Lena the bank teller

She has all white hair. Her skin is choorook, her hands are shaking. A tiny lady at least 80 years old, no joke. Her name is Lena.

And she is working as a bank teller at Bank of America. I wonder how old she was when she first learned to use the computer?

I am not comfortable when she calls me to her window because I have never dealt with a teller her age. I almost feel like she should not be here, that it’s wrong and cruel for her to be working. But she is pretty quick, knows the job well and we move quickly. Of course I don’t have a BofA account, and I am cashing a check, so she gets a chance to make a sales pitch to me.

Well, I had a BofA account. In fact, BofA was my very first bank. I opened it in 1993, last year of high school, but then certain things went wrong and that account was closed. Oh well…

I wonder what happened to her retirement fund? 401K? Social Security not paying enough? Did she lose her husband early? Does she not have any kids to support her? Did she fail to save enough money as 70% of Americans fail? Or is she simply just bored at home and this job is the highlight of her day?

I have a very strong urge to know her life story all of her life story.

She asks if I am interested in opening an account. I think to myself of course I am…why not? let’s have three or four checking accounts while we are at it. But I don’t have time today, I tell her politely. So she writes her name down on a “Teller Referral Form” and hands it to me. If I use this form, she will get a point, which will eventually accumulate, hopefully, and she might get a bonus at the end of the year. Or a stupid placard stating “Employee of the Month”.

I take the referral form and decide that I will come bank and open an account later, just for her so she could get that one point.

That’s the least I can do for Lena.

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