Tuesday, January 29, 2008


About once a month I get to leave the office to run errands downtown. Exciting, I know. I do get to leave the office pretty much whenever I please (sometimes it's even work related), but occasionally I have to pick up supplies at Ben Franklin and exchange some money for coins. I'm still waiting to hear from Syracuse.

Anyway, today was one of those days when I got to journey into town. The MO is consistent: Go to Ben Franklin first, pick up the supplies (usually four or five boxes of tissues), head to the post office (if necessary), then make the bank the last stop. The lanes go through tissues at about the same rate we go through quarters, which I think is kind of funny since the two are otherwise unrelated. I got the tissues, four boxes neatly placed in a plastic bag, and headed to the bank.

I go to First Merit to exchange the money since it is closer and I can hit the ATM if I need to check my personal accounts. As I reached the door, there was a sign that read "You are entering an irritant-free zone." Given the starkness of the sign and the choice of font, my first instinct was to check for hazmat crews entering or exiting. When I realized that this was actually a new promotion, I couldn't help but laugh. Even hazmat crews couldn't make First Merit irritant-free and I consider myself a satisfied customer.

I got up to the counter, placed my bag of tissues on the floor, opened the canvas deposit bag from the lanes and asked the teller for 13 rolls of quarters. "Wowwww," she said, as if I made a poopy all by myself. I think the fact that I pulled the money out of a bag and not my wallet is a sign that this isn't laundry money. She then went into this extended narration as she processed the transaction, including going through every detail of how she had to get an additional rack of quarters. See, NOT irritant-free.

After I gathered the quarters, I put them in the canvas bag and placed that in my Bomp messenger bag. Quarters are heavy, and as a result of being in a messenger bag I was walking a bit lopsided. Having the bag of tissues didn't help in the lopsidedness. Nor did the flash of realization that the only time I deal with the tellers in First Merit directly is when I am doing the quarter exchanges. With a bag full of kleenex boxes in my possession. Maybe it was because I was feeling a bit frumpy today but...I can't help but feel that I am projecting a really weird image. "Look, it's the kleenex guy who asks for lots of quarters." Eww, I just thought of the implications of that. Gross!

Maybe I'll switch up the order from now on.

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