Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lunch Hour Gone Bad

My lunch break only last 60 minutes. It takes me about 7 minutes to leave my office, walk down the stairs, go across the parking lot and get inside my truck. It takes another 5-10 minutes to get through the red light at the end of the road. Reverse all of this for getting back to my office after lunch, and I only have about 26 minutes to eat, run a few errands, and/or simply relax to get ready for the second half of the day of a very stressful job.

I decided to make a quick trip to the bank today at lunch and then grab some fast food in a drive-thru somewhere to take back to the office. When I got to my bank, one line of the drive-thru was closed and the only open lane had two cars in line. Not bad, I thought, so I pulled up behind the second car. As soon as I did, the first car drove off, so the other car and I pulled up. Even better, I thought. Only one car in front of me.

What I failed to notice was that the one car had four people in it. The driver put her papers in the teller's box. The teller pulled it in, and then immediately pushed it back out. The driver of the car then placed something else into the drawer, and the teller closed it. A few minutes later, the drawer opened again and the driver removed the documents. Things were moving right along and because of that, I have only been in line for about 3 1/2 minutes. That was when things began to go downhill.

As the driver removed her documents from the teller's drawer, she inserted something else in it....presumably something from the person sitting in the passenger side of the front seat. With my window having been rolled down in anticipation of quick service, I heard the teller ask for an ID as the bank drawer opened once again.

My assumpion of this next transaction being that of the passenger was correct, as I could see the silhouette of the person on the passenger side digging frantically in her purse. Finally, she found what she needed, handed it to the driver, who then placed it in the drawer. Swish! It closed again. About a minute had escaped.

A minute or two later, the drawer opened, the driver removed her passenger's envelope, and then I heard her ask, "Can you break this for me?" The driver placed "a bill" in the drawer. I could feel my face turning red after this transaction number three. I am a little high-strung by nature, and it gets worse when I get nervous. I hate being late. Gripping the steering wheel, I glanced at my watch. My lunch hour was passing by as I was sitting still.

With their last transaction complete, they finally drove away. I pulled up, handed the lady behind the glass my deposit slip and a check. Swish! She pulled it in, ran it through her machine, and sent my receipt back to me through the opened drawer. I drove off and had about 20 minutes left to grab a sandwich and head back to work.

McDonald's is the busiest place in town during lunch, but it is also the quickest place in town. After waiting on a couple of red lights, I turned into McD's parking lot and made my way to the drive-thru line. As expected, the line was long but I made my way to the end of it knowing that it would move quickly.

It only took about two seconds for me to recognize the car in front of me. It was the one at the bank; the one with four people in it. The two in backseat did not participate in the ordeal at the bank, but it was not very likely that they were going to sit this one out. I could only imagine how long this was going to take.

I drove off. Tonight's dinner was wonderful.

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