Monday, August 28, 2006

A Run on the Bank

129 A Run On The Bank

It’s the Little Local Bank, or it was. Now it’s part of a big conglomerate that wants to keep the Little Local Image and so continues to do Little Local things. But it did manage to open a new branch, about 100 yards away from a previous branch which shared a parking lot with a motel whose customers declined to obey the “Little Local Bank Parking Only” signs.

Those of us whose parents were alive in the Great Depression still fear the site of a huge crowd at a bank. It means the customers have lost confidence and are there to pull their money out. Never mind that the money is usually tied up in CDs with expiration dates. Never mind that the bank is insured and so are the accounts. Never mind any of that stuff.

One recent morning there were 252 people crammed into the brand new branch of the Little Local Bank. That’s an actual count by the 252nd person. But the Little Local Bank was not closing. This was not a run in the Great Depression sense of it, it was another kind of run.

To celebrate the Little Local Opening, the Little Local Bank was giving away something that no one in his right mind would refuse, free gasoline. But only to the first 250 people who showed up on this particular day.

You get a ten dollar coupon, good at Moote Pointe Exxon. That’s two gallons plus in the price-of-the-moment.

Only an idiot would turn that down.

But, only the first 250.

Probably minus some Visiting Firemen from the big conglomerate, secretly attending to make sure none of the regular customers filched a second coupon. Big conglomerates are like that.

The Little Local Bank has no tellers and no voicemail. Instead, people, usually reasonably attractive young women sit around at desks and do teller things. Kind of like First Republic of San Francisco, only with worse furniture.

No voicemail is a real asset. You can do anything by phone except pick up a free gas coupon.

You want to know rates? You want to know how much is in your account? You want to know if your paycheck cleared for a change? Easy. Call ‘em up and an actual human being (a) answers the phone and (b) answers your question. Of course they only have about 300 customers per branch and they only have five branches.

Two hundred fifty two at THIS branch, for sure.

Clarina one of the non-teller/desk sitters promised the two of us extra hotdogs and extra ice cream if we would return on Little Local Ice Cream day and/or Little Local Hotdog day.

Til Ungapochka, the 251st guy on line said he’d do that. Number 252 wasn’t heard from. But he and till went across the street and bought coffee and shared a stack of pancakes. Would have driven, but not without the free gas coupon.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

1 comment:

wes jr said...


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