Anders couldn’t get to the bank until just before it closed, so of course the line was endless and he got stuck behind two women whose loud, stupid conversation put him in a murderous temper. He was never in the best of tempers anyway, Anders – a book critic known for the weary, elegant savagery with which he dispatched almost everything he reviewed. With the line still doubled around the rope, one of the tellers stuck a “POSITION CLOSED” sign in her window and walked to the back of the bank, where she leaned against a desk and began to pass the time with a man shuffling papers. The women in front of Anders broke off their conversation and watched the teller with hatred. “Oh, that’s nice,” one of them said. She turned to Anders and add, confident of his accord, “One of those little human touches that keep us coming back for more.

Dose "little human" refer to tellers and the writer has used it sarcastically and "touches" means: their behaviour.

So does the whole phrase means: the behaviours of the tellers make us angry to quarrel them.

This context is from a short story named: Bullet in the Brain.

1 Answer 1


The difficulty here is that the woman is using sarcasm. In other words, she means the exact opposite of what she is saying. “Little human touches” implies service that is very personal and empathetic and that the people giving the service are taking care about you directly and concerning themselves with what you need.

The opposite of “little human touches” is to treat people impersonally, in a mechanized or bureaucratic way, much like described in the text. The woman is mocking this using sarcasm.

  • A classic example of a traditional little human touch is cleaning staff at a hotel always putting a mint or candy on your pillow. It's something that isn't required but it's pleasing. Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 20:27
  • @Steven Burnap Lots of thanks. So Dose the sentence "keep us coming back for more" means: fight them or to quarrel them. or it means again sarcastically? Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 5:32
  • It's just sarcastic. I presume from context that people have no choice but to go back
    – user33415
    Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 6:24

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