The woman pulled her cart up beside me to wait for the teller who was serving me. The bank manager told her to step away and give me space. I assured the woman that she didn’t have to move anywhere on my account and she stayed where she was.
When I turned back to the counter, the manager and I locked eyes. She looked annoyed and somehow betrayed, as though I’d failed to join forces with her. I could feel the annoyance on my own face – and disbelief that the bank should condone this kind of behaviour toward vulnerable clients. It made me think about how much rudeness is carried out in the name of propriety.