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The Joys of Banking

This morning I went to the bank, deposited checks and was told that the bank’s computers were down and they would be back online in thirty minutes.  Because their computers were down for the next thirty minutes, I bought my vegetables at Fresh Foods using a check, went home, and basically just killed some time online for about an hour, just to make sure that 90 minutes gave the bank enough of a window to get their shit together.

Ah, sometimes I am too optimistic.

I paid bills online and then attempted to purchase something from Amazon that was little and cheap.  Amazon sent me a polite email saying they were having trouble with my payment method.

I called the bank.  Because here is the thing, even if I deposited money 2 hours ago, if their computers don’t realize it, they will charge me an overdraft of $27 per transaction.  This will anger me and I do not want to be angered.

I called, waited through the interminable menu options, because God forbid humans actually answer phones.

I spoke with someone about what was going on with my account.  Apparently, the teller’s “guess” of 30 minutes was wishful thinking.  I was unaware of this being wishful thinking.  SIU Credit Union, while being the best place in town to bank, is still God awful and I could certainly see them doing some sort of maintenance on their computers during banking hours.  I say this merely because they have proved to be rude, incompetent, or both in the years I have banked there.  Will and I have actually wondered over the past two years if they made it a new policy to hire people who were both incompetent (or just stupid – like “Holy crap can you FEED yourself?!” stupid) and rude, because things have gone downhill there so noticeably.  To be fair, their branch location on Giant City Road is actually decent, nice, and competent for the most part.  Really the rude, stupid people seem to be in the main branch in the center of town, which is sad as it is their MAIN branch which means when you call with problems, you get these winners.

I call and I am polite.  I always start off polite.  The woman tells me that the computers are still down and she does not know when they might be back up.  Looking at my account online, I know that if the bills I have paid (that cannot be canceled, as I did look to check) all hit my account without my checks being deposited, I will have some overdraft fees.  An overdraft that is my own accounting error is terribly annoying but my fault.  Overdraft fees because their system was down and their teller is STUPID is simply unacceptable.

I asked the woman if I will get charged overdraft fees – thoroughly explaining the situation.  She said that she did not know if there were overdraft fees on my account because their computers were down and without looking at my account she did not know as it would depend on what my account looked like..  I asked her if overdraft fees did happen to get attached to my account due to their computers being offline if they would be removed.  She said without looking at my account she did not know as it would depend on what my account looked like.  I asked her if there was someone else I could speak to who might actually know the answer to this question.  She said no because they assess overdraft fee removal on a case by case basis.  I said that considering the case here was that they did not have their computers online, told me they would be online in 30 minutes, so I paid bills 90 minutes later would they would be removed in THAT very specific case.

She said without looking at my account she did not know as it would depend on what my account looked like.

It is at this point, I become MORE polite.  My voice is dripping with sugary sweetness – something my husband recognizes as a warning signal – and I ask her again, that since I deposited a sum of money this morning, wouldn’t that mean that if the payments I made after the time of my deposit caused me to go into overdraft that the fees would be removed?

She said without looking at my account she did not know as it would depend on what my account looked like.

I asked her what exactly looking at my account would tell her regarding this issue.

She said without looking at my account she did not know as it would depend on what my account looked like.

I rephrased the question to: what factors in my account would determine whether or not I would have overdraft removed?

She finally gave an answer – I think she realized that I was happy to ask her this question until she understood it – and the answer is whether or not you had charges pending prior to the deposit being made that would have put you in an overdraft status.  Which is no answer at all unless they can retroactively time stamp the 8:30 am deposit I made prior to my 11 am paying of bills.  I asked her if she knew when the computers would be back online.  She did not.  I asked if she could possibly call me once they were back online and she said that they could not possibly call every single customer, which I understand.  The bitch part of me that HATES this woman and her non answers and her total lack of ability to explain the stupid ass policies at the bank wanted to say, “I didn’t ask you if you could call everyone, I asked you if you could call me, you useless wench.”  But I’ve worked at a bank, and retail, and I get that if she calls me when the computers get back online she is opening a cans of worms for herself where she has to call everyone.  However, since I found her to be rude and unhelpful and unsympathetic and stupid I did say, “That is ok.  I will just call back every hour and ask.”  Because won’t that be fun for her?

Will and I have the day off today, and Will was sitting through this conversation.  He said, “You know, I don’t really have anything to do today.  Next time you talk to her, I can take the phone.”  He hates the whole “Here is a pat response I am going to keep repeating even though it has nothing to do with your question” BS this woman was giving me.  A few years ago I put Will’s name on my checking account.  He doesn’t use it, but this way he has access to it and can deal with the bank being dicks – something we have to do with disturbing regularity.  I lose my temper, but Will can just be  dick right back and he has the patience to be a dick to them longer than they will be a dick to him.  SIU Credit Union should be afraid.  I am about to sic Will the Bold on their asses.  Bwahahaha!

I said to him, “You know what?  You can, too!  Your name is on my account!  Hah!  Best decision I ever made!”

He said, “Best decision, huh?  Even better than marrying me?”

“Ok, fine.  Second best decision.”


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