By Pravin Trivedi
Rush hour in our little town of Westborough used to be lunch time on Main Street, which is a mile long and has fifteen turns going in and out of shops and streets. It can take a long time at lunch time as well as at going home time. It gets a little easier if you know how to cut across streets and shopping centers, but you have to be willing to sacrifice a little of your sanity to go out at these times. That is what I thought when I had to deposit a few checks in the Bank yesterday. It was not so. I took less than five minutes to get in my car, drive to the bank and park with ease in the ample but empty parking lot. There was no one standing in my way, no one in the entrance to the bank and no one at the Keurig coffee maker. Wait, there was a catch. I could not get to the coffee maker. The door of the bank was locked. I was being heavily signaled by three bank workers from inside the bank to make sure I did not break down the door. Trying to comprehend what was going on, I kept pointing to the locked door and the workers took no notice. That is when it occurred to me that I may be missing something.
I thought the workers in the bank all had the virus and were making sure no more people got infected. When things did not change for the next few minutes, I accepted defeat and retreated to my car to go back to my work, or home. Still not giving up, I called the bank on my cell phone from the car. After waiting for a long time and been given many reminders that due to the virus many people were absent and that the wait on the phone would be long, I eventually got a live human voice at the other end of the phone to tell me that I had a couple of ways to deposit my checks. Either go to a credit card machine or do it using a scanner at home. Not being familiar with either of these, I decided to go home and get myself in a self-imposed quarantine. That is a modern way of saying self-imprisonment.
On the way home, I saw a line of cars outside another bank branch. This was a way I had not thought of. These people were banking using the drive-up teller and car drive up machine. So, I got in line. I found out that to move ahead by one car took fifteen minutes. I got out of the car and followed the line of cars by walking. I counted twenty-two cars to the teller’s window. That equated to more than five hours. Still taking a chance, optimistic me, I went back to my car and got in, hoping I had enough gas. At one point it looked like no one had moved for half an hour. I walked again and saw one person had left an open space. I knocked on the window of the stopped car, only to find out that the driver had fallen asleep. I drove out of the line and headed home. For once, we were told even by the government not to go to work, lie in front of the TV and do NOTHING, we cannot get that right!!
Pravin Trivedi is a retired Computer development engineering Director with four Master’s degrees. He has worked in New England, Shanghai, China; Tokyo, Japan; Paris, France; London, England; and Colorado and California. He has been a local resident for over forty years and was very active in music circles, in the India Society of Worcester and in Springfield, and one of the architects of IA of Greater Springfield where he was secretary for five years.