I had the odd experience of visiting a Chase bank location today (odd, because I’ve been at a hippie-ass local credit union since moving to Wisconsin, and occasionally need reminders of how most of America does its financial business and how shitty that is).
The whole place seemed like the love child of a low-rent dentist’s office in a strip mall and the prison cell from Star Trek Into Darkness: fake wood counters with inch-thick glass windows above them. Guns wouldn’t do robbers much good, but a decent Sawzall could probably have them in and out in five minutes, with a cheap reproduction of a Monet in the trunk as an added bonus.
Yes, behind. Each teller had a bowl of Dum-Dums at her workstation, generally backed up against the glass and hidden from her view by stacks of envelopes or manilla folders.
The wrappers had dust on them. The bowls were clearly not seeing a lot of use.
But they were still there, so that you could gaze at them through the inch-thick glass and fondly remember the days when everything was open-air and you just snagged a lollipop out of the bowl while your check was being cashed (or snagged five or six, if you were a little kid putting pennies in your first savings account and/or a stoned college kid with some munchies to feed).
There was something very telling about the whole thing, no pun intended. It’s not like some Chase official sat down somewhere and decided to cut the bowls of free lollipops. Some of the tellers might even occasionally remember that they’re there and throw a couple Dum-Dums under the slit in the glass along with your receipt. Like customer service in general, they’re still something the company thinks is probably a good idea — just not at the expense of other, higher-priority issues.
If only we might own those banks of marble, with their guards at every door, and share the bowls of candy that we have sweated for: