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Modern Day Banking Don't Count On It

Updated on July 11, 2007

Modern Day Banking...Don't Count On It - Don't Get Me Started!

As someone in my family used to say, "If they can send a man to the moon...why can't they (fill in whatever applies)?!" I don't understand in this day and age why oh why if you put a check in the bank they can put an eleven business day hold on it and yet if I write a check to someone it can clear in almost minutes. Where's all the speed and convenience of Internet banking? Where's the customer service? Why did I get the pregnant bitch at the bank instead of the gay kid? Your bank may be great and I thought mine was until this recent episode. Modern day banking...don't count on it - Don't Get Me Started!

As with many of my fellow Americans I'm all of about six minutes away from being homeless at any given moment from a financial perspective. So in a plan to de-stress my existence a bit, I took out a 401k loan. After all, there's all that money sitting in there that is my money so why not make my life a little easier, right? Wrong. The whole experience has been a nightmare and it concluded with an experience at the bank that had me seriously thinking about punching a pregnant woman.

As with any so-thought "bright idea" in my family, I managed to decide to start screwing with my 401k last week during a holiday week. Now you know what this means, this means that everything takes about six times longer because they're working half and quarter days and whatever the hell else they tell you. No one wants to really expedite things or help you because they've got potato salad to eat on a flimsy paper plate that is only going to end up on their lap anyway and then those shorts from 1984 that they shouldn't even be wearing anymore will have a big ugly stain on them (but they'll still continue to wear them for another seven years or so). That's right, last week the world was obsessed with fireworks, independence and wieners! ( it gay Pride again so soon?)

After much ado, the check finally arrived yesterday and after a harrowing experience where I almost had to wrestle a UPS guy to get the check (an ugly brown kind of story, not a gay fantasy thing at all, that I won't even go into here) I had the check in my hand and off to the bank I went. As I walked into the bank I noticed that it was basically empty and there were two bankettes sitting at desks, each on their phone. One of the bankettes was the gay boy with the misguided faux hawk and the other was the pregnant almost blond with a face that was continually scrunched up.

Of course, the gay boy remained on his phone while Kari motioned me to come over to her desk. As I sat down she sighed and looked me over as if to say, "Oh great, a gay. Note to self, must remember to disinfect everything when he leaves my desk." I knew the check was sizable and that there would most likely be a hold on some of the money but once she started clacking away at the keys and making the faces like, "Hmmm, a withdraw at Starbucks? Is that where this guy wastes his money? There's probably all sorts of payments to porn sites, you know how those gays can't stay away from the porn." But all she said was, "Oh...uh huh....mmmm." And then she delivered the blow. Due to the size of the check, they would release a portion of it in five business days and the rest in eleven business days.

And so it began:

Me: What!?! <I tried to sound calm.> I don't get it? Can't you call to verify the money is in the account the check is written on or something? It's a 401k, the money is there.

Kari: We don't do that.

Me: Well, I don't understand. I mean how come when I write a check it goes through immediately but you mean to tell me that when I deposit a check it takes eleven days to clear?

Kari: Yes. That's how we do it. It is possible that the holds will come off before the five and eleven business days but I don't encourage you to think that this is what will end up happening. I would just plan on waiting for the money to be released and don't write any checks on these funds. <she sneered>

Me: <again trying to sound calm> Well, I guess that's all that I can do now, right? <I look over to the gay boy who goes back to talking on his phone and playing with the ring on his index finger as I think, "Didn't that whole thing of the ring on the index finger go away two years ago?"><trying to pull myself together and back to the situation at hand> Well, I would appreciate anything you could do to see that this money isn't held up any longer than necessary. <insert insincere smile>

Kari: Well, give me you number and I'll make a note to myself and if the holds come off early, I'll call you. But remember, don't count on it and remember that it's business days.

She made me sign a million papers and I was so out of it at this point that all I wanted to do was get to the door. I couldn't breathe. I was sitting there in an air conditioned facility and yet I was sweating from holding back the rage that made me want to punch Kari into next week or at the very least tell her she was going to have an ugly baby because she was so ugly in personality or lack there of. If I could just make it to the door was all I was thinking and then the million other thoughts that are always in my head starting taking over. Maybe if I took a cleansing breath? Maybe if I stopped her and said, "I'm going over to gay Gary over there instead to handle this transaction." And then the thoughts started coming faster and faster in my head...Fuck cleansing breaths, fuck the gay boy and for fuck sake who would have wanted to fuck Kari in the first place that even got her pregnant? I stumbled out of the bank to the 109 degree weather that somehow seemed cooler and by the grace of God, found my car.

I was proud of myself for keeping my composure and I was pleased that I thought I'd done a good enough acting job that Kari wouldn't bury my check and make it take an additional sixteen business days for it to clear. But I don't know if I succeeded in either endeavor and won't know until I see that all the money actually makes it into my account.

I hate banks. I hate everything about them and their "we see what you've been doing and we're judging you" attitude. Do I think that the bank puts holds on fund to somehow make money off of me? Yes. So that they can collect some interest or do whatever they do with the money like the goblins at Gringotts (the bank in the Harry Potter series). Yes. But alas, once again, they hold all the power and as a mere mortal, I can do nothing but put my head down, sign where they tell me and move on. Modern day banking...don't count on it - Don't Get Me Started!

Post Script...The more I thought about this last night, the angrier I got and if that money doesn't get released, I think I'm going to have to go over to that bank and pull a Moses. You know, carry a big stick and say, "Let my money go." And if they don't, while God may not help me by sending plagues or boils maybe the least he can do is give Kari a burning bush!

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      nandhini 6 years ago

      very useful

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      mike r. 8 years ago

      look bro.... this interest and loans is the cause of this RECESSION thNx to the dM AMERICAN BUSINESSMAN they have made us so awkward in our feelings of how our future would be, now everyone is in doubt when do they stop this loan and interests are forbidden in Islam now I see, THAT islam holds the best religion rules which could make your life into a Greatone it's this dam business thing that people think about its sooo BAD, to look at them losing without even getting to be homeless i wish one success ful man to suggest the idea of stopping the interest on loans because theyre so harsh on people .

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      somelikeitscott 9 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks Suzzie - glad I was able to make you chuckle!! Hope you'll keep reading and enjoying. I really appreciate your comments.

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      Suzzie 9 years ago

      I found this article by sheer accident. It's roughly 8:15 in the morning, i'm drinking my first cup of coffee because i need the caffein and then i start reading this article. Well, let me tell you, i could not stop laughing, i had the whole visual picture in my mind. Sadly, everything he said was true, we all have so much stress in our lives that we look for someone to give us clarity especially with our own money. We have all been in this situation at one time or another, maybe not with 401k but money that belongs to us and can't touch even in a moment of desperation. Scott, I just loved your writing, your article MADE MY DAY. I will look at your other articles. Suzzie