What Would You Have Done?

The other day I went to the bank to wire some money to 
our favorite missionary.
Although Dw does the banking most of the time, 
since he has been going to Africa more and more, 
I’ve needed to go in much more often. 
Up until this point, I hadn’t done the banking in a long time and so I 
was surprised to see that the banks now have a person greeting 
each customer who comes in.    
Do the banks in your area do that as well?
“Hi! How are you?  How can we help you?”
Anyway, I was sitting at one of the desks
as a young man helped me with the money transfer.
However, his computer froze and he had me move to another desk
right behind the Greeter-girl who was greeting the people coming in.
I looked up a few times because, really,
I was close enough that I could have pinched tapped her arm.
Since the other computer had frozen, 
this pleasant young man had to begin the wire transfer
all over again. 
Sitting watch the young man typing,
I could overhear the Greeter-girl.
“Hi! How are you?”
“Oh hi! How can we help you?”
“Hi!  How are you today?  What can we help you with?”
About that time a woman came from behind me and went out the 
door of the bank to the “Business” banking door, which is located right next 
to the entrance of the bank at large.
I was guessing that the woman worked for the bank
because of her attire and the way she walked into the Business banking
door.   I will call her the Business-Banker-Lady.
I was only half paying attention, but suddenly glancing up, I
 noticed that the Business-Banker-Lady was now back inside the bank
and was standing next to the Greeter-Girl and they both appeared to be
greeting the customers who were coming and going.
Both were close enough to hear every word they were saying
without trying.  As I said, I could have reach out and touched them
without any effort.
Well within a matter of seconds of seeing Business-Banker-Lady 
now standing beside Greeter-Girl, I noticed a young man leaving 
the tellers and walking toward the exit.
He was carrying a motorcycle-type helmet and there was no 
doubt that it was an effort to move.  His gait was notable.
He reminded me of my sweet Jubilee Promise.
His gait made him struggle a bit as walked to the door, but as he did so, 
he was looking at Greeter-girl, swinging his helmet, 
and grinning from ear-to-ear he spoke,
“Need to hurry up and get back to work.”
To which Greeter-Girl’s face contorted in a contrived smile and answered, 
The young man, swinging his helmet, still grinning, turned and went out the door.
The second he turned, Greeter-girl turned to
Business-Banker-Lady and rolling her eyes in complete 
disdain and disgust exclaimed, 

Greeter-girl continued,
“He thinks he has a motorcycle.  But he rides a scooter!” 

Greeter-girl was laughing now.
I did not hear Business-Banker-Lady say anything 
because Greeter-girl’s nasty laugh was drowning out anything else.  
I sat astonished that I had just witnessed the clear 
mocking of a customer who was very obviously physically and 
cognitively challenged – right in front of me – a customer!!  
This bank, which is supposed to be a place of professionalism
had two of their employees jeering as a customer,
who likely considered them his “friends” left the place
where he did regular business. 
I can tell you this much…
The righteous anger was rising with each beat of my heart.
But before I share what I did…
Let me ask….

What would you have done?



Let it go?

Walk away?

Ignore it?

Get out as fast as you could?

Twap them.
{After all I was close enough. j/k} 
Sort of.
I would love to hear your thoughts.

27 thoughts on “What Would You Have Done?

  1. I am pretty sure I would have spoken up…hopefully in a gentle manner, but definitely would have said SOMETHING, probably like, "You know, I found it so nice to be greeted by you when I walked in. It really made me feel welcome and valued…but I have to say, your comments about that young man who just walked out have really changed that feeling. I imagine that customer faces challenges everyday that you can't even fathom and he deserves your respect and admiration, not your ridicule." I am known for speaking up, but sometimes my "righteous anger" overcomes my "gentle spirit", so it might NOT have come out that way…to my chagrin!

  2. I would have said something immediately. Probably something about how Scooter Guy deserves the same professional courtesy and human respect that a non-disabled customer does, and how as a sister of someone who is mentally handicapped I'm so discouraged that I chose to bank in a place that encouraged employees to gossip about those with disabilities. Then I would have turned back to the young man, and asked him to finish wiring my money and then give me literally every cent I had in that bank and close all my accounts so I could go bank somewhere that doesn't demean people with disabilities. After finding a new bank, I would have gone home and written several emails to people higher up at that bank.

    Side note: My grandma taught special education for over 30 years (She didn't start teaching until in her forties, either!) and she taught me from a young age that all her kids had value, and that taking a little bit of extra time to treat them with dignity and kindness cost me absolutely nothing. She used to go around her small town and basically pressure store and restaurant owners into hiring her kids. We couldn't go anywhere in town without one of her special kids running up to greet her. Some of them worked all their lives at bagging groceries or bussing tables at one business, and the owners would come up and tell her how glad they were that they hired so and so because you couldn't find a more dependable worker. I didn't realize until MUCH later how much she fought for her kids to be given equal opportunity, dignity, and purpose.

  3. I've been in similar situations. Sometimes I do say something then, sometimes I let it go, but more often than not I reach out to HQ/management. I have found it is often a training issue. THe fact that Banker Lady, who was clearly more senior than a greeter, didn't stop this behavior is the worst offense. Because it confirms to the greeter that this is A-OK to act this way.


  4. I'm an AP and a teacher and I usually follow your blog silently, but I thought I'd chime in here. I was in a grocery store when I saw a man, clearly on the Autism spectrum, stop and talk to the cashiers. When he left, the cashiers did the same thing your people did, but they even included other customers in their conversation. I did speak up, but politely, and asked them if they were familiar with Asperger's and Autism. They looked kind of confused and at the same time had that "whatever" type of defensive expression that high school bullies get feel put on the spot for their behavior. I'm sure you spoke up, too. It makes me see red when I see disabled people getting bullied… by adults. >:0(

  5. This is how I usually roll. I would probably leave to gather my thoughts/pray. I have to process things and then I would have gone back in and asked if I could talk to them. I am not sure of what I would say in this situation since I am reading it and I have to think about it. I am sure I would let them know I heard this and it really makes me upset for this poor guy who is being friendly and kind to these ladies. It reminds me of a girl who works at my gyms kid area who constantly rolls her eyes at parents and the children. I have turned my van around in the past and addressed her rude attitude. So yes I would stand up for what is right.

    1. I, like you, had to drive away to collect my thoughts. Hate the constant rolling-eyes thing. My grandma used to say if you crossed your eyes they might stick. Too bad some of these young whipper-snappers eyes didn't stay rolled up!!

  6. Knowing myself, I would have been too angry to think of anything to say. And then I would have thought of all the right words when it was too late to use them.

  7. I would have walked up to them and told them – politely – what I thought about what they had done, and then I would gave contacted their manager too.

    1. I smiled when I read your comment. Can you imagine if I had reprimanded them at that moment and then asked for the manager? And she would have said, "I am the manager!" Oh me.

  8. My answer would probably change depending on whether or not my kids were with me at the bank. If my children weren't present, I'd feel free to take my time to cool off before confronting anything. I would probably go home, clear my head, and then call later and speak with a manager. I would make it clear to the manager that what I had witnessed was inappropriate and if I ever was anything like that again, I would be moving my funds to another bank.

    If my children were with me and I witnessed something like that, my answer would change. My husband and I have agreed that our children need to witness us confronting injustice immediately. So in that case, I would probably ask the young man doing your transaction for a moment and then confront the young lady calmly, say, "That was inappropriate. I found your comments offensive. May I please speak to your manager?"

    In both cases, the manager needs to know what happened because it is his/her job to deal with the employee and retrain/fire as necessary based on pattern of behavior.

  9. I would have reminded them that what they did was very unkind and unprofessional. I often tell my children to choose kindness and treat others the way you want to be treated so I probably would have said that to then.

    1. Sometimes people leave me so speechless that I have to go away to think of a proper and kind response. I think you handled it well. They know now that they acted unkindly and it is on their hearts now to work on changing.

  10. I am interested to know what you did. This is the sort of thing that gets my back up. but I am trying to remember 'Grace' goes for them, too. I think what I try to do (if I can think of it in time) is to say something complimentary about the 'victim' as if I didn't hear them being nasty…and then hope they rethink what they have just done. But, like I say, I often don't think of the Right thing until later and I am the one rethinking what I should have done!
    Sandy in the UK

  11. Oh, man! or..woman! I would have rolled right over to them and said "That makes me feel so sad. It also makes me wonder what you say about me, when I leave." And, then, I'd go home and call the Bank President, AFTER I asked them for their names and wrote them down on one of the banks Business cards…in front of them. Make 'em squirm a bit. I think expressing my feelings, "sadness", at this event speaks a lot. I don't think they should lose their jobs, but I'd want to leave an impression on how their words and behavior made me feel.
    Love You, Linny!

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