Yesterday I rolled into Wells Fargo, where I have a checking account, to deposit my paycheck. I’m averse to using the drive-up window (because I’m never first in line and always behind the 700-year-old nutcase who can’t understand many of the several basic laws of banking) or the ATM (“According to our records, Mr, Dungsroman, you never made a deposit.”), so I go inside and do it the hard way. I need to see someone physically deposit my check into my account and as long as there are 2 or more tellers and not a line to the front door, the 700-year-old will only mildly hold up the proceedings.
I have a general rule for dealing with pretty much every single person on the planet when I am their customer: get through it with a minimum of fuss. Nobody wants to wait in line, and nobody behind you in line cares in what manner the business in question is doing to piss you off. Just move the fuck along, Pally.
But, you know, there are motherfucking limits.
Anyway, I amble up to the cute li’l teller girl, a smiley-face chickie in her 20’s, her oven bulging with a bun in it. Awww. They gave her a stool to sit in, poor girl. I sign my check and hand it over with the Deposit Slip, already filled out with a request for 100 bucks cash back on the transaction. Hey man, holiday weekend’s coming up, you know?
Anyhoo, my check’s some quantity of thousands of dollars - I’m not trying to brag or whatever, this is important and vital to the plot! I only get paid once a month, the full gross amount because I’m technically an independent contractor. And every month, it’s the same retarded-ass deal with these Wells Fargo clowns: the teller has to call for TELLER ASSISTANCE! for the Teller’s Assistant, to hit some keys on her keyboard and oversee the deposit. Or whatever the Hell they’re doing back there, I don’t care. And then they have to inform me once again that my check will be on hold for 48 hours. Why? GOOD FUCKING QUESTION OLD SON LISTEN ON.
15 minutes and 3 calls for TELLER ASSISTANCE later the TA comes over, a sourpussed Filipino broad. She impatiently whacks on some keys. The teller goes to hand me my 5 Jacksons but A-B-C, 1-2-3 the TA literally grabs her hand and tells her to stop. She mumbles something in her peanut butter accent about my check regarding holds. So, once again my check is going on a 48-hour hold and for some reason there’s concernover giving me 100 bucks cash, even though my account is clean and my balance is…well, it’s high enough to cover a single fucking Franklin, at any rate. Being contractor and getting paid gross, I have to put a portion of every check aside for taxes. I broke roughly even on taxes last year, so there wasn’t even a dip last April.
Regardless of any of that shit, it’s the motherfucking law (or, at worst, WF policy) that if you cash a check at your bank and they toss a hold down on it, they gotta give you up to and including 100 bucks right there if you want it. I learned about that last year when I first deposited a month’s pay at ze bank and foolishly tried to cash back 2 hundy. I had to ATM the other hundred outside. Back then and now, y’see, I had plenty of scratch in my account. The law sez I gets a hundred no matter what. Soooo, WTF with the hand on the other girl’s hand there, bitch?
“Mmmm.” That’s the sound I make when I express consternation. “Is there a problem?” I’m like so ready to drop The Law on this lady. "The check is being held, right? As usual? "I chuckle.
Sourpuss replies. “Yes, it must be held for 48 hours. You can go cash it at Bank of America (where the account it came from is) if you want.”
You mean, like right now? Will you save my place in line? “That’s okay - one trip to the bank a day is about all I can stand.”
Apparently, “That’s okay” is a cue to further ramble on about the idiot policies the coke-huffing morons that run WF came up with. “We have to hold checks of these high amounts for 48 hours.”
She’s repeating herself. She’s stuck in a recursive loop of circular middle management policy-based logic. I still don’t particularly care - yet - but that whole business of telling me to go cash it at BofA if I don’t like it was itching me a bit. They always tell you not to scratch. I scratched.
“You know, I’ve been making deposits for almost a year now in that amount. Same checks, from the same account. They’ve never bounced nor has there ever been a problem with them. Why do they still have to be held for 48 hours?”
What’s my mistake? I thought the bank didn’t trust the source of the checks. Silly, it’s me they don’t trust. Watch the logic failure, kids:
“Because you don’t usually have a high enough balance in your account.”
Huh? My paycheck goes on hold because of my balance? I was expecting some bullshit policy about any check over such-and-suchh amount goes on a mandatory 48-hour hold for anyone. Now suddenly it’s like fucking personal. She just shot that one right out there in front of the entire bank, incidentally. There was a geek training off the teller next door. He looked over.
“Right now? Excuse me but, the Hell I don’t.”
Keep watching: “Not right now, no. But your account does not have a high enough balance over time - it’s only a couple thousand or so, usually.”
I swear on my penis I said this, just as it was occurring to me: “Are you telling me you guys put my checks on hold every month because I spend the money I make and not save it all?” The trainee geek chuckled; I had done my level best to make it come off as a light-hearted Man these crazy rules they make you guys enforce, huh? aside. Is everyone saving all their money and I missed it?
“You don’t have any other accounts here.” You broke-dick loser, she wanted to add but didn’t. She was insinuating that the paltry thousand I had as an ending balance 6 months ago was clearly all the money I had to my name. I mean, how could any bank possibly trust a shiftless bum like me? Sooner or later, I was bound to try to cash a rubber check. Even and especially if it was from the exact same place I had gotten all the other legitimate checks.
I’m left with little else at this point but to leap over the counter and defenestrate her, ask for her manager and really drag this shit out, or recite Nirvana lyrics. “Whatever. Never mind.” I was just wanting to get this the fuck over with. It’s Big Business, Bill. You can’t fight City Hall.
“You can cash this at Bank of America if you want.” Am I going crazy? No, I’m not. I am going to DefCon 4, though.
“What. Is. Your. Name?”
“Get your manager.”
“He isn’t here.”
“Then do my transaction and shut. Up.” I wanted to go into a concise and scathing lecture on condescendingly blathering my personal info out in front of several people who have no business knowing it, but I can’t because my head is starting to go SCREEEEEEEEEEEE and that’s when the Bill you know and love online spills out into the real world.
“There’s no need to be rude, sir!”
“There certainly isn’t, Ma’am.” She walked away. Apparently, the dour expression she wore on the way over was her Happy Face. The one she wore walking away could peel paint.
That poor li’l teller girl. "I’m sorry, " I say. “Thank you. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay.” Then, lower: “It’s happened before, y’know?” She glances at Mumbleita.
“Does your manager have a card? What’s his name?”
“Tom Chick. Here’s my card - it has the branch phone number on it.”
“Thank you. You were very nice to me. I’m very sorry.”
I slink out. I was going to go talk to Mumbleita again, but I figured she’d call security and he’d shoot me or something. I get home and ponder calling Mr. Chick. But, why? I’d have to drag the nice teller girl into this, it’d be he-said-she-said because personal info is always being bandied about at a bank window. And, of course, she was simply enforcing a fucking stupid, insulting policy her asshole Borg Entity bank corporation made up.
Anyway, I’m going to move my account somewhere else. Or, I’d like to, but they all suck. When I got this account, I was jumping ship from those BOFAgs, and it was Norwest. Then, while I was stuck in medical school, WF absorbed Norwest. I’ve been keeping it this long because I have a line of credit and stuff like this comes into play when calculating your credit score and history. Some of the small ones are better, but they’re small and have few branches. WF or BOFA will probably buy them out some day, anyway. Something big enough to be convenient but not so big that they alienate their customers with unfriendly business practices and uncaring employees. Suggestions?