I had four errands to run; take my change to the bank, stop at Borders, pick up dishwasher detergent, and get some digital photos developed. It should have only taken an hour. It took three.
Kezzie’s pictures were last . While they were printing, I bought the detergent. No big deal. I needed a no big deal by then (Besides, I got to look at Kezzie in a new pose. Do you have any idea how wrinkled a photo gets when you hug it too much?)
Border’s was easy. I was returning a book purchased for a present that I decided not to use. I had a 33% off coupon and ended up getting almost $2 back. Not bad.
The bank, well, that was another story. I have a basket that I toss loose change in. Pennies, quarters, whatever falls on the bottom of my purse, gets quickly slipped into my coat pockets, or fills my wallet.
The bank has a coin counting machine, free to bank patrons. The gals at the bank know me and always greet me. As I got out of my car, a man in a suit got out of his. He got to the door before me. It was locked. He wasn’t happy. I told him to ring the doorbell. This branch, in an affluent suburb, was recently robbed. They keep it locked. The bell was rung and the door was opened by an official looking employee in a vested suit. One suit looked at the other suit, then looked at me – Jemima Puddle-Duck. I don’t suppose either suit has encountered many women in yellow rain slickers and flapping sandals waddling in with a Longaberger basket filled with loose change. I glanced at the machine.
Out of Order!
The bank suit directed me to the next closest branch, which wasn’t far but took me out of my way. Out I waddled, my container getting heavier by the minute, change sloshing around, intent on getting to the next installment.
This facility is on the corner of a road less traveled. It in a residential area of large lots, big houses and lots of trees. Landscapers were mowing the lawn and trimming the bushes. I parked my car and passed a large garage door, strange for a bank, and rounded the corner past a woman employing an ATM. I waddled into the lobby, saw three women in line, one teller, and the coin counting machine.
In went my coins, on went the counter, tick, tick, ticking as it kept a computerized tally of all the money it was digesting. Bam! It stopped. Overfed? A bell started chiming, a screen started flashing, and heads started turning. The teller looked over, but couldn’t find whatever she needed for patron number 1. Number 2 and 3 were alternately checking their watches and looking over at me, my empty basket, yellow rain slicker and the annoying bell. After about 10 minutes, the bank cleared out.
My first moment of discomfort was when the bell went off and I realized there were five women alone in a bank in a somewhat remote area. My second moment of discomfort was when the women left and there was just the frazzled teller and me alone in a bank.
I now know how to open a change counter. I know that there are lots of bags underneath filled with coins. The bags are heavy. I know this because the teller, on bended knees, finally figured out which one was filled (the last bag, of course). She pulled it out just as another teller finally appeared. They both had trouble carrying it. It was bigger than a sack of potatoes. I would guess there was at least $500 in the one bag. There was no security guard visible.
The coin sorting machine once again started tick, tick, ticking, my receipt emerged, I gathered my crisp bills and left, holding my empty basket with trembling hands, realizing that if someone was wicked or desperate or daring, there was a perfect storm of larceny to be had at this little branch of a very big chain of banks.
I was relieved as I drove down our little road, errands finally done. I drove past the pond, now overflowing from the rains. There, waddling around, much like my earlier self, was the mother mallard, her mate – and eight little ducklings, out for an afternoon swim.