On Saturday, my parents sent my family a great big package from Colorado, filled with little love-you gifts, including a bunch of candy and a check for $50. It was lovely tearing into that box like Christmas-come-early...I can't remember the last time I had that much fun diving into cardboard and bubble wrap.
The check was the biggest surprise of all, and most welcome during this time when the mainstream print and broadcast media is doing their earnest best to assure everyone that it is impossible to get loans for cars or houses, so naturally people have been staying away in droves from the automobile dealership where my husband works as a salesman. Naturally, the mainstream media is wrong, as it usually is, but how do you convince people of that when all their attention is focused on the fact that balance on their 401(k) now resembles the sum of a third grade arithmetic problem?
Anyway, I pulled up to the drive-thru of a local branch of my parents' bank today to cash the check, in the pleasant anticipation of becoming fifty dollars richer. I planned to turn that anticipation into bread, milk, eggs, meat and breakfast food for the coming week directly thereafter, so I did what I expected would need to be done and sent my photo ID through the little suction tube to the teller indoors with the endorsed check wrapped around it.
"Ms. McKinney?" the teller asked as soon as she opened the tube and looked at the check -- and I'm sure it was just the fact that it was Monday morning rather than the fact that her parents had never had her adenoids removed that made her voice sound so nasally and grating, poor girl -- "if you want me to cash this check, you'll have to come in to have your thumb print taken, plus we charge a three dollar fee for cashing checks for people who don't have accounts here."
I looked at her incredulously and said, "But this check is drawn on this bank!"
"I know that," she responded. "But that's our policy."
It took just about everything I had in order not to say, "Well, you know what, missy? That policy SUCKS SWAMP WATER." The most maddening thing was that I had driven by the branch of our own bank and come to this one, farther away, because I thought it would be best to come to the actual bank where my parents have their account.
And I don't know about this thumb print thing. Is that a standard banking practice? If it is, I think it's creepy and weird. If they have my photo ID, which, sadly, depicts me in an all-too-factual manner, then that ought to be enough, right? Why do they need my thumbprint like cashing a fifty dollar check from my mom is some kind of financial fraud?
Ooohhhh, I am really grumpy today. Please excuse.
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