taking your break at a time – bear in mind it may not be the exact time you normally eat that meal – that doesn’t royally screw over both your colleagues and your customers is just the right thing to do.

We can either wait until every teller in the world takes a sane approach to their lunch break, and if their track record of changing things is anything to go by (habits, haircuts, CDs in their Discmen), you’ll be in your cold, cold graves well before that happens. Or we could just not go to the bank at lunchtime.

Pick your battles Yoda (yeah I’ve never seen Star Trek)