In recent news, I've closed an account (old WaMu turned Chase-Bankenstein - read: "Frankenstein") since they were set on charging me if I didn't direct deposit a certain amount or keep a large balance.
Hilarity ensued at the realization of the personal banker that I am not such a high roller on paper as I believe I am in my head.
I walk into the bank during low volume hours. I was going to take all of my two-digit-and-change dollars out and before I could reveal my name, bank account number or balance, the personal banker took great pains to inquire as to why and how come and how could I possibly operate without a bank. I was not in the mood to discuss my personal banking and even got mildly annoyed when he inquired as to which other bank(s) I am using. I guess I look young or inexperienced since he didn't think I had heard of, let alone bank at, other banks.
I bristled at his question and told him I'd really rather not say. Thinking all the while, "Pshaw, I'm leaving your bank, dude. No exit interview needed for this chick." He responded to my secretive nature by stating that "the entire banking industry is changing and due to laws enacted last year, no banks will have free checking." Um, WHAT?!? It was difficult to keep my tongue from giving him a swift lashing.
Here's my issue with his statement: the entire industry of banks wrote mortgages they knew were risky, then when these high risk loans came back to bite them, they (and their exec boards) were BAILED OUT by the government (read = taxpayers). Now this clown wants to blame the laws that the government imposed to keep banks on the up-and-up on the fact that they're charging account-holders fees. Excuse me, Mr. Banker - your firm lost money due to irresponsible lending practices and your balance sheet hasn't added up over the last couple years. You're trying to up your revenue and decide to charge the people who give you their money. That's not the law's fault. That's your fault.
Upon holding my tongue and keeping my attitude in check, I also thought about the fact that taking over WaMu with all of its freeloading (or non-fee-loading) customers with inactive or low-balance accounts was no feather in Chase's cap. Cutting us all free, much like credit card companies did a few years back, is the logical choice when a sinking ship needs to throw something overboard. Just like then, I am an unattractive customer.
Back to the action-packed visit: After looking up my meager account, things became routine and he proceeded to cash me out and even handed over his business card "in case he could ever help with anything." Nice gesture, but as he reached over, I caught his name tag on his lapel which happened to be the same as a regular Joe recently found to be a killer. "Um, no thanks, man," I thought but saved both of us the embarrassment of recounting how people may react at his poor name.
"There *was* nothing wrong with it... until I was about twelve years old and that no-talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammys." - Office Space
Walking out, I thought about how proud my Grandpa would be. I once accompanied him into a bank that was trying to set balance limits on his accounts. Of course, he had much more dough that I was extracting from Chase-enstein, but I am sure he was proud of me nonetheless. Professionally and diplomatically, his exact words to the teller that day were, "You're not going to tell me what to do with my money." Walking out with the cash that day, he told my little middle-school brain that cash is king and what you've earned and saved will always be yours.
I only wish now that I had him write that down and laminate it for times in the future when I would need it.
Named-after-a-killer-man did not know how to handle my attitude. I can only assume he'd know how to handle a note from Grandpa.