I had the most random, unexpected encounter yesterday afternoon. On my way to get my hair cut, I stopped at one of Coastal FCU’s drive-up remote teller stations. I needed to deposit a couple of checks and take out cash in order to tip my hairdresser. I was somewhat pressed for time, but I had a left myself a good 5 minutes in case I had a wait. The way these remote teller stations work is you press a button on a touch screen and it brings up a bank teller on a video monitor who helps you with what you need to do. It operates pretty much exactly like an encounter with an in-person teller would. I was helped by a teller named Suzanne. The entire interaction was completely normal until she said, “I actually know where Ridge, NY is.”
At first, I was confused how she knew I’m from Ridge. Then I realized that she had seen the address on a check that my parents had sent us as an anniversary gift. So, I bit and said, “It’s on Long Island.”
“I know. I’m actually from Ridge!” She responded.
“No way!” I exclaimed. “That’s too funny. Generally I have to tell people that it’s next to Rocky Point and 15 minutes before Riverhead.”
“How long have you been down in North Carolina?” Suzanne asked.
“Since February 2009,” I answered. “You?”
“I’ve been here since 1995!”
We ended up remotely chatting about our mutual hometown for a full ten minutes. Turns out she grew up close to my old high school, which she also graduated from. She hasn’t been back to Ridge in a long time; she didn’t say how long but I got the impression that it had to have been at least 15 years because she didn’t even know that a Wal-Mart had been built in Middle Island. I filled her in on what had changed over the past 18 years and we laughed over how good old King Kullen is still going strong.
I ended up being 10 minutes late to my haircut appointment, but for once, I wasn’t at all anxious over being tardy. I was too pumped up about what had just happened. It was so neat and just such a chance encounter. I’m glad I didn’t start off our initial interaction being a bitch or something because I was pressed for time. It served as a reminder to always be nice to strangers because you never know just how many degrees you may be separated by…