Brad the Ballina CBA bank teller
Brad’s a banker. Solid young bloke about 30, square shoulders under the tight. white. business shirt. And Brad knows how to knot a tie. On first glance, bankwise, totally acceptable.
Brad’s on teller duty today dealing with a couple of Vicco refugees whose credit card has failed three times. I wait by the three enquiry desks, all empty. Brad and the Viccos are exchanging life and business histories which only ends when he leaves his position and comes around outside to direct them to one of the empty enquiry desks. The one right in front of me. Where I’ve been waiting for ten minutes. No please or thank you. Then they go at it again.
Now we’re face to face at last, me and Brad.
The problem is my card was knocked back twice in Dan Murphy’s twenty minutes ago and ten miles away, no reason printed on the slip, so here I am, Brad. Six two-litre bottles of Bacardi not in my possession and everybody behind me in the Dan Murphy’s queue picking me for being an alcoholic and broke, and believe me of us in this town there are more than several. But a man has to make his friends where he finds them.
Brad takes the card and swipes it.
One of the requirements of getting a job like Brad’s is not to be able to do two things at the same time.
This became evident when he told me I’d probably need a new card. Takes about ten days in the mail he says. The bloke eye’s are focused on his computer screen. He must be reciting this stuff.
‘Does that mean I’ll have to use cash for ten days, Brad?’
‘In a town with signs on nearly all shop counters asking customers not to use cash, Brad?’
No response. Lots happening on his screen though.
‘In a town that has an airport that has been disgorging untested Vicco refugees by the hundreds over the last couple of days, Brad?’
‘The untesting of Viccos coming to town expected to be a BIG problem for men as old as your grandad, Brad?
Like me. Brad?’
Brad wants the old man gone. Now.
‘Like the two Viccos before me with what sounded like the same banking problem? Am I right, Brad?’
He finally looks up.
‘I don’t think I like the sound of your voice, sir.’
There you go. Empathy be buggered. Bank tellers need all the understanding they can get.