Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday's are always rough, especially with disrespectful people

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Saturday's are always rough, especially with disrespectful people

By Ray Hanania

English: Norman Wait Harris (N.W. Harris) foun...
Norman Wait Harris (N.W. Harris) founder and president of N.W. Harris & Co., Harris Trust & Savings Bank (later Harris Bank) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The work week is rough but Saturdays are even worse. Seriously. Even though I get to sleep a little late, I wake up to Saturday morning cartoons and several episodes of my favorite series King of Queens with Leah Remini and what's his name -- just joking, Kevin James (come on, two first names?)

But once that's over, and I make breakfast for the family, it's out and about to do my rounds which consists of certain very specific things. Post Office. Then the Bank. Then maybe Best Buy to just browse the computer equipment and new movies. I don't buy movies there. I buy them online at Apple and watch them on Apple TV.

Yet, it's at both the Post Office and the bank where I always have the same hassles. And it's all because of inconsiderate people.

Take the post office at 150th and LaGrange Road in Orland Park. It has a huge parking lot. There's rarely a problem finding parking, although on Saturday when everyone is bumper-to-bumper on LaGrange Road, parking can be tight.

But tight or not, there are always a bunch of morons who just don't want to park. They can't wait. They need to jump in front of the line, push you aside, make your life inconvenient so they can save a few seconds. So, they park their big assed Vans and Trucks along the Yellow Painted curb -- that means NO PARKING, and then step inside the U.S. Post Office to mail their letters and even wait in line to buy stamps or ask stupid questions.

And you what I have noticed, the people who park along the curb illegally in front of the Post Office causing traffic jams in the parking lot and creating dangerous encounters with cars trying to squeeze past their fat ugly trucks and vans and big boats (Do people really still drive 1990s Cadillacs?)

Those people should be ticketed. They should be punished. Why not put a Police Traffic Camera there and start recording license plates of cars that pull up and wait for 10s of minutes along the curb, creating parking lot havoc?

I can support that kind of Police Traffic Camera.

And once I check the mail, drop off some mail going out -- yes, I still like to mail bills using the U.S. Post Office and stamps -- I am off to Harris Bank. BMO, they call it. Some British company bought them up just like a British company bought up Amoco. Is anything American any more?

My favorite bank stop is at 143rd and 82nd Avenue. That Harris Bank Branch, at 8150 W. 143rd Street, is phenomenal. They have the best employees. They are all so polite. Considerate. They just want to help. And you can never be a hassle for them no matter what you ask. Deposit this. Withdraw this. Can you give me $300 in all fives?

Not a problem. They're all women, too, by the way and everyone of them is super polite.

You could turn that place into a coffee shop and I'd hang out there the employees are so courteous. GIVE THOSE PEOPLE A RAISE, please.

And then I drive by the coin store at the other end of Orland Park, at 159th just west of Harlem to check out some old coins. I love coins. My son loves coins. And when I'm done, I drive to the Harris Bank at 8400 West 159th Street. I think this is one of BMO's "main" banks.

So I walk in and the two ladies are chatting with each other. Loudly. Or maybe they just have loud voices. So I get in the line area. I'm the only one there. And I stop at the line and wait for one of them to say "Can I help you?"

Should I be rude and just push my way to the counter if no one is there? No. I wait until I am asked to come to the counter. I'm a glutton for punishment.

One of them finally says  tells me to step up to the counter. But it's not polite. And I ask the question that must have just ruined her day.

"Can I buy some rolls of coins. JFK Half Dollars? Gold Dollars?"

The woman looked at me like I was an alien, with that sour puss look that people with bad attitudes always seem to have. I could almost see her head doing that swivel thing of "You want what?"

And she looks at me like I'm nuts.

"Rolls of coins" I repeat. I collect them. I'm about to tell her I'm not just some bum off the street. I have several accounts at this foreign-owned Bee-Mo bank. But before I can assure her I am a customer lady, not some riff-raff off the street.

She blurts out rudely, "We don't have any rolls. No. We don't."

I look at her like, maybe I should explain exactly what a freaking bank does. This is a Bank, isn't it? I start thinking. And before I can blurt out the declarative question, she turns to her chat-buddy and says, "We don't have rolls of coins, do we?"

Oh, now you're basically saying you really don't know if you have rolls of coins and have to ask the other mean-faced lady at the other clerk window. What? For support?

"I didn't order any. I don't get a lot of customers who ask for them," the other mean-faced lady says.

Oh I'm sorry. Did the bank make you work through lunch or something. Taking out your anger on me? Is that a Canadian thing just because we can't get over the fact that Canada became a refuge for pot-smoking draft dodgers back in the 1960s? More than 50 years ago? You keep a grudge that long? The Bank of Montreal (BMO) hasn't owned you that long, I want to scream. They just bought you a few years ago and this is what they did to my neighborhood bank?

BMO Harris Bank needs to clean house at 159th Street. Those employees should see what it's like in the unemployment line. And as for the employees at 151st and 52nd Avenue in orland Park, those employees should be given a pay raise and promotions. They should be running both branches. If they did, I wouldn't get attitude with my bank statement.

You can take that to the bank!

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Reach him at

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