Stella Dimoko Banker Tales


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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Banker Tales

We all know the new banking slogan; ‘Customer is King’. 

This means customers have to be served with reverence abi. But today, I was confused about how to revere this particular customer. My usual salutation after my ‘next customer please’ chant would be “Good morning (or afternoon) sir, you are welcome to the ‘ogbonge’ bank, how may I help you”?

I didn’t notice the people on the queue; this is not the norm as we have to be very observant of those who troop into the bank in case we need to press panic button, lol. Today, I was enthused. It would be my first time treating the Nigerian customs payment on the pay direct platform. I am always enthusiastic when learning something new. My Boss was behind me guiding me through this particular transaction. We got stuck and I had to pause on it.

I did not notice the guy on the queue, nor did I notice that my colleagues had codedly stopped calling for next customer. Let me enlighten you a bit; when there is a sad customer on the queue, a ‘smart’ teller would codedly delay whoever was in front of them until an unsuspecting teller calls that customer from the queue.

Today, I am that unsuspecting teller, I called, he approached, my Boss carefully stepped away from my cubicle, entered the next without warning me. My next customer is a mad man; a very popular mad man in the area. He was garbed in his usual dirty clothes. How he got past security beats me, perhaps since he came into the Bank without his usual luggage, they over looked his appearance. Maybe it’s really wrong to turn anyone away from entering the bank.

Now, he was standing in front of me and my smile was quickly fading. Every other person on the queue had since given him some gap. I was alone with him; it dawned on me that everyone was anticipating drama and I had to be the unfortunate co actor. Imagine the lead actor.

I was confused. What if he genuinely has an account and just realized it? How do I make a mad man feel like a king? How would I delight this guy? What if I tick him off? What if he slaps me? All of the negative thoughts were racing through my myopic mind while oga was waiting, doing his own thing with a broad smile on his face.

I quickly asked him; ‘how may I help you sir?’ he stretched out a withdrawal slip to me, I was amazed. I looked at the slip, turned the back wondering if he scribbled anything somewhere, the slip was completely blank. Oga, ‘you did not write anything’ he kept his smile. I moved my char backwards just in case this man decides to stretch his hand to any part of my face; I have seen that happen to a woman one early morning and this experience left me in dread of mad people. I took my intercom, dialed security, them no gree report for my front o.

So I took the liberty of carrying on a conversation with him. My Boss smiled in approval, this gave me some sort of confidence;

Me; Oga you get account here?

Mad man; Government say make I come here.

Me; so how I go take help you?

Mad man; they paid me some money, from……..(sincerely, I did not hear this part) he rambled on for over a minute.

Me; oga meet that man (pointing to the security inside the bank), he go show you where them go pay you.

Mad man; Noooo, na you I want, give me the money they send from…..(rambles on)

I dialed security again, other customers were now laughing at my dilemma, my colleagues carried on like all was well, totally feigning ignorance of my predicament. My Boss had retired to his seat undisturbed while I sat in my cubicle wondering what would become of us.

The Security man came by, tried to walking him away, for where, the guy stayed put. Even the mad man knows our security men are far from secured. Then an idea came to me, this man wanted money, any amount I give him would suffice.

I reached out to my stash of TYS (Thank you Sir), brought out five hundred naira, changed it into 100naira bills, handed it to him, he collected with a frown and for a bit, I thought he realized the amount was worthless. With the same frown, he handed me one of the notes, asking me to keep it for myself. I was touched by the gesture and really wanted him to keep his money but, I knew better than to argue, so I took the money and bade him goodbye.

On his way out, I saw him give the security another note, this is a really nice guy I thought. He must have observed what happened in the bank very well and decided to replicate it. I hoped he would replicate to sanity.


  1. ha na wa. What a job?

    Customer is always king but most of you forget about that.

  2. Sweet gist from a bank worker, someday I will send innuendo own gist.

  3. Awwww, i feel so sorry for him. i hope he gets better. Someday...

  4. Awwww this breaks my heart. I wish our community is such that treats people well. All he may need may be few pills daily to keep him sane.
    If he was in a better clime, he may have a day job and also declared that he has a mental disorder and no one would look down on him but support him.
    My heart bleeds for Nigeria

  5. This is really touching

  6. Hmmm thanks for sharing ur experience. I enjoyed reading your tales

  7. Awwwwww! God bless you poster and the mad man too. Such kindness...

  8. You are so kind unlike most bankers (teller) I meet in banks

  9. Awwwww... You did so well on the spur of the moment. God bless you.

  10. Eeeeyaaa!
    Insanity eeeh, I sincerely pray he regains his sanity.

  11. Nigeria has neglected mental health. Most mad people can actually regain their sanity if given proper care.
    This touched me.
    Kudos teller

  12. Really nice of you. Thank God for the wisdom . God will replenish your pocket.

  13. That was really smart thinking on your part, having been "abandoned" by your "colleagues", you showed them that you're made of sterner stuff. I pray the man meets a helper that will help him overcome his challenges.


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