One day, not too long ago, I went to the bank to visit my money. Waiting in line, I noticed a thirty- something man standing off to one side. He was wearing a baseball cap. The baby in his arms was also wearing a hat. Well, that was sensible. We’re in the Southwest, after all, and it probably was 106 degrees outside.
A bank employee was standing next to the customer, but neither man was talking. The bank employee looked nervous; the customer looked angry.
They were joined by another employee. She said something to the customer that I couldn’t hear. But I did hear his response. Was the man overdrawn? Behind in car payments? Complaining about a bank error? No. As it turned out, he didn’t want to remove his hat.
That’s when I remembered the sign on the door. Please remove hat and sunglasses for security reasons. Sounds reasonable to me. Banks in this city seem to get robbed on a daily basis. I’d seen too many news reports with videos that featured bank robbers wearing hats and sunglasses.
But this guy insisted on keeping his hat on his head. I guess he thought it was un-American to ask him to remove his hat in a bank, even for security reasons. At one point, he lifted the hat off his daughter’s head, pointed toward the spot where he thought the security camera was located, and remarked, “Suspected bank robber.”
The male employee said, “That isn’t funny, Sir.”
In the end, they compromised. The man pulled the hat off his forehead so that the camera could get a clear view of his face.
I thought his attitude was really weird. I’m not insulted because I have to remove my hat and sunglasses. After all, that rule was made for everyone’s protection including his—and for the protection of that baby he held in his arms.