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Humour at the Bank 
 
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Have you ever eaten cheese sandwiches de luxe in the Harborne Messroom Hotel or been entertained by a fan-dancer at Friday tea-time at Aston? The dancer was a chicken who had engineered his escape from the butcher's shop next door and stopped to flap his wings and wipe his feet on the glass messroom roof. The butcher caters for those who like to see their chickens killed but this little chick wouldn't stick his neck out.
 
A Manager, extracting the first and second ledger columns for the Annual Balance - List of Extracted Balances, and being careful to omit the accounts of depositors who would be coming in to make a transaction prior to March 31st, suddenly looked up and said, "I nearly took Mary Smith out, that would have been a mistake".
 

A depositor, telling the Manager about his holiday, produced a withdrawal slip and was asked "Do you want FIVES?" - The depositor replied, "No, no, not just St Ives, we went all over Cornwall".

The cashier pointed out very nicely that there is no letter 'u' in 'forty', and got the answer "Oh, these pens of yours!"

Did you hear about the member of staff travelling to work by bus one morning to provide staff relief at a branch, and gaily dreaming away on the Inner Circle route, suddenly realising she was going miles away in the wrong direction! Or, the member of staff who set a precedent by coming to work on a day on which she had been granted leave - this enthusiast's annual holiday period had included a Whitsun Bank Holiday, and she had forgotten the two days given in lieu.

I have heard Head Office referred to in a lot of different ways, but here's a new one in reference to Safe Deposit; a telephone caller asked to speak to the "the man who opens the door when you go to the dungeon".

 

There are so many duties that we perform for depositors that are not listed in the Regulations and not even included in the little 'hand-out' leaflets. Take, for example, the lady who asked the cashier for the sponge used to help count notes. The cashier naturally assumed that the lady wanted to check the notes just handed to her, but Oh! No! This depositor calmly proceeded to wash her white bag with it. The cashier, too astonished to make any remark, continued spongeless with her work. When the bag was quite clean, the sponge was returned with the comment that it was a nice and useful thing to have. Perhaps we could advertise a "Sponge Yourself" service.

 

A lady asked if she could borrow a Biro as our pens were no good. She wrote busily for a few minutes on two Joint Account receipts and then started to walk out. The cashier called "You can't take it with you! and the reply came "Oh, they're my grocery lists". There was no Bank transaction.

 

At the same branch a job was found for two cashiers counting £50 of sixpences that had been disgorged on to the counter from a pillow case!!! One wonders what the mattress contains.

 

Would we work better if we had music? One branch had an opportunity of experimenting with the idea when a depositor sat on the bench and switched on his portable wireless set.

 

Guy Fawkes may have failed in his mission, but he certainly started something. On Saturday, November 4th, two small children presented the proceeds of their 'Penny-for-a-Guy' collection to be changed. They went out with a £1 note and left behind a dazed cashier with 480 halfpennies.

 

A depositor in the queue asked, with nose uplifted, "Have you been cooking fish in here today?" She was answered by a gentleman beside her in the queue: "I have, and it's been very fresh today". It appeared that he was a fishmonger and the lady was disappointed to find that she couldn't get "a piece and sixpennorth" over the Bank counter.

 

I suppose we have long counters with a lot of elbows leaning on them, we have cash tills, we have opening time and closing time - and I agree that a good salesman can sell hot water bottles to the Africans and refrigerators to the Eskimos. All this is brought on by the man who asked me, "Do you have a bar in the Bank?" I told him we had one in Head Office that was used on social occasions, but he said that it wasn't much good to him as he was a beer salesman. Perhaps the manager does look like a publican, but do I really resemble Annie Walker?

 

A lunchtime at Kingstanding was livened up considerably when a lady depositor handed over the counter two babies' feeding bottles and asked a very surprised cashier "Could you please cool these down, they are too hot for the twins?" The manager, a bachelor, immediately took charge of the situation and was last seen holding two hot bottles of baby milk under the cold tap, urging his assistant to be sure she shook them well as the hottest milk was at the bottom.

 

THIS REALLY HAPPENED

"Hello, is that Sutton Coldfield Branch? Can I speak to Mr Hayward please?"

"Mr Hayward isn't here now, he's been promoted".

"I'm sorry to hear that, when did it happen?"

"He was promoted to Inspector last week".

"Oh, promoted - I thought you said cremated".