Sunday, February 27, 2011

Grown-up things I hate doing

This was going to be a list, but I think it will be a series, a series I return to every time a new topic/story comes to mind. Also, I'm aware that it might seem like a ripoff of this, and that probably was my inspiration. Also, you should read it, because it's hilarious. (I don't know why I wrote that. I hate when people say anything to me that begins with, "You should." So what I mean is, I highly recommend you read it - it is way more fun than most things people will tell you that "you should" do.) It's quite possible that the linked blog post gave me permission to verbalize that I hate going to the bank. So, Grown-up Things I Hate Doing #1 is dedicated to Going to the Bank. I really hate going to the bank.
Now, you might say, "But why, Sarah? Why? You love money!" And you would be correct. I do love money. I suppose I do like watching the numbers on my account statements rise. I like watching my balances due turn to "0" as I pay everything off in full.
I just attempted to draft some sentences on why I hate going to the bank, detailing the process of removing pay stubs from paychecks and signing the backs of checks, looking up my account number in my phone under the fake name the way the nice teller cleverly told me to store the number so I'd stop forgetting it, filling out the deposit slip with the pen-on-a-leash, but you know what? There is nothing wrong with this process. There is nothing logical about my hatred of going to the bank. The only logical thing I can tell you is that it's really stupid that Chase Bank makes you list ONE check on the front and all the rest on the back. It's also stupid that some branches (I'm looking at YOU, 39th and Hawthorne) don't have calculators at the deposit-slip-filling-out station (I don't even know what it's called!) so you have to do all this math in your head and then when it's wrong, you have to INITIAL the correction when the teller hands the slip back to you! Oh, the indignity!
Also, since I moved out of my third Portland home, there hasn't been a Chase bank conveniently located near anything I drive past when I'm going to work or running errands. I always have to go out of my way to get there.
Still, why this of all Grown-up Things is the one I Hate Doing is not really clear. But the result of all this is that I will walk around for a whole month carrying around month-old checks. I know that the check will clear; therefore I feel like I already have the money even if it's not "official." Finally, on Friday, I visited a friend who lives near a Chase bank and was able to fit the hated bank visit into my schedule. I planned to stop on the way to her house.
But then I remembered! To get to the bank on the way to my friend's house, I would have to make a left turn into the parking lot. I hate making a left turn across that street! I hate making a left turn into that bank! I hate that bank's parking lot! (It is a very small parking lot that is difficult to navigate when it's full, but plenty of errands take me to worse parking lots, and this does not detract from my enjoyment of those errands. I'm looking at you, Seven Corners New Seasons!) I hate going to the bank!
So I got to my friend's house a bit early, and told her that I would go to the bank on my way home from her house so that I could make a right turn into the parking lot. I confessed to her my hatred of going to the bank. She admitted that she, too, hates going to the bank.
Later that afternoon, I stopped at the bank. I parked in the tiny lot without incident. I did not have to squeeze in next to a truck and subsequently have to climb over the parking brake to exit on the passenger side. (A common occurrence as my car has really large doors. This mostly happens in parking lots with narrow spaces. I'm looking at you again, Seven Corners New Seasons!!!!!) With a sigh, I gathered up my checks, making sure I had all of them, making sure they were all signed, making sure none of them were actually stubs separated from their checks, and walked in.
A man was stationed at one side of the deposit-slip-filling-out counter. He appeared to be completely nuts. Seeing nowhere else to fill out my deposit slip and seeing that no one else in the bank seemed particularly alarmed by his presence, so I walked over to the other side of the counter and tried to avoid making eye contact with the man. His face was stubbly and his hair was disheveled under a knit beanie, but that look merely places a man on the line between "homeless" and "rugged homeless chic" (especially in Portland, where many men walk that line. One time I ran away from a guy outside of Fred Meyer who I thought was holding a cardboard sign asking for money, and it turned out it was just his grocery bag.) What tipped me off was that he had completely taken over his side of the counter with stuff, and was continuing to pull stuff out of his pockets, laying it all out on the counter where he could view it all at once, near a scribbled-upon deposit slip. He appeared to have no checks. The only money he had was some change, and I imagine that merely came from his pocket. It was the muttering that got to me, though.
All I wanted was to fill out my deposit slip as quickly as possible, but the muttering distracted me. It sounded displeased, and as it crescendoed to angry, I became so agitated that I filled out my deposit slip wrong and had to start over. While I was beginning my second slip, the man stomped away from the counter (leaving his possessions still on display) to mutter some questions, which I didn't hear, at a teller. I saw the teller shake his head and respond politely in the negative. The man stomped back to the counter, and I could make out some of his muttering.
"Stupid shit you weigh like seven thousand tons what are you doing in my pocket? You're just a receipt! 'Ask at the register about your senior discount' it says, well! I'M NOT FIFTY-FIVE OR OLDER!" he shouted.
I finished my slip, walked up to the teller, deposited my checks, and hurried out of the store as quickly as possible. I got into my car and backed out of the tiny spot without incident. I did not back into any pedestrians or bicyclists using the parking lot as a shortcut. I made my right turn back onto the road home. That's when I saw him.
Walking away from the bank on the sidewalk was the Muttering Man. He was fiddling with a bunch of small items, putting them in his pockets. One item in particular caught the sun and my eye; his bank card. He was in fact a legitimate customer of that bank.

4 comments:

LS said...

Hmmm, you can't mail in your checks in Oregon? You have to go to the bank to do it???

Sarah said...

When I saw this comment I was mystified. I have NEVER heard of this before! Then I tried to find the address on Chase's website, and it's not there, so I wonder if they're not encouraging that. I will call and ask, however, because if I can do that, I will NEVER HAVE TO GO TO THE BANK AGAIN. Out here most stores let you use your debit card and get cash back (which I never see as an option in NJ, only with checks) so I won't even need to go to the bank to get cash.

Sarah said...

When I saw this comment I was mystified. I have NEVER heard of this before! Then I tried to find the address on Chase's website, and it's not there, so I wonder if they're not encouraging that. I will call and ask, however, because if I can do that, I will NEVER HAVE TO GO TO THE BANK AGAIN. Out here most stores let you use your debit card and get cash back (which I never see as an option in NJ, only with checks) so I won't even need to go to the bank to get cash.

LS said...

Well, in fantastic New Jersey I mail all my checks to the credit union. My husband doesn't trust the mail and deposits his in person at the little local bank. I know for sure that you can just drop them in the ATM thing at the bank too, so you don't have to talk to one person at all... Or just get an internet bank, like ING or something. :) See, lots of solutions!