Monday, July 4, 2011

Time is on my side?

It’s interesting, but young people act as if they had no time, while old people seem to have all the time in the world.

Persuaded by the limits of internet banking, today I went in person to the bank to put some of my finances in order. Hesitatingly I looked at the two offices available to private individuals, trying to decide which one is best to sit in line for. A gentleman had just went into the office on the right, so I naturally picked the other, thinking chances are the clients inside will be finished before the guy on the right.


The clients I was waiting after were a couple of elders, I would say in their 70’s. I’m not sure what they were in for, but the vacillation on their faces suggested they were yet innocent of most banking operations. They were however enjoying the attention they were receiving; they had a million questions and about a hundred additional inquiries for each answer they received. The man seemed, at a first glance, the one in charge: he was signing the forms and typing codes in. The woman soon proved to be in charge of the man himself. ‘Don’t forget, it’s 1,000 RON you need to withdraw’, she shouted at the man who had just left for the cashier office, determining him to stop and loose precious minutes reprocessing this information over and over again. ‘Are you sure you typed the right numbers in?’ she checked with the poor guy on whose face you could read only abandonment and apathy. So he stopped again for several more minutes replaying the numbers in his head; no, he wasn’t sure anymore, so the lady from the bank had to take them again through the procedure by which they added a security code to their account.

And as I began fidgeting around the office and visualizing all the little things I would have done in the quarter of hour I had been waiting, I wondered not only why banks don’t put up a special window for retired people and those who still believe that credit cards are the devil’s tools, but I also reflected on the special relationship each one of us has with time. And I’ll admit that maybe, just maybe, in the same way that the senior couple in front of me needed to speed up, I might have needed to slow down.

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