❝Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.❞ -Carl Sagan
It's 2004, and there's a long line of people waiting at my teller window. I work part-time at the bank while in college studying economics and finance. I've always been good at math and enjoy it. In fact, it's this love of math that partly drives me to finance.
My courses have gotten quite advanced and demand a lot of my time, so I've had to reduce my hours at the bank. I only work a few hours per day, and often when I get here, it's during the late afternoon rush. That's what's going on today.
Even though a dozen people are waiting to be helped, I'm helping a particularly difficult customer. The customer wants his overdraft fees reimbursed. He tells me some story about how this is just a fluke that all of these checks came in simultaneously. He has his paycheck with him, and if the money was in his account yesterday, he would have had no overdraft fees.
Unfortunately, I've heard this song and dance before, many times. I have to tell him that there's nothing I can do for him. The rules are the rules, and if I let him off the hook, I have to let everybody off the hook. That creates the wrong incentives.