You forget, sometimes, in the sea of crabby, irritable, non-helpful people one experiences in corporate/retail America, that there are actually genuinely nice people scattered in the mix.
That not every trip into a shop or restaurant is going to bring you to someone who hates their job or would prefer not to be finding you new sizes of shirts or serving you your burger.
Sometimes, people are just awesome.
And this is why I love going to the bank.
I know, I know. Going to the bank is an mundane an experience as taking out the garbage or brushing your teeth. And at least brushing your teeth leaves you with minty fresh breath.
But going to the US Bank I only recently discovered is but a 3 minute drive from my house has since made its way up the list of things I quite enjoy doing.
Today I had a check I needed to deposit, and while I was groaning about having to stop at the post office and the grocery store (honestly, how does one girl go through so much milk?) I was thrilled about stopping at the bank.
My favorite part about this bank is the security guard, Steve. He's this larger man with a slightly goofy smile, and his job (aside from general security things) is to open the door for customers. It's not customary for security guards to open the door for people going to the bank. He just does it because he likes to.
The first time I went, I thought he was just being nice. He opened the door, I smiled and said thank you, he smiled back, I got in line. On my way out, he opened it for me again. What a nice man.
The next time I went, Steve was talking to someone and didn't see I was coming in until my hand was already on the door. His eyes widened a little and he made a lunge to get to it before I did, but saw his effort was futile. He actually looked a little disappointed in himself as I let myself in the building. It broke my heart.
So now, I make it a point to hang back and wait until he sees me, nonchalantly giving him time to get to the door before I get there.
Today I noticed he wasn't standing next to the door at all, so I actually pretended I'd left something in my car and walked back, allowing him enough time to finish what he was doing and get back to the door. Maybe that's silly. Maybe most people wouldn't think twice about letting someone open the door for them, when usually the idea is to get in and out of places like the bank as fast as you can. But the smile on Steve's face when he opens the door and asks me how my day has been makes those extra few minutes so, so worth it.
And it's not just Steve! This whole bank is a vortex of niceness, a haven of polite and genuinely happy and helpful people. Literally every employee I've ever seen at this bank either really loves working in banking, really loves their customers, tries to find the good or positive in everything they do, or are fantastic actors.
Either way, today I just couldn't handle it anymore. I was standing in front of the nice bank teller who'd just finished telling me he'd spent his lunch break sitting in the sun at the park and was encouraging me to walk to the rest of my errands rather than driving so I could experience the nice weather we were having as well, and instead of saying, "thanks, see you later," I just said, "You are all so NICE."
"What?" he asked me, slightly taken a back. The correct response here in the scheme of general bank interactions is the bland, "have a nice day!" before turning around and leaving. Not today, Buzz.
"Everyone who works here! You're just so nice. Especially that guy," I said, pointing to Steve.
He smiled warmly at me, thanked me for the compliment, and said they were a big family. All these bank people, of different ethnicity and age and background. I felt like I dropped into some parallel universe or something.
As I was leaving I repeated my compliment to Steve whose face lit up, and I noticed a little extra spring in his step as he opened the door for me to leave. He thanked me about three different times for what I'd said, and as I was leaving, I just felt baffled. Surely other people have noticed the unnatural pleasantness of this particular branch of US Bank. Surely people have said something to them before. I hope I'm not the first one to thank them for making my banking experience once of my favorite parts of my day.
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