14 July 2005

Please give me all your money


Now comes the story of a bank robber. From his car, he sent a note through a pneumatic tube to the drive-through teller at a Chicago bank, and the teller sent a bunch of money back.

I'm struck by several things. One is the apparent politeness of this transaction. If this were the movies, the robber would have aimed a bazooka at the teller, but it sounds like just a request fulfilled.

I do wonder about that robber, though. The whole point of the pneumatic tube thingy is to make the teller safe; at the ones I've been to, the tellers are behind bulletproof glass. What on earth made the robber think that this scheme might work?

And the teller! Why give the robber the cash, rather than, say, the finger? I can only think that this is the result of a policy that was written for tellers who could be physically threatened by customers, and that the policy never got updated to reflect the new, safer drive-through. I'll bet updating it is now at the top of the manager's to-do list.