Bank teller has no time to count customer's cash


November 03, 1997|By DAN RODRICKS

A recent Monday morning, Rob Hayes, a Navy man stationed at Fort Meade, walked into a nearby bank and tried to deposit $400 -- cash money. It wasn't easy. It was bizarro. "I can't count the money," a teller told Hayes, the only customer at the branch at the time.

Hayes had a real head-scratcher on his hands: A teller who couldn't count? A bank that didn't want cash? He was perplexed. But persistent. He asked again to make the deposit. The teller asked if all the bills were ones.

"No," Hayes answered.

"Well," said the teller, "I can't take it because I can't count the money."

I know what you're thinking: Huh?

Hayes's wife, Jeron, later learned that the teller could, indeed, count. She just didn't have time. There were only two employes in the bank that morning, and they were busy processing commercial accounts. (And banks aren't real interested in walk-in business anyway, as we all know; they'd much rather we use automated teller machines.)

"The manager," Jeron Hayes says, "suggested I drop the whole kit and caboodle in the night deposit box. 'Then we'll have time for it,' she said. 'You know, if you'd come some time other than this week or last, we could've taken it.'

"I asked why they were open if they couldn't process walk-in traffic. The manager said, 'Oh, the customers would get mad if we weren't open when the sign says.'"

Maybe the branch needs another sign: "We're open, but not counting." Or something like: "We're open, but this isn't a good time." Or, "For better service, come back when we're closed."

Orioles garb, wedding bells

I hear Peter Angelos gave the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I an Orioles jacket while he was in town last month. The spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians in Baltimore black-and-orange. This we gotta see! (You don't think Da Boss was thinking about asking him to manage the team, do you?) . . . Donna Crivello, the espresso queen, the first lady of foccacia and the dynamic Donna in Donna's everywhere, is getting married this month -- and she's not eloping with the pantry boy. The groom is Peter Adams, a local college professor. The wedding will be at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I hear the cake will be a giant tiramisu. To this couple we say, buono fortuno, and many happy cappucinos!

Dumb growth

If Smart Growth is such a wonderful program, and if the governor is doing such a bangup job with it, then why does that football stadium in Raljon exist (and with $70 million in state subsidy), and why is Chapman's Landing still on track? In terms of their scope, their public profile and their emergence during a time when the governor tried to make the case for Smart Growth, neither of those projects deserved his support. The governor still could make a stand for Smart Growth on Chapman's Landing, but don't hold your breath. He'd probably say -- as a Sun editorial already has -- that blocking Chapman's Landing would be unfair because this new city of 12,000 inhabitants along the banks of the Potomac meets Smart Growth criteria. If that's so, then what's so great about Smart Growth? If Chapman's Landing constitutes Smart Growth, what's dumb growth? If local pols keep making bad decisions about development, then why doesn't the state stop them?

Because of the Chesapeake Bay, Marylanders are hip to environmental matters. They care about them and think about them to a far greater extent than most politicians believe. Republican politicians and their middling Democratic soulmates still tend to dismiss environmentalism as an extreme and whacky Earth Mother movement. They falsely believe that their constituents see strong environmental regulation as a quaint luxury, unaffordable in this allegedly anti-business state. That's why most pols don't stick their necks out for the environment. Not on the tough calls. Not on the big ones. Not yet.

Sounds familiar

Talk about Dan Henson one day running for mayor of Baltimore -- and maybe even winning -- gets gasps and grumbles from certain people in this town. They describe the housing commissioner as arrogant, stubborn, vindictive, a man who sneers at his critics and the press, a fast-tracker who despises bureaucracy and wants everything done yesterday. Hmmmm. Sounds just like the mayor we had between 1971 and 1986 -- the one these same people say they wish we had again.

Clockwork meetings

When it comes to lengthy meetings, Sykesville is way ahead of the other seven towns in Carroll County. But, now those late-night sessions may just get shorter. The town is planning a workshop next month on how to have brief, but effective meetings -- a meeting on meetings, so to speak. The monthly Town Council session will immediately follow the workshop, so the mayor and six councilmen can put lessons from the workshop to the test right away. We'll be watching the clock.

Rat removal risk

That University of Maryland official who took a knock in this column last week for not taking matters into her own hands and removing a dead rat from a downtown sidewalk -- she called the city's Dead Rat Removal folks, instead -- is back with a rebuttal.

"I work at a medical school," she says. "I know a little about plague and rat-borne diseases. A rat lying dead on the street of unknown causes -- it had not been hit by a car or Light Rail train -- is a public health hazard, and I have no intention of turning into a private health hazard by trying to spear it on a stick and drop it into a bag."

So there.

Pub Date: 11/03/97

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