Joanne's first question reminds me of one of my pet peeves -- customers who don't conform to the established norm! Seriously, we all have safe deposit customers who don't see the need to take their box to the "booth." All they want to do is grab something or shove something in the box and be gone. So this comes up more often than we like to admit. Our SOP is to stay in the vault with the customer if we can't get the customer to go to the booth, only so we can be sure the box goes back where it belongs. We don't want customers unaccompanied in the the vault.
As to the second question, it's sort of answered. We don't want unaccompanied customers in the vault, so we make sure the day gate is shut.
Learned these lessons the hard way 25 or more years ago at another bank. We had two customers wander back to the vault within a couple of minutes of one another, and put their boxes back, taking their keys (yes, we used to leave the customer's key in the door and the door open, I'm sorry to say). Naturally, they put them back in the wrong places, and took the wrong keys. So when customer "X" came back the next month, we couldn't get into his box. It took us two days to figure out what happened, and we invited customer "Y" to come back with customer "X" to swap keys and get the right boxes back in the right places. It was a good thing they were friends and nothing was missing! That bank kept its day gates closed, and has locked the box doors and made customers hold their own keys ever since then.
Sometimes, there's a good reason for the things we "have always done that way"!
[This message has been edited by John Burnett (edited 03-12-2001).]