We have hectic and crazy lives.
I am very blessed to live in a peaceful country and a great city. I go to work during the week, I get to work out, spend time with my family and friends and enjoy life. We often take for granted what we have sometimes, actually I would venture a guess as to say most of the ime.
We don’t live in a war torn country where going to the store can be dangerous. Your religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other personal beliefs won’t get you killed.
We are free (for the most part) of natural disasters and extremist actions. And if something were to happen in this country our government and government agencies would act fast to help and save as many people as they can.
I was at the bank the other day and took notice just how stressed out people are.
I had to go to the bank for work. I needed change for our till at the gym. So one of those times where you actually need to see a teller. Before I started my new position I couldn’t remember when I actually did my banking business with a teller. Like most people that are versed with technology, and to be honest I don’t know much, I use an ATM or online banking for almost everything I need to do.
But this day I need to talk to someone, If I could have gotten the change I was looking for from an ATM I would have.
This particular day as soon as I stepped inside the bank I knew something was wrong. The line to see a teller was a lot longer than usual and people in the bank seemed stressed. Evey have that vibe when you walk into a place that everyone seems mad or upset? Well this place stank to high heaven of it.
Needing the change for work I stepped in line and began to wait, Another odd thing about the day was that I didn’t have my phone on me. So no facebook, twitter texting or checking email while I waited my turn. Nope just had to hurry up and wait.
While waiting, when not occupied with my phone, I like to watch people and observe their actions.
First thing I noticed was that there was only two tellers working. Normally when I come in this bank there are at least three or four, So I deducted that they were short staffed today. No biggie, has happened to me in my gym and happens at other customer service places as well.
Second, the main teller that is getting through the most people in line looks stressed as hell. She is concentrating like she is defusing a bomb. She is not happy and I am sure she is getting the brunt of the complaints of people having to wait in line.
Next come the people in line. They are stressed and starting to get mad because of the wait. As I am starting to make my way up to the front of the line and the customer service “help desk” that is not actually a teller is trying to help people if they don’t have or need cash. It helps but I can’t tell if it is making those people more or less mad.
As I get closer to the front I start overhearing conversations between the members and the teller that is whipping through customers. Two of the three people in front of me are making a deposit.
Wait! a deposit?
WTF! I say to myself as I stay there in line. The two most stressed out people in line just wanted to make a deposit.
Well the ATM over in the corner is working fine and doesn’t have a lineup. They could have easily made their deposit there and saved a ton of time. They actually waisted their own time by wanting to see a teller.
When I finally get to the teller she looks stressed. I smile and that immediately relieves any tension between us and I think puts her at ease, I am a big guy and I bet she thought that I was going to complain about the wait. I engage her in small talk ” busy in here today!” “you guys short staffed today?”
“Yeah sorry about the wait” she replied as she was counting out my change.
“Don’t worry about it. Its not your fault. If the worst thing that happens to me today is having to wait an extra 10 minutes in line at the bank, then its been a pretty good day.” I replied.
Thinking back as I left the bank and all those stressed out people I thought about how much of that stress was self induced? Many of those people could have done the banking they need to get done online or at an ATM.
In total I don’t think the wait was more than 10 minutes. Many of those people have waited in line at starbucks longer.
Here is a little rant about the lines at Starbucks.
The best is when there are 10 cars in the drive through and no one in the store yet you choose to stay in the drive through because you don’t want to get out of your car. You could be with your coffee much sooner and lower your stress level by many points but the drive through is just easier. Even though you are stressed you are late you still want your coffee and you still want to go through the drive through.
To get to the point of my post today, stress is everywhere but much of it is self induced. If I went into line at the bank mad because I wasn’t going to be in and out as fast as I thought I could have stressed myself out too. Yet I choose to look on the bright side of things and enjoy that time to people watch. then write a blog about it.
Stress kills! it takes a tole on your physical and mental health. And to tie it back in with the theme of my blog, stress can prevent you from losing weight and depending on how you cope with stress cause you to gain weight.
Next time you find yourself stressed out take time to think to yourself “is this really worth getting stressed out over?”
In a future post we will explore some stress reduction techniques.
in the meantime remember, things could always be worse.