Posted: March 26, 2007 in The Roper Files

I’m at the bank. Gas has just gone up thirty cents a gallon for no reason, so I’ve decided to go in and make a rare deposit instead of sitting in the drive-through burning gas.

There’s one person between me and each of the two tellers. The first is a Hispanic man arguing in broken English with the cute blonde teller. He doesn’t have any ID, or an account with the bank for that matter, but he wants to cash a paycheck. Between the second teller and myself is a Hispanic woman struggling to communicate with the teller. “Maria! Could you please translate here? Thank you!” he’s forced to ask a co-worker from across the room.

He rolls his eyes as I step forward. “Jeez! Does my name tag say Enrique? This is America, dammit. We speak English here.” he mutters under his breath as I slide my ID, deposit slip and my check across the counter.

“We USED to” I correct him while looking across the bank lobby. The two tellers and myself are virtually the only white people in the room.

“Man, this country’s turned to shit, hasn’t it?”  I ask the teller.

He looks up at me and says: “When I was in college back in the 70’s, I was looking into moving somewhere else, like Amsterdam.”

“I’ve thought about that one myself. Starbucks could learn a thing or two from their coffeehouses, that’s for sure ” I reply.

We smile at each other with knowing grins as he counts out my cash and I turn and leave.


March 2007


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