Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Unwelcome perspective

Today, at really just the moment I could least use this particular insight, I spent 20 minutes looking at myself in the video screen at the credit union.

Here's how it works at the credit union: the tellers are off in a different room, but there are these screens with a pneumatic tube on the right, for your deposit, and a phone on the left to talk to the teller, who only appears on the screen briefly: once to tell you she got your tube and once to tell you she's sending it back. Since there are more screens than tellers, there's always a wait, and unless you're organized enough to bring a book or your knitting, you just stare at the screen. There's usually a sequence of credit union ads and weather and sports reports and factoids about Hollywood movies and wire service blurbs, but for the first time in the three years I've been banking there, it was down.

Instead, the screen showed what the tellers must see when they look at you: the view from the camera right above the screen.

That camera is more or less pointed at your forehead. To look at the camera is to look above the screen. To look at the screen is to appear on it as though you are looking down, crestfallen and shifty and ashamed of yourself.

Twenty minutes of that would do anyone in.


Magpie said...


But pneumatic tubes? How Brazil!

jo(e) said...

I hate it when I'm forced in the daytime to get those kind of glimpses of myself that I usually only see in the middle of the night.

Jody said...

What jo(e) said....

kathy a. said...

no, that doesn't sound fun.