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We can’t read the robbery note

Question: 
"We had an incident where the robber slipped a note but the teller could not read it. The robber was not wearing any type of disguise so the teller did not initially catch on to the fact that she was being robbed. Have you ever encountered a situation where the note was not legible? How was it handled? We do not want to anger a robber unintentionally by not complying. On the other side, we do not want to offend a legitimate customer by assuming it's a robbery note. How would you approach clarifying their intentions?"
Answer: 

Communication is the key here. Too many people are afraid to communicate with the robber and we've even seen some examples where a procedure will say don't talk to them! The truth is, you need to communicate with them. By communicating, there won't be any misunderstanding about what you are doing. For example, you reach to open the drawer and the robber misinterprets this as you reaching for the alarm. It's important that they understand what you're doing and the best way for them to understand is to tell them.

As for your question about the note. The teller should simply say, "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you want and I don't want to give you the wrong thing. Please tell me what it is that you want." This will work whether it's a bad guy or a customer with really bad hand writing!!
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Learn more about Barry Thompson and Arvin Clar’s webinar The New Normal in Bank Robbery Awareness Three training programs in one webinar!

First published on 11/10/2019

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