Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Which an Old Dog Learns New Tricks

I admit it,I am a bit of a banking dinosaur.

When people find out I don’t have direct deposit they usually freak out a little bit. HOW CAN YOU NOT HAVE IT? IT IS SO AWESOME!”. I am aware it’s awesome. But I like getting a live check, trotting next door to the bank it’s drawn on and cashing it so I can go home and draw a bath filled with dolla dolla bills and have a little monetary me time.

Ok the last part is not true but I seriously don’t have direct deposit and I seriously am fine not having it. Sometimes I just deposit the check via my ATM. Occasionally if I am just giving most of it to Adam to cover my share of the bills I just cash it. Sometimes I hold on to it for a week and then the next week when I do depsoit it, it is like a SUPER AWESOME week. In any case my point is despite the fact that not having direct deposit makes me a bit of a financial freak there is one thing that makes you even more of a freak to bank tellers and that is cashing a paycheck.

I am telling you, some of them barely know what to make of it since apparently so few people do it.

Before my work moved to this part of town last month, I went to one branch of the bank my paycheck is drawn on where everyone was LOVELY. So friendly, so efficient….they made the whole process so easy - in and out in less than a minute! Then my company moved and I now go to this other branch where the staff is decidedly less pleasant towards those who are not account holders.

Now, I am not looking for a red carpet or any kind of special treatment, I am just looking to cash the occasional paycheck without a hassle and without being interrogated about my life and vital statistics. For instance, today since it is so gross out and the ATM is so far away, I decided to go to the bank to cash my paycheck and I would just hit the ATM near my apartment on the way home.

First instead of being greeted with a "Hello there" or something I was told that I needed an account to cash the check. I pointed out that the check was drawn from one of their accounts and she relented, somewhat reluctantly. A moment later she gleefully looked up and announced I couldn’t cash the check because my signature on the back of the check didn’t match the signature on my license.

Are you kidding?

She said “I can't cash this check, the signature says "Ann Stewart” but the name on the check and on the license is Sarah Stewart”.

I explained to her that my name is Sarah, and that my handwriting is a bit messy. But seriously? If I were forging a signature - wouldn’t I at least write the actual name of the person whose name I was forging?

She looked crestfallen and went on record from my license my current address, my license number, the expiration date on my license and when she asked for my social security number I balked and said this seemed really uneccessary. I told her I had cashed a paycheck before at this bank and never had to give so much information. She kept tap tap tapping on her computer keyboard and then with the what seemed like a squeal of delight told me she couldn’t cash the check because there were insufficient funds. This was after she ran the check through her little machine and wrote all over the back. And I know for a fact there is no way the funds are insufficient so I asked her to check again, she said “There is no point, it will say the same thing!’. Deciding enough was enough, I asked for a manager.

“But he won’t tell you anything differently!”

“That’s fine.” I told her “Please get him for me anyway”. SO she grudgingly called him over and told him the situation. He looked at me and asked me what company I was with, I told him and he turned to the teller and said “Cash it”.

She tried to argue with him but he was insistent she cash it and he then apologized profusely for my wasted time and shot the teller a dirty look.


So a mere twenty five minutes after walking into the bank I walked out with my money and a gripping sense of rage mixed with sweet vindication. What did I learn from this ordeal?

That this bank sucks?

That the bank teller was a moron and I hate her?

No. I learned that I need fucking direct deposit. I can’t take any more of this!!


Amanda* said...

Dude, at least you have the OPTION of direct deposit.

When I take my paycheck to the bank next door they are all "why don't you just get direct deposit?" Yeah. I don't get it because my company only offers direct deposit to SALARIED employees and I'm one of the HOURLY losers. Boo.

LooLoo said...

Dude, it was until 2003 that I had hand written payroll check. Can you effin believe that? My bank had to put me in a special binder for "people like us" so that they would not consider it a personal check which would be held for 7 days!

Never mind direct depo for me, my paycheck from thurs is still in my wallet, I'm so lazy.

AnnaB said...

Ha ha ha! We are queens of speaking to the supervisor this week. BTW, your money bath imagery made me think of Scrooge McDuck. Ducktales, whoo-ooo

RED said...

My office doesn't offer direct deposit, so to the bank I trudge every other thursday. I actually kind of like it though, I go in, deposit my check, get my cash back in 50's (which you can't from the ATM and I love me some fifty dollar bills) go to starbucks for my "I just got paid lunch-time caffeine treat" and then it's back on the grind. I feel your pain though, when I do venture to a different location they run the check thru the little machine and ask about it being payroll or not, and my signature does not match my ID or my signature they have on file at the bank, so there is a little break-in with new tellers, you know! Good luck with the DD!

MarisaJosephine said...

i feel your pain
i do not have direct deposit through my work and it sucks. i have to go to the bank and deposit and yes i do what you do
and sometimes I have had the same situation as you at the bank

seriously banks can be a-hole

glad the manager was on your side!
so are we all!


A said...

I really can't believe Customer Service these days (as if I'm, like, old or something. But still).

There are so many people that get *so* excited that they get to tell you NO. Very retarded, I must say.

Sarah said...

omg red you are a girl after my own heart. i always have large bills! <3

Jewels said...

Obviuosly we are not alone. For the last year and a half, two differnet co.'s i've/do work for don't do direct deposit unless you are working in the "bush" ie. the middle of nowhere, Yukon Territory, Canada.

However, I'm a big fan of the direct deposit! All banking is done via the Interweb :)

san said...

ok, so don't take this personal, but people from germany [like me] actually think it is really backwards that they even do checks here anymore. we dropped checks years ago *lol*
[no offense... i have to admit that cashing a check - if you hit the right teller - can be a very good feeling ;)]

Kerry said...

first I too love direct deposit... but since I now only work part time I get checks in the mail. But second - could that teller be anymore of an dumb ass?!

Amy D said...

I feel your pain!! I cash my checks from my 2nd job at the same bank EVERY week...same bank, same tellers. SOOOOO why is it that EVERY week they ask me. If you had an account here, you could just deposit this. Would you like to open an account to make this easier?? will be a hell of a lot easier if you just give me my damn money!! I say no EVREY week!!! SO finally, a couple of weeks ago, I handed my chack and license and said.."and before you ask me, no, I do not want to open an account here, and no, I most likely never will, so can I just have my cash? Thanks!" with a big fake smile. They haven't aske me since. THERE!! :)