There are times my tone of voice may sound a bit angry, or downright rude and yesterday had one of these events. The thing about these events is that I’m not intending on coming across as rude or angry, but the level of frustration I feel inside brings it about so here’s what happened…
I walked into my bank to make a deposit as I had several checks from the races I’ve worked the past month that needed deposited. I approached the teller and gave here the deposit slip and the checks. She started doing the inputting and then she asked a question I didn’t understand, “Sir, have you deposited these checks before?” I stared at here blankly as I couldn’t understand what it was, exactly, she was wanting because surely she wasn’t thinking I was trying to double deposit checks.
A few awkward seconds passed and she asked again, “Have you deposited these checks before?” The panic of processing was setting in as I was trying to come up with a reason as to why I was being asked this. Was I under suspicion? What for? Check fraud? Identity theft? I tried to muster up a great question and all I could ask was, “What?” After I asked that I thought to myself, “really, Aaron, that’s all you could come up with?”
For a third time she asked, and this time in a much slower tone, “Have you deposited these… checks… before?” My level of frustration grew to a level that internally I was raging at myself and I exclaimed in what sounded to be the rudest of tones, “I don’t know what that means!”
As soon as I said it I realized my tone was nasty but I wasn’t trying to be nasty towards her but I was so angry at myself. I didn’t know what she wanted and I figured she knew I was confused because since I knew it she surely knew it. The “I think therefore you should know” system was running wild but again, I didn’t know what she wanted. She then replied, “Have you ever deposited checks from these companies before?” Now it made much more sense. Perhaps the initial question she asked hinted towards that and maybe some would pick up on that but I have a hard time filling in the blanks. I couldn’t simply understand the first question and being able to ask, “What does that mean?” right off the bat isn’t my strong suit. It probably should be because the ire I felt towards myself wouldn’t have occurred and I probably wouldn’t have come off as a complete jerk, but processing is something I try and hide. I don’t want others to know that I don’t understand something. It’s okay to, though, isn’t it? Everyone needs some clarification at some point in time, but asking for that help is, at the time, more difficult than trying to figure out what is going on, but in the end it often leaves with two people that are frustrated and angry and both are angry at the same person.