Adult Realization #1: Banks suck.
This epiphany hit as soon as I found myself paying $10 for a piece of paper, right after spending $7 for another debt card and being told I couldn’t open a savings account without paying $300.
I’ll recap right before it gets interesting for time’s sake.
Jill vs. Capitalism: Take 1
“That bank check,” I told the teller, “Better be made of gold.”
The teller started to laugh.
“No?” I said, rearing back. “Well then, is God going to come down and personally hand it to me?”
Is it ironic that I recall my mother telling me just yesterday that I needed to assume the role of “Warrior Bitch?” It seems this was my big debut.
The teller, looking up from his computer and shifting in his chair, eyed me like I had brought a knife to a gun fight. Silly me for thinking the 99% could stand up for themselves.
“Ma’am,” he spat, the word in which you know that everything that comes after it is a sham. “You have to pay the fee because you don’t have a savings account with us.”
In other words, I wasn’t a premiere customer as my grandmother would say.
“That’s right, because you already charge me an arm and leg for everything else,” I said. “I buy hair clips made of more plastic than your debit cards at the dollar store!”
“That’s nice, ma’am,” the guy said, continuing to type. “I hope you don’t lose those too.”
Oh no, my mind swelled. He didn’t.
“Where do you get off charging people for trying to manage their money wisely?” I said, taking a step towards the counter. “Three hundred dollars to open a savings account? Better yet, how can you sit behind that counter and defend what your employer is doing to the public?”
“Ma’am,” he said. I was ready to punch him if he said it one more time. “I understand you trying to find a loophole in our system, I really do, but you can’t get the full benefits of the bank without a savings account. What I recommend is-”
“Sign me up,” I said, slamming my fist on the counter. “If I can get my check for free, sign me up.”
“Well, see, now the problem is that you have a direct deposit going into your savings account,” the teller said. Oh, there it is – the catch. “If you want to receive the perks of the bank, you have to have your direct deposit go into your checking account.”
“I don’t want it there,” I said, boiling over. “As you dutifully pointed out a minute ago, I sometimes happen to lose my debit card, of which I don’t want my full paycheck going to some scumbag on the street.”
“Well, our call-in system makes it easy to transfer funds,” he said.
“Every two weeks? That isn’t easy!” I said. “I set it up this way because it is convenient for me – the customer.”
“Well, how about a money market?” he said. “Our interest rates-”
“All interest rates are shit right now,” I said. The entire bank’s contents crippled with silence. “Let’s just be honest. Are you capable of that?”
“That is true, but with $________” – and yes, he said the number out loud for everyone to hear – “It’s significant enough.”
I bowed my face into my palm for a moment of silence.
Now all of New York City knows what I have in my account. Hopefully the Telephone Game doesn’t reach the ears of whoever is hoarding my debit card like Golem.
Through gritted teeth, I told him that he better write me the check so fast, it ignites in flames. He proceeded to write the wrong number and asked to charge me another $10 as if it was my fault. I had gotten so worked up by that time that a supervisor came over and generously decided to give me “the second check for free out of courtesy.”
Oh, thank you, I feel so special.
It seems life has been handing me blood-boiling scenario after scenario. The list of demons keeps growing: NYPD, brokers, and now banks.
If Occupy Wall Street ever occupies a bank, I will be the first one there with a flamethrower in hand, revolting Ms.-Bush-and-Tush style to make the headlines. I heard somewhere that sex sells. However, I’m scared to think of how they will screw me over in that scenario.