Monday, September 14, 2015


Rerun from 3-09

As the new teller in the bank, I was subjected to pranks from the old timers like a rookie ball player. David was the favorite "new girl" prank.

I had been informed that this giant of a man would come in toting a large pillow case over his shoulder. I was told that David was sensitive to loud noises and if he came to my window, I should speak softly so as not to aggravate him. This was told to me in training and I thought it was perhaps an urban legend for I never saw anyone like that.

However, one day the doors burst open and in walked David. The description was totally accurate. Those tellers with a customer held on to them by grabbing them physically, while those with no one disappeared below counter or into the back room.   Quickly there stood Patti with the only open window.

David was about 6'5" and that was his slumped over height for he had dreadful posture. He wore badly wrinkled clothes that I am sure doubled for pajamas at night and he suffered from ferocious bed hair. His head hung down and he peaked at me through his thick eyebrows. 

I smiled, yes that cursed smile I can't help, and he shuffled over to my counter. He smiled back with intermittent yellow teeth showing through a bushy mustache that had stuff I didn't want to know about trapped in it. Oh boy.

I greeted him softly and he grunted something to me. Throwing the pillow case to the floor and rummaged through the bag. He pulled a bunch of strapped together pass books out of the bag and slapped them on the counter.

David had about 15 passbooks, about five of them I saw were ours. They were tied with what turned out to be an old jock strap.

They sat there and I sat there. Remembering my instructions, I softly asked him what I could do for him today. He got a quizzical look and leaned over the counter towards me. He was only threatening by his size as he made no overt move. I dropped my voice even lower as he leaned even closer to me.

Finally he said, " I want $50.00 out of the food book."

Not happy, I gingerly released the passbooks from the jock strap and looked for one that possibly said "Food Book". Yep, there was one and I was surprised that it contained a really hefty balance. I filled out a withdrawal slip and pushed it towards David softly asking for his signature.

He was beyond quizzical now and was getting irritated as he leaned almost all the way across the counter. He could have easily have helped himself to the money in my drawer. "Is that all the louder you can speak?" he growled. "I can't hear you."

I heard snickers and knew I had been played. So I cranked up the volume and David left the building with his money and retied pass books. 

Part of what happened that day to me was very funny. I laughed with the rest of them at my gullibility, but I did feel badly about not treating David with more respect.

The man obviously had limited mental capacities and what had been done to him was not cool for he was not in on the joke. 

From that day forward, I made it a point to always call David over to my window when he came in, speaking in a normal voice of course. I later learned he kept a small note book rating tellers from all his banks. I was oddly pleased to learn that I had recieved 4 stars.

Sadly David eventually ended up in jail. He attacked and hospitalized a cab driver disputing a $2.00 fare. The unfortunate thing is that David easily had over $20,000 in that pillow case.

David had a mother who was equally unusual. Guess who became her favorite teller?   But that is for another day. 

Were you ever victim of or instigator of a "new person" prank? 


  1. Funny how group dynamics can cause people to do things they might not individually.
    I'll bet most of those other tellers would have treated him with the kindness you did if he hadn't become the target of the group's ridicule.
    And no, I was never pranked at work by co-workers. Teaching middle and then high school provided built-in pranks every day.

  2. I was not - or not that I can recall - but I was not in the kind of business that would make that easy to happen. Interesting story.

  3. That was kind of a cruel joke, more so on David than on you. I'm afraid in my youth I may have been the instigator of a prank or two. Now, in my later years, as my empathy has been fine tuned, I realize that practical jokes are not very funny.
    Good for you, taking the high road with David!

  4. Some people have very tough lives to live. I think it was lovely that you showed him a smile and some kindness. I know you earned those 4 stars! I don't remember ever being pranked at work, and I don't remember ever consciously pranking anyone.

  5. I hate pranks. They are invariably concocted specifically to make someone feel uncomfortable. I've been pranked many times and try to be a good sport about it despite my feelings.

    When I first began working as a home health nurse, I was assigned to a patient who had been with the agency for a very long time. As I approached the door to his shabby house, he opened the door and threw out a dead rat right at my feet. He was terribly disappointed and a little impressed that I stepped right over it and introduced myself. I found out later that he did this each time a new nurse was assigned to him and all the staff were eager to hear my story when I got back to the office.

  6. Considering he could beat down a cabbie over 2 bucks, the practical joke was probably not a good one.

    I would probably have been guilty of continuing the prank, but I would be much more proud of your position and treatment of poor David.

  7. Yes, I've been pranked, and it doesn't feel good at all. I was embarrassed and not happy to be the brunt of a prank. Good on YOU for having approached David and treating him well. This is a really good story, Patti. I'm glad you are recycling these good ones! :-)

  8. Not a prank, but a fellow walked into the bank where I was a trainee and asked for a bag of money. I thought we were being robbed, but he was the bank's best client and I was later told to just give him whatever he wanted and we'd settle the paperwork later.

  9. You (very nicely) helped a man who had some "issues" and who nobody else wanted to help. I get why other people may have been laughing; but I don't quite see it as a prank. Am I missing something?

  10. Marty
    You are right. I really think most of the tellers meant to be funny, not mean spirited. It was a case of not thinking something through.
    Ha ha.Middle school is one long prank.

    Thanks and I can't imagine the flower arranging business being a place for pranks. Hope you are still doing well.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and I agree. Maturity lets us see more clearly things and that hurting others is never funny.

    Somehow I easily believe that you would not be the deliverer of a prank. You have too good a heart. Maybe just once to your twin?? Naw, don't see that either.

    And they never even warned you. What rascles!! Good for you to just take care of business and not let a dead rat--eeww--rattle you. Not sure I could have pulled it off.

    You know, considering he could get violent, that really wasn't a cool prank. I'm glad I shut it down before anyone did get hurt.

    I have never been a prankster for the reasons you mentioned. It just isn't kind at all. Thank you. I am digging up some of the old ones that I posted when I had just a couple of readers.

    Good grief someone should have warned you. What if you have rung the alarm and had him arrested?? Don't suppose the guy had a bad comb over and ruddy complexion??

    Thank you. You are but that is my fault for being unclear. They deliberately told me to speak softly to him knowing the huge guy would lean over the counter and scare me. It had happened before when a teller spoke softly to him out of fear.

  11. No way! Pranks are pranks but you don't play them at the expense of someone with special needs. That's just all kinds of wrong! So glad you were able to give him the treatment he deserves after that first meeting.

  12. You are a great story teller!
    I have never been pranked, fortunately. Those kinds of things make me very uncomfortable. I don't like making other people feel uncomfortable or the brunt of jokes. I love that you became David's four star teller.

  13. GREAT Post, my dear.......Your description of David was so vivid, I felt I could actually see him! You are such a wonderful writer Patti.....And you have such a wonderful sense of humor.....That certainly was a lousy think for your cohorts to do---to you and to dear David---but, you took Lemons and made Lemonade out of them....You are so good of heart, dear Patti----you truly are.....!

  14. That was rather mean of your coworkers, I'm glad you quickly caught on and served David with compassion and understanding.

    I recall be pranked once but I sort of got the instigator back. Many years ago I lived in Northern Saskatchewan working as bookkeeper at an air charter service. My boss, called down to the office one day and asked me to go out to the hanger for a can of black prop wash. Being the obedient employee, I went poking around. When I let one of the engineers know what I was looking for, he laughed and then explained that prop wash is the wind off the propeller. So he grabbed a can of black spray paint, we wrapped in masking tape, and wrote on the tape, "Prop wash - for black props only".

    When my boss's son called me in the office a few minutes after I got back to my desk and asked me if I'd found it, I simply said yes and put down the phone. It wasn't very long before the boss showed up at the office to see what I'd found.

    Had I only realized it was April 1 to begin with, I might not have ventured out to the hanger. But it is still one of my favorite stories from years ago!

  15. Stephanie Faris,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I agree that it was really unkind to make fun of David. I don't like mean people.

    Linda R.
    Thank you for thinking so. I try. I have always had an overdeveloped sense of fair play and hate meanness in any form. He did not deserve such treatment.

    Aw thanks Naomi, you always make me feel good with your comments. Comments like yours do tend to make the head swell a bit at least for a little while.

    You certainly got him back. Well done. Reminds me of when my Dad sent me looking for a "sky hook" in the garage to get me out from under foot. Never did find one.

  16. Well done Patti. It's not always easy bucking the tide....

  17. A great story with a good lesson in it too. I remember pranks when I was a youngster, but not so much as an adult. I love practical jokes, but not the kind of pranks that might scare someone. That is mean!

  18. I think you handled that very well.

  19. Congratulations on being the adult in the bank among your workers. That wasn't a very nice thing to do to you or to David. But you handled it beautifully.

  20. Oh we could go back and forth with funny bank teller stories. I was the new teller who got the Madame from the brothel next door who came in wearing long black dress that was very low cut and she would pull her deposit out of her bra that was stuffed in a long stocking and she would pull and pull and pull and pull and pull and tell the bundle of cash came out on to the teller table. She had to be at least 80 years old.

  21. TB,
    Thank you. Not too hard though when the action is glaringly wrong.

    Thanks and I agree. There are fun pranks then there are mean ones.

    Thank you. It was just something I had to do.

    I hadn't thought about it that way but you are right. The prank was a bit juvenile.

    Aw, thanks Barb. You grade more generously than David.

    Grannie Annie,
    Ha ha, and I bet you always got to wait on her. A bank and brothel neighbors? That is interesting.

  22. Gosh! I can't remember ever doing a prank, but I remember being short sheeted in college once. You are wonderful to have treated David with compassion and kindness. I was wondering what sent him to prison.

  23. Well, I think you handled that pretty well,and phooey on your co-workers for pranking you!