It’s All In The Relationship

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Last week I preached on the to creation stories in our Bible.  One of the things that I find so facilitating and I am so appreciative of about our creation (even each conception and birth today) is that we are born into relationship. Not just that, but conception itself occurs in relationship.  From before we are conceived we are dependent on another.  Amazing. 

Today we live in a world that is getting increasingly smaller, I love my social media and blogs.  Tomorrow I will leave for UNCO, a conference of which I am a host.  Except for two or three, I know these people solely through social media, and they are my friends.  I love technology, that is not the problem, people’s attitudes toward technology is a completely different story.

I get paid twice a month.  I work for a church who still hands me a written paycheck.  Usually this is not a problem, my husband has a direct deposit so we still get all the bank perks (this is not true for my single employees, but that’s a whole different blog) and there is a bank super convenient, so I deposit it easily. I have banked there a year and a half and yet whenever I pull up (unless they are new) they know who I am, know where I work, and what flavor of lollypops my kids like.

I like this about them.

This is one of the reasons I still go into the bank or use the drive through. 

Recently the bank has instituted some technology into banking of which I am a huge fan.  I can now take pictures of my check and do a mobile deposit. ATM deposits, which used to be a hassle now uses technology to scan my check and have it available as soon as a regular deposit would.

This is great, and I do use these, but on the end of last month I was occupied with many thoughts and on the way home drove right by the bank. The next day I went to the grocery and walked up to the bank counter at the store (same bank, different branch).  I had to sign the check anyway and it was loose in my purse with a deposit slip ready to be filled out. 

I didn’t wait long until one of the two women on their computers in the office came out.  But she didn’t come behind the counter, she came into the store. Here’s what the exchange looked like:

“Can I help you?” (a little annoyed to be pulled away from what I can only assume to be her Facebook cruising)

“Yes, I would like to make a deposit” (a little annoyed at her not being behind the counter)

“Well you can use our ATM, it’s the same as making a deposit at the counter” (with a look that said, I don’t want to be here, please go away)

“that’s fine, I’ll just let you get back to work” (I said like a southern woman giving a backhanded complement)

obviously catching my drift “well we could do it at the counter”

obviously perturbed by her “no it’s fine” and clearly it wasn’t.

I like my exchanges at the bank or the grocery. What are you doing this weekend? How about those O’s? Can you believe this weather? Sure, I don’t love small talk, but people kind of open up in these 5 minute exchanges, we crave relationship, even if it’s for a few minutes with a stranger.

I was supposed to write this story a few weeks ago when it happened, and then I never found the time, but I’m so glad it waited, because yesterday I took a check to the bank.

I pulled up to my usual PNC in Hunt Valley and pulled into the drive through.  There was a new man at the window but he greeted me politely.  I sent him my check and deposit slip, but as soon as I pressed send I realized that I was asking to get $100 back and the policy is to put your ID in the tube also (a policy I greatly appreciate). 

I usually don’t have to because everyone working there knows who I am and before they did they validated that I was who I said I was. However, this guy didn’t know me. I tend to “test” people (I know…I know.) so I waited to see if he would ask for it. Then I saw Gail, the branch manager walk by, he stopped her and talked with her about my check.  I thought maybe I hadn’t signed it or something. but she turned at the window smiled, nodded to him and promptly pulled out two lollypops (one yellow, one purple), turned on the microphone and asked how everything was going at church.

It was a very pleasant exchange and I was remembered my last experience and thought of how much I appreciated these small relationships.

But then Mr. New Guy (I should have asked his name), sent the tube through with a deposit slip and my kids lollypops.  I threw the money in my purse and unwrapped the lollypops for the kids.  The envelope was thick but I thought maybe he had just given me small bills.

THANKFULLY I immediately went to a small market in the same shopping center (for which I need cash to purchase things), parked and took the money out.  I counted it and recounted it.

It was $300.

I looked at the receipt and it was correct. The deposit amount was correct and the “cash back” said $100.

I am not going to lie, I thought about keeping it. I did. I thought about it.

But relationships are important to me and I thought 1) this guy is new and made a mistake, who hasn’t been there. 2) They know me, can’t steal from them. 3) it’s just wrong.

So I pulled out of my space and drove back to the bank. Needless to say, Mr. New Guy had processed the deposit correctly and just gave me an extra $200. I could have gotten away with it, they would have never known it was me.  Which means he would have come up $200 short. I don’t know if he would have been fired, but I don’t think it would have been good. He thanked me profusely, Gail gave me a wink and a nod and I was on my way.

Relationships, I thought, they make all the difference…

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