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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Just Talkin' 'Bout the Weather

As a bank teller, customers want to talk to me about everything from their newest toy (boat, car, etc.) to their personal medical records that only their doctor should really know about. In fact, I may know just as much private information about these folks as their hairdresser does. But if there is one topic that I can be sure will present itself in our conversation, it would be about the weather. Hot or cold, stormy, or clear, I can count on just about every customer mentioning how they feel when it comes to the outside elements. I don't even have to ask.

Maybe it makes a customer feel like they have made a connection with me without committing to a long, drawn out conversation. The topic of weather requires little thought, conflict of opinion, or uneasiness. But when an 8 hour day consists of who knows how many customers, and each one feels the need to mention the weather, it can get downright annoying.

In the winter, snow is falling, wind is blowing, and customers bustle into the bank, hoping to at least find some temporary warmth and shelter from the outside. "It's freezing out there!" they say.

Hmmmm, really? Thanks for telling me! I didn't know if it had warmed up or not since the last customer enlightened me 2 minutes ago.

"Can't wait until Summer when it will finally warm up out there," is another one I often hear.

"No you don't," I think to myself. Because you are a New Yorker, and New Yorkers find it impossible to refrain from complaining about the heat too..

Summer rolls around and everyone comes in to make their deposits and cash their checks while wearing skimpy tank tops and shorts (including some who should have retired those outfits long ago). Temperatures are in the mid-80's, maybe hitting the 90 mark, and conversations change to how hot it is and the very same people who hated the snowy, freezing cold,  just "cannot stand this heat".

Try living in Florida throughout the entire month of August, then get back to me about what you think "unbearable heat" actually is!

Then fall approaches and as the temperatures die down, New Yorkers find that the days are quite desirable to be outside. "It's gorgeous out there!" they inform me, "You really should be out enjoying this weather while you can."

Oh, are you volunteering to take over my shift so I can experience that beautiful weather you keep gushing over? Because you sure sound like you are sympathetic toward my plight.

And so it continues, with every customer that walks through those bank doors.

Sarcasm aside, we all mention the weather in one conversation or another, whether they are short "Hi, how are you's" or more in-depth. For the most part, talking about the weather is a safe topic - it's not politics - and everyone can relate no matter what your opinion is. There is no hard feelings if you prefer the high-80's to the mid-70's and in a day where pretty much everyone has an air conditioner or a heater in their house or car, the temperature can very quickly be changed to accommodate the end user. We all want to relate to each other, and talking about the climate can do just that. Besides, in the end there is no harm done, 'cause all we're doin' is talkin' 'bout the weather.


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