So I was at Washington Mutual today, waiting in line to deposit a check, when I realized how Christmas-saturated the place was. The railings were bedecked with gold-and-burgundy tinsel, stockings printed with cheery snow tableaus hung in a row along the teller's windows, and Santa beamed down upon us blessed patrons from at least six vantage points.
The line moved, and I ended up with the last teller on the right -- a younger, bespectacled guy who looked bored. "How are you doing today?" he inquired blandly, looking vacantly at my left ear.
"Fine," I said. "So, when are you guys putting up the Hanukkah decorations?"
His eyes slid into contact with mine. "Uh, dunno," he said as he took my paper slips.
"Are you actually planning to put any up?" I tried really hard not to sound snarky, but I don't think it worked. He thought for a moment as he started entering info from my paper slips into his computer.
"Actually, no," he said, attempting to sound apologetic. He glanced up again. "I can talk to my manager, if you like." As the words came out of his mouth, his eyes slid back to the computer. I'd clearly mistaken him for someone who gave a whoop.
"Sure," I said. Try not to whine, try not to whine, try not to whine. "I mean, it's sorta depressing and all, coming in here and not seeing even one chintzy dreidel decal on the wall."
"I'll talk to my manager," he said. Eyes still on computer. "Will that be all?"
"Yup," I said. "Thanks so much, I really appreciate your help."
"Thank you for coming to Washington Mutual, have a nice day," he recited to my left ear. I smiled in what I hoped was an endearing, please-help-the-downtrodden way, realized he had entirely failed to notice, dropped the smile, and trudged back out to my car.
Being Jewish in a Pasadena Washington Mutual sucks donkey balls.