Loan Gunman

Chris Farmer RSS / 01.12.2007. u 12:03

Let’s begin by stating the Obvious.

A banker’s first and best duty is, of course, to extract all the money from your pocket, mattress, closet, or left shoe and lock it up securely in its vaults.

Never mind all of the advertising you have seen to the contrary telling us about FREE CASH, NO INTEREST, SWISS FRANCS, and Gosh-my-bank-wants-to-buy-me-a-new-house! In the end, your dinars must wind up on the other side of the teller’s counter, ostensibly waiting for you to collect them later, otherwise we would have a lot fewer bankers clogging the arteries of Belgrade with Mercedes, BMWs, and Jaguars.

(If I were a banker, I think I would be the guy in the Astin Martin.)

Given this goal, is it any surprise that, when you walk into any of the hundreds of branches of our 36 banks, the first one to greet you with a smile and cold steel is the armed security guard?
Immediately they want to know what you are doing there. Immediately, you want to put your hands in the air and beg for a deposit form (don’t ask for the withdrawal form or he might think you were asking for a quick-draw, leading to a sub-optimum banking experience…).

As a receptionist, the gunslinger is quite effective, if not the perfect picture of politesse. Once he has determined that you have legitimate business in the bank, he scans the room and sends you to the longest possible line. The teller on the far left – the one that says “All Transactions” – is normally empty. As you stand in the serpentine double-file that seems to snake around the entire exposed surface area of the bank’s atrium, your eyes dart constantly to the teller who is busy filing her nails.

Questions come to mind….

1. What would happen if the Bank Sniper thought your business was not good enough to afford you access to the bank? Does he shoot you then?
2. If so, who is responsible for the bodies?
3. What is that teller over there doing?
4. Why is this line double-file?
5. Can I get shot for changing lines?
6. What time is it already?

The mind boggles with such imponderables at moments like this. It is only then that you realize that all of this has happened in about four minutes. This is another intriguing mystery of the banking world: the improbable elongation of physical time. You look around yourself and check out the other banking clients… One brought a pillow and blanket; one brought a book; one has been talking to someone called “Brate” for about seven hours on his mobile phone (within, of course, the confines of the four minutes you have been there… don’t ask).

The there’s the guy ahead of you. You came to the bank to do ONE THING. This is another way of announcing to the rest of the bank patrons: “I am stupid.” They guy ahead of you has about fifteen dog-eared bank books, three forms of identity, a stack of papers with stamps and signatures, a Samsonite overnight case bulging with files and folders. In short, the guy ahead of you has WAITED ALL HIS LIFE to come to the bank and he will transact 53 years worth of business in front of the teller, while you stand there getting varicose veins, grey hair, closer to your pension (for which you will need a different form and may have to go to the back of the line again), and try to remember what that ONE THING you wanted to do in the bank was after all….

In the meantime, the Loan Gunman has his eye trained on you. If you become distracted, engrossed in contemplating the mismatched socks of the guy ahead of you (one was really dark blue – it could happen to anyone, I suppose), the marksman may identify you as a target and whisper to the lady behind you to step ahead of you in line. Want to complain?

“Draw,” he challenges.


Komentari (4)

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Pedja Rafailovic Pedja Rafailovic 12:53 01.12.2007


why don't you try e-banking, instead?
dragan7557 dragan7557 19:11 02.12.2007

Re: So,

Pedja Rafailovic
why don't you try e-banking, instead?

Or Islamic banking (no profit banking)
Nietzsches Aprentice Nietzsches Aprentice 19:16 02.12.2007


Serbia, brate, it doesn't work like Bank of America online banking. I went with my dad to apply for a Banca Intesa card somewhere in July and spent no less than 2 hours in there, 90 minutes of 120 spent in line. As you can imagine, I'm not the biggest fan of commercial banking in Serbia myself..
Daddyates Daddyates 16:32 04.12.2007

Loan Gunmen

Chris , mate you do not know how lucky we are in Serbia,


I well remember entering a bank in downtown Moscow, only find myself looking down the barrel of a Kalashnikov, having inadvertently taken the wrong way. It takes at least two teller windows to process a deposit, if you want to withdraw money, book a holiday!

I was consulting for a bank in a small town called Penza, approx. 500 kms southeast of Moscow. The bank was about to relocate to shiny new offices in the centre of town . The Chairman of the Board offered to show me around. The Banking hall was wall to wall bullet proof glass. He showed me to an office at the back that opened onto a large courtyard. In the yard were three large security vans and four Mercedes Jeeps. Black and tinted glass. The office itself was a veritable arsenal (I don't mean the football team). There were dozens of Kalashnikovs, and hand guns of different varieties including a good old "Dirty Harry" magnum.

Putting on my cost effective consultancy hat I said

"Sir, its cheaper to get robbed!!

P.S. I drive an Audi, and will offer no excuse for that.



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