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Josh on Banking


I try to be honest with my readers, and usually I succeed. Unfortunately, I have no idea what I just said, and therefore, no easy way to string together a well thought out and funny sentence that would lead in easily from the first one. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about banking.


Most of you readers out there work and have a job, and that whole thing. So you’ve probably discovered that you tend to have more money than you can spend at one time, and the government doesn’t make it any easier by making it hard to get any bills over a twenty. So, unless you want to have your wallet stuffed with 20-dollar bills, or cram your mattress full of money and hope you never have a fire, you’ll have noticed that you need to put your money in a place where you can store it safely. Fortunately for you, such a place has already been invented and is waiting to store your money and charge you for it. It is called a bank.


For those of you who don’t know, let me explain the concept of banks – basically they take your money and pool it together with all the other people’s money that they have collected who’ve the same idea as you and then they lend it out to people who didn’t have the same idea as you when they were working. So basically these people are broke, and so instead of needing somewhere to put their money, they need somewhere to borrow money from, the idea being that theoretically sometime in the future they can invest this money that they are borrowing, and with a good rate of interest be able to pay off the acruity that they have earned through annual annuity interest payments to the bank at a rate of 17.234_ percent (thereabouts) and one day be able to pay slightly less money to the bank for actually holding money for them that they own. Oh yeah, and banks usually have lollipops for you suckers to eat. In addition banks often charge you money for holding your money through a process called “charging fees through the nose for every little tidbit and iota”. This is a highly technical term and I don’t recommend that you ask your local branch manager about it, especially about that nose part.


I know what you’re saying, “Josh you say, if the banks charge me money for holding my money then why don’t I just take my money out and put my money somewhere else that cares about my money, like a money station, or some sort of money depository?” Unfortunately I have to tell you gentle readers about a truth so deadly that I have to highlight it in all caps: WHATEVER YOU DO DON’T EVER LEAVE YOUR BANK EVER UPON PENALTY OF DEATH, OR HIGH INTEREST RATES WILL BEFALL YOU!


Honestly, if you notice that you are paying like 20 bucks a month at your bank for God knows what reason, and the bank next door offers you no fees and 50 dollars just for the privilege of holding onto your money for 3 months, what do you think you would do? Exactly, and so that’s what I tried to do, and unfortunately I calmly explained all this to my branch manager. This was my big mistake, and in fact I’ll quote the beginning of our conversation.


Me: I’m thinking about leaving your bank because of the fees you’ve been charging me, to go to the bank next door where they will charge me no fees and give me 50 dollars.


Branch Manager: I think you’re making a big mistake.


After that he tried to con me into staying at his bank for about fifteen minutes, all the while patiently explaining to me while the employees and the owners of the bank next door were all scum and would offer me poor service compared to his high quality bank, and how they would end up charging me before long. After that I politely pointed out that his bank was already charging me, and he explained to me that it was my fault for not getting it “straightened out” earlier. Then he told me that he was going to be “very flat footed with me” and went on to explain to me how even if he didn’t work at the bank that he was working at, there was no way that he would do his banking anywhere else except for (coincidentally) in the very bank that we were sitting in.


Later, I looked up the word flat-footed on and discovered that it meant

  1. Of or afflicted with flatfoot.
    1. Steady on the feet.
    2. Informal. Without reservation; forthright: a flat-footed refusal.

Not knowing a great deal about this bank manager, I am unsure whether or not he has flatfeet (but he was definitely starting to feel like a heel), and not having challenged him to a leaning contest, I am unsure if he is steady on his feet or not, so I can only assume that he meant he was going to be informal with me. Honestly, I’m very glad he told me, because I don’t think I would have been prepared for it otherwise.


It was at this point that I began to feel like a very evil man. I told him this and he just laughed and said, “a lot of people feel that way, but don’t worry, I’ll check into getting rid of those fees for you.”


The conversation was obviously going nowhere at a particularly blinding rate of speed until he did something that bank managers just don’t like to do – he made an effort to help by looking up banking plans on the internet. For a minute he almost fooled me into thinking he could get me free checking with a student plan, but it turned out that I was too old to fit their corporate definition of a student. After a long moments pause, while giving me a sad face akin to a fat kid staring at an empty vending machine, he collected himself and said, “I’ll begin closing out your account for you.” Then he proceeded to do just what I had tried to avoid doing when I entered the bank -  he told the bank tellers up front that I was leaving their wonderful bank and their free lollipops behind. Naturally they all turned and gave me a look like they just found out that I shot their daughter’s cat. Not having a bag to hide under, I twiddled my thumbs and looked at the bank manager’s desk to see if I could find out any secret bank secrets. Unfortunately I did not, but I made out with a really cool pencil.


Eventually the manager returned from his dreadful ordeal up front and returned with some forms for me to sign. As he told me where to sign, all color was lost from his voice – this man no longer acted like he wanted to be friends with me, or that he was remotely interested in anything else I had to say. He looked crushed. He looked like I had just personally ended the Jerry’s Kids foundation. He looked like I had told the March of Dimes to “cut out all that racket”, and take their marching somewhere else.


I was feeling very low indeed when he handed me a slip and told me to take it up front and get the money from my account. As I walked up to the front of the bank, I thought for a minute about how much I was going to miss seeing those bank tellers every week. No longer would they be able to ask me about how things were going. No longer would I be able to tell them that things were fine and that they should join my website. No longer would they graciously accept my card and conveniently forget to visit my site. No, from now on it was strictly business; the thrill was truly gone.


Me: I’d like to get my money please


All Three Bank Tellers in Unison: I think you’re making a big mistake.


Bank Teller #1: Those people next door, they’re bad news.


Bank Teller #2: Why are you leaving us Josh?


Bank Teller #3: What did we ever do to you?


Bank Teller #1: Seriously I mean.


After signing for my money, I immediately looked around for the nearest paper bag to hide my head in shame in, and then in a blatant show of defiance I took one last lollipop.


Me: I think I’ll have the butterscotch today ladies.


Their icy cold stares could have melted butter.


Later that month, I had to drive there to drop off a car payment, and I wore sunglasses at the drive-in to disguise myself, but the checkout girl still said with a sigh, “Here’s your receipt JOSHUA.” It felt like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry leaves his old barber he’s been going to for twenty years, then comes back a few weeks later. “So you wanna get your hair cut now do ya?”


Dang, that feels like the ending of this episode and I hate to end on a quote from Seinfeld. So, in conclusion, now I do my banking through the ATM machine at my new bank, and I would kill for a lollipop right about now.