Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Joys of Banking

This morning, 48 hours before I depart for the beach for a week, I was alarmed to learn that my checking account at Wells Fargo had a balance of only $31. By my calculations, the number should have been many multiples of this paltry sum. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the overdraft protection feature of the account had been launched, whereby the deficient sum is summoned from my equity line in order to cover the overdraft. What fresh hell is this?..I thought. A few more clicks of my iPad revealed the problem...my bank had decided to draft my account for my mortgage payment...on two consecutive days. 

The conversation that I intend on having with my banker this morning could go two ways:

Possibility number 1

Clarise: Good Morning Mr. Dunnevant. What can I do for you this fine morning?

Me: Hello, Clarise. You are certainly looking well his morning. I was wondering if you could help me with a little snafu that I have discovered in my checking account. I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for it, but somehow my mortgage payment was drafted two days in a row. Since I was not expecting the second draft, the overdraft protocol was initiated, costing me $100 along with much embarrassment. Is there some way you can have this reversed and my account credited properly?

Possibility number 2

Clarise: Good morning Mr. Dunnevant. What can I do for you this fine morning?

Me: What can you do for me? What can you do for me????!!! I'll tell you what you can do for me...your bank can stop being the most incompetent enterprise in America, that's what you can do for me. Your bank can stop taking two mortgage payments out of my account when I have only authorized one, and then you can reverse this outrageous overdraft charge, then beg for my forebearance and thank me profusely for agreeing not to make a scene!!

I'm thinking that the real conversation will probably wind up being something in between...formalized politeness and bile-churning venom. When confronted with bank shenanigans I usually start as Dr. Jekyll, but withing five minutes get transformed into an enraged Mr. Hyde. This transformation stems from the arrogant position universally assumed by the banking class in matters of their own errors. It can't possibly be our mistake, Mr. Dunnevant, we have done studies and have discovered that 99.9% of these sort of conflicts are a result of customer error, that sort of thing.

But then, I set my jaw in that certain way that my children can recall with crystalline precision, that expression that possesses my face just before I launch into a withering takedown. My children referred to it as simply...the look. It gives off a certain vibe that suggests the possibility of madness, the very real chance that I might be capable of virtually anything. Of course, I am not a violent man...but sometimes it helps if other's don't know that.

By 9:30 this morning, the charges will be reversed. Hopefully, an apology will not be needed from me an hour later, when wracked with guilt by my performance, I will drive back over to the bank, flowers in hand, begging Clarise's forgiveness.