I spent about two hours in a bank this morning.
I can’t remember the last time I spent two hours in a bank. Probably…. never. I mean, who spends two hours in a bank? You go in, your make your deposit / cash your check (which you probably did at the drive-up window or ATM – without ever actually going in the bank) and you leave. 5 minutes, tops, right?
On this occasion, I had good reason to be in the bank – the Planters Bank in Clarksville, TN – for two hours. I was hanging an installation of photos on a wall which the bank has graciously dedicated as an art gallery. One of the officers of the bank saw the very first “Portals of Stone” installation at the Franklin Jazz Fest back in September last year, and invited me to exhibit some of my work when there was an opening, which turned out to be this month.
So this morning I went up to Clarksville with a trunk full of framed and mounted photos, and hung then on the wall. The whole undertaking took about two hours:
That gave me more than enough time to observe – albeit peripherally – what all takes place at a “bricks and mortar” bank during business hours.
Which is to say, not much.
In the two hours that I was in the bank, I’d say fewer than a dozen patrons came in to conduct any business. The rest of the time, the several tellers and a manager passed the time kibbitzing with each other. There was considerable discussion about who would leave when during the day tomorrow to vote in the state and local primary elections.
There was one person who was at her desk and on the phone almost the entire time I was there. I overheard most of her conversation while I was hanging pictures.
The side of the conversation that I overheard consisted entirely of snippets like “click there” and “open that” and “close that.”
In otherwords, as near as I could tell, the busiest person at the bank was the one who was telling whoever was on the phone how to work the bank’s website.
I guess the good news is: at least it’s not a phone bank in Bangalore…