Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hello? Helloooooo ... Anyone there???

Like many normal folks around the country, we bank at my husband's credit union. Normal, right? Yeah, thought so. Most of the times, we have really nice people that help us, and we get excellent "free" banking services. But part of the sacrifice of banking at the credit union is that there are only two ... count 'em ... uno, dos ... branches in the entire county.

Well, recently, they just opened a new branch. It's about 20 minutes away from our home. Very close, considering the other "closest" one was 30 minutes away. That makes a whopping uno, dos, tres branches! Woohoo!

Well, yesterday, I had to do some very important, and high-dollar (HA!) banking. So, being very mindful of the fact that I drive a mammoth SUV, and remembering the "arm" and "leg" prices on gas these days ... I thought I would give the new branch a try! So, I walked into the new, fancy-shmancy building, and immediately, I was bewildered.

I know ... I KNOW! Me! Bewildered! You're probably thinking to your self... "no, not YOU, GiBee ... you're so bright. So intelligent. But bewildered? Never!" Yeah, I thought that too. But bewildered, I was indeed. Because instead of getting into a line that led to happy, cheerful faces with warm greetings ... this is what the line led to ...


What? You need me to walk you through it? Sheesh! I thought you were (cough, cough) as into modern technology as I am (ehhem). This, ladies (and possibly --- gentlemen), is the new, improved, "bullet-proof-bank-robber-safe teller-protecting-thingamajiggy." And, that is the very technical term for it!

Yes, you simply stand in line for ... basically no one. And when it's your turn, you step up to plastic and glass. Very warm. Very inviting. But -- hey -- they did have granite countertops!

See the screen in the middle? There is a person behind there, and they see you before you see them. Closed circuit camera stuff, or something like that. They eventually pop up on the screen and TALK TO YOU. Very freaky, indeed. The phone on the left is there just in case you can't hear them very well, or want a private conversation. The square thing on the right is one of those tube things you use in a drive-through. Very personal. Ya know?!?

I was so taken aback by this new fangled contraption, that I felt like someone from a third-world country seeing a TV for the first time. I just stared at it, looked around, and then ... did what any common-sensed blogging chick would do ... I got out my telephone and took a picture.

Of course, I thought they might kick me out if they thought I was actually taking a picture, so I acted like I was text messaging or something like that ... I tried to look very important. Then I snapped and emailed the ever-so-fuzzy-what-do-you-expect-from-a-camera-phone-taken-bootleg-picture to myself so I could post about it.

I constantly place my own life at risk for you, dear friends. Why? I do it for you. Because I care. Very much. In fact, I love you. And want you to be safe, and informed. And let me just say, that if security had come out to escort me to, oh, I don't know ... the state (or is it county?) penitentiary down the road ... I'd have taken pictures of that too.

So friends, go out into the world empowered. You have knowledge. You have wisdom. You now know how these new-fangled teller-thingies work. And I've saved you the embarrassment of looking stupidly at the thing for 5 minutes before you figure out that the person on the screen is actually talking to you.

20 comments:

Mama D said...

That's just crazy. We will be flying around in spaceships instead of cars soon.

kpjara said...

this reminds me of that movie with Wesley Snipes (when he has bleached blonde hair)...oh what was it...hang on I'm going to go google it...Demolition Man...remember when he starts beating the living tar out of some phone/atm thing. Okay maybe I'm crossing several movies. Suffice to say: Thank you Gibee, for once again showing us what is coming to the southwest in a mere 20-30 years!

Yahoo!

aggiejenn said...

That is TOO freaky! Are they seriously in that much danger that they have to hide out in some concrete bunker and talk to you through a camera? I don't think we've come to that (have we?). Thanks for the "heads-up" on this one. And, like kpjara said, I'll be expecting one in Texas around the time Caleb goes to college. :-)

Jeana said...

Oh, this cracked me up! Thanks for risking life and limb for our never-ending amusement!

BooMama said...

Postmodern banking at its finest.

And I love love love that you took a picture with your phone. Like a blog spy or something.

:-)

Morning Glory said...

That's insane. It looks like something from the Twilight Zone!

Overwhelmed! said...

I've never seen anything like it!

Thanks for risking life and limb to bring us this covert information! :)

Brenda said...

I saw one of these at the WalMart branch of my bank in Arkansas a couple of years ago. Don't tell me they're ahead of the curve in technology - not when they rank so low in education. Unbelievable!

Tess said...

"This mission, should you choose to accept..."

great stuff

Susanne said...

"This is the police. And we have it on good word that you've been taking unauthorized pictures. Put your hands up and hand over the phone!" Ha! You are too funny. Pretending to text message. Ok, gotta wipe the tears rolling down my face now, my family can't figure out what is wrong with me. Thank you for risking your life to let us know that but seeing we don't even have Mrs. Butterworth's syrup yet in Canada I think it may be awhile before we get this!

Perri said...

I'm just imagining a big, new impressive building you walk into and see THAT looking at you.

What a trip.

Faith said...

Oh MY!! We are not that big time just yet. We are just small town,people in your face still. I think I prefer for it to stay that way!

momrn2 said...

WOW.. what a friend! The things you do to keep me safe!! WHEW.. I can now walk out of my house today, all because of you!! :-)

Glad you explained that thing to me because I wasn't getting it. It would have taken a bit more than 5 minutes of me staring.

You live in such a more high tech, modern world than I could ever imagine living...

Although we do have a robot at the hospital where I work that delivers the meds from the pharmacy to the floors... does that count?

Carol said...

Susanne, did they send Robo Cop to arrest her? Like, they have one of those pneumatic tubes for her to place the phone into ... "Nice and easy, no sudden moves."

It's coming to this, isn't it? Or maybe we'll quickly evolve to the point where we have holographic images materialize like in Star Wars.

Shalee said...

See now, this is a perfect reason to not live in a gigantic city. I would very much miss the personal interaction with the bank. Oh wait, I do live in a big city... Good night nurse!

Oh thank you, thank you for putting yourself on the line for us once again. You truly are a dedicated friend.

And thanks giving me one way to not look so imbecilic. Every bit will help.

Kristen said...

Oh.my.word. This whole thing is too hilarious, GiBee! I would have reacted the same way!!

I'm just picturing your explanation to security if they came and hauled you away because you were taking a picture, "But, security guy! I must take a picture of this thing-a-ma-jiggy for my blog!" LOL!

Pretty ridiculous how high-tech is getting so impersonal, though.

MommaB said...

Oh my goodness! How in the world do you get a lollipop out of that contraption? That was what my children loved most about banking days... the teller always... and I do mean always... handed them a nasty lime-green, ever-staining-the-clothes sucker!!! Now a machine is going to do it? Good thing they do their own banking now I guess! Thanks for a wonderfully funny and "tech-filled" blog!!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

first of - all you are so funny!
"that I felt like someone from a third-world country seeing a TV for the first time. I just stared at it, looked around, and then ... did what any common-sensed blogging chick would do ... I got out my telephone and took a picture." - laughing out loud!!!

Second - this is just too far! I want to talk to someone face to face. I guess it is safer - but come on!!!

Jen said...

Did you feel like Jane Jetson??? HA HA HA, that is too funny! Thanks so much for being the guinea pig on this! Love your blog!

HolyMama! said...

oh no! i hate the idea of that thing! i only do drive through banking, personally. get OUT of my car? huh?