A couple weeks ago I pulled up to the bank to withdraw some cash from Chuck's account so he could finance my leisurely lunch with a girlfriend while he sat on a 4-hour conference call bored out of his mind, eating a Budget Gourmet. After all, that's why he works. Should have been quick. Minute or two MAX. I sat there. And sat there. And played with my phone (What did we used to do? Oh, right, organize our cassette carrying cases!) Finally, I said, "Is there a problem????" My mind immediately went back to the day our bank encoded the first four digits of our account #, instead of the check amount and our account was overdrawn $5000. I remember calling Chuck, saying "Do you have a girlfriend & what on EARTH did you buy her?" I digress. Anyway, that little experience has never left me and reasserts itself from time to time when the teller is taking forever, like today, and talking furiously with her co-workers and they're all coming over to help her as though she's a doctor who just spotted an extra kidney on my x-ray. "Well, sort of," she says. "'Da pen 'sploded in da tube and I'm trying to clean it up. It's all OVER da place!!! Specially your license!" So after an attempt to clean up my driver's license and get me the cash, she returns it (still completely covered in ink, so much so, that I could pass myself off for Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, should the need to do that ever arise) and I head for my lunch date. No big deal. Payback for the time I got all the way to Target and realized I had brought the bank's drive-thru tube with me..... That was experience #1.
Experience #2 happened Thursday night when I went to make a deposit in Chuck's account. Yes, Chuck is smart enough to have an account that I can't access easily, which is why we have a house and cars and a kid in private school. Otherwise, we'd just have a lot of cool shit ordered off the internet and we'd eat vienna sausages nightly. (The problem that the non-joint account presents will be evident later in this diatribe.) I pull up to the lane and there are three lanes, all with the bright green OPEN sign. So, since there are three cars each at two of them, I pull up to the third, which is empty. My first clue should have been the man in the pick-up truck in lane #1, who had completely shut his engine off. People, if you need to shut your engine off for a transaction, walk your ass inside and take care of things, please. It's one of Noelle's rules of life & you should OBEY. The first teller is completely occupied depositing this man's stack of checks that go back to July, at least. In lane #2, we have a woman, very made up and giving the impression of wealth but also projecting major unhappiness. At first, I'm not sure if it's with the teller or life in general but after many exchanges back and forth (that I can hear because I have rolled my window down in order to do so), I discern that perhaps her spouse has cut her off from all accounts. This is not going to be settled in a drive-thru & likely not for months in a court of law, but I feel like giving her the name of an attorney friend and asking her to get the hell out of the line. I finally get my turn and by now, let me say that I have listened to the first FIVE songs on Gary Allan's "Get Off On The Pain" CD. The irony of the title is not lost on me. I send my check through and NO KIDDING, I listen to THREE more songs before the teller comes on and says, "Do you know this Ryder Buttry, whose check you're depositing?" I explain that she's my daughter, under 18 and I cash her checks often. He eyes me suspiciously & tells me I have to sign her name under mine and he'll do it. Tube comes, I sign and after TWO more songs later (10 total, if you're keeping count), I get my receipt and head back home where my husband is waiting, having made it back from Memphis, TN before I made it back from a bank 7 blocks away. (Granted he had a head start.)
Experience #3 presented itself last night. Unless you're the type of person sitting home watching your dvd's of "The Dukes of Hazzard-Season 1", you probably know that Little Rock's new Anthropologie store opened yesterday. I had made plans to be there when the doors opened & meet up, once again, with my new friend, Megan. Time was of the essence! If I didn't get there at 10:00, SOMETHING might be out of stock by the time I arrived & I would have to live knowing that I didn't see EVERYTHING in that store. But first I needed cash because in addition to the need for Anthropologie stuff, I was almost completely out of gas. No problem. There's an Arvest on the way. That will be quick. What was I thinking? I pull up to the drive thru & put my money in the tube, along with a check & send it through. And I wait. Seems the account I'm withdrawing from is the one that Chuck has had the tuition, house and car payment withdrawn from so there's not much left in it. I need to access the other one because that's where the money is. Except it's the one that only has his name on it, which has never been a problem because we just transfer from it online and it doesn't know me from him, thank God. UNTIL NOW. Soooo, I tell the lady I'll be back and I drive across the street to the Shell station and gas up my truck with Chuck's credit card (because that's why he works, remember?), all the while accessing the Arvest app on my iPhone to transfer money. Back to the bank, I go. Except now they're busy, no doubt because Anthropologie is opening in TEN minutes and everyone is withdrawing cash. So I pick the one lane open, which is NOT the lane I had before. And this lane has one of those pneumatic tube systems, like our grocery store pharmacy, where you don't exactly put your stuff in a tube but in this open space and it closes and sucks it into the bank lobby. Or in my case, into oblivion. The teller comes over the speaker and says, "Maam, did you send it?" "Yes," I reply. "Are you SURE?" she says. "Positive, ma'am. The tube is closed & it made a giant sucking noise." The only reply I get is an "Ohhh." Then multiple tellers congregate around her tube like those people who congregate around the televisions in Wal-Mart when something big happens on the news. None of them appear to have a grasp on the situation.
Another lady comes over the speaker and says, "We're sorry, ma'am but your check and driver's license are somewhere up there," and she gestures toward the ceiling of the drive-thru lane & has a hopeful look in her eye like I might just say, "dag nabbit" and drive away peacefully. "Well," I say, "Someone's going to need to coax it down, I guess, because I need both cash & my license. And NOW I can't go to another bank branch because I don't have my license." And I wanted to add, "And do you realize Anthropologie opens in THREE minutes????" I sit and sit and finally do my needlepoint that I grab every time I leave the house just for situations like this. (I wasn't a boy Scout but my dad was an Eagle Scout so I guess the predisposition to "be prepared" passed to me genetically.) No amount of button pushing or tapping on the large receiving tube or negotiating with the rogue driver's license seems to be working so she asks me to come inside and she'll cash my check, "Even though you don't have your license". Really??? I DON'T HAVE IT BECAUSE IT'S STUCK IN THE INTRICATE PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM OF YOUR LOVELY, ARCHITECTURALLY-ATTRACTIVE BANK BRANCH!
So, I go inside, get my cash and leave for Anthropologie, which is now OPEN, people. RIGHT? WRONG! I tell her I transferred $800, via phone app, to the account I was withdrawing from and she says "No. The balance is still the same." I ask if iPhone transfers are automatic. "Yes," she says. I even bring up the transaction on my iPhone and show her and she thinks I didn't hit "submit" the final time, which is entirely possible, as I was also pumping gas at the time. "Let's just call your husband and get him to ok it over the phone," the teller says. At this point, I'm getting a little irritated, partly because Anthropologie is now open & Megan is buying everything in the store before I can get there & partly because the teller is named Persiffany & I'm thinking that can't be good in this situation. Or in any situation. Also, I'm thinking that Chuck may not take kindly to being interrupted in his meeting so that I can SHOP. But the situation is dire so I call. And he doesn't answer. And I text, and he doesn't respond. And I look at Persiffany & she knows this is the final look Ted Kaczynski had in his eye before he headed for the post office the last time.
So she calls in another teller, who appears to be a management level higher and is very apologetic and says, "Why don't I just take the money out of the other account and your husband can call me today & authorize the transfer & there won't be any fees?" Voila! But wait a minute......without my license, I have to drive the speed limit & obey traffic laws & I can't write any checks from my account that has only $90 in it & I'll be up shit creek if I'm carded trying to buy some Pabst Blue Ribbon, which I now NEED, after all this? What if I need an emergency MRI? I.D. REQUIRED, ma'am! "Oh, yeah," the teller says, "we'll have to call someone in to retrieve your license and we'll call you when it's done." I really have no other option, other than offering to crawl up in the tube and wind up like that kid who got stuck in the toy claw machine, so I head to Anthropologie, CAREFULLY obeying the speed limit & not running any red lights, though I'm tempted, because, you know, Megan is buying IT ALL.
At 3:00, as I was headed to pick up my son at school, the teller calls and says my ID has been talked down and will be waiting at their branch for me. I now have it back & made it through the day, not only without getting any speeding tickets, but also just in time to stop at the liquor store for some Pabst Blue Ribbon.