Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

…they ALWAYS get in front of me…

{chortle!} Here’s my favorite conspiracy theory:

All of the morons of the world have a radar chip implanted in their brains. This chip is tuned into my car. Every time I get in the car and turn on the engine, a signal goes out to all the morons at once. It impels every one of them to drop what they’re doing, leap into their cars, and hurry out to get in front of me.

You think I jest?

No. It is objective truth: if there is a moron, it gets in front of me. Every moron in the world gets in front of me the minute my car rolls onto the road.

So. Late in the morning, I get around to transferring nine grand from the S-corp’s checking account to my personal checking account, pursuant to the scheme to pay off the onerous car loan.

Having driven over there just yesterday, I happen to know that Thunderbird Road, the main route to the credit union on the GDU West campus, is a frenetic, gawdawful mess, all dug up with road construction.

So I decide to range westerly on a main drag that runs several miles south of there. This is good. I’m driving along smoothly, nothing too wacky happens, and in fact it occurs to me to wonder…where on earth are all the morons?

Welp. I’ll tellya where the morons were: inside the credit union. That’s where.

When I prance in, there’s one (count her: 1) woman at the teller’s counter in front of me. There are only two people staffing the teller’s counter, but one of ’em isn’t doing anything that resembles customer service. Another teller is exiting through the employee door but, seeing me come in and recognizing me (we all know each other by now), she chirps, “We’ll be right with you.”

Oh, forlorn hope!

The woman in front of me, it develops, is trying to withdraw a large amount of money — let us say, many of thousands of dollars — in cash.

This transaction is so irregular that it gives our sweet young teller kittens. She’s moving forward with it, but it is clearly very hard to accomplish. She wrestles and she fences and she doughtily does battle. But it takes a long time. Finally she’s ready to fork over the stacks of cash.

The woman says, “I want to count it.”

At this point I and the three men who have stacked up behind me stifle our moans, but alas, we are audible. One of the guys — you have to hand this to him — is an artist at the Dramatic Sigh. One of his DS’s elicits another promise that “we’ll be right with you!”

By now, this is beginning to strike me as freaking hilarious: I should’ve known! 😀

The hapless teller gives the woman the “you-are-gonna-make-me-faint-dead-away” look. The manager, who by now has come in, seen what was up, and started to lurk, says “we’ll have to machine-count it.”

“OK,” says the moron. “Let me see.”

So they demonstrate the machine to her but inform her that nooo, she is not coming behind the counter.

As this part of the transaction proceeds, the manager says to the moron, agreeably enough, “You’ll be using this to buy a car?”

The moron gives her a blank look.

The manager explains that when someone withdraws such a large amount of cash from a credit-union account, they need to know what it will be used for.

The moron replies with something unintelligible, but clearly it’s a lot more polite than the response this would have elicited from moi, the Wicked Bitch of the West. I think she says something like “why do you ask?,” not “it’s none of your effing business.” Apparently she refrains from saying, “I’m investing in $70,000 worth of meth.”

Now the manager, put on the defensive, tries to explain that the nosy question is posed only out of concern for the customers’ well-being, given the plurality of scams out there. Note how neatly she refrains from saying “we may have to report this batsh!t transaction to the IRS”…

In fact, there’s a limit to how much you’re allowed to pay in cash for a single transaction. I forget what it is, but I learned this from ex-DH, who had a client who was trying to sell a large and fancy boat. Some guy came into the client’s store (he owned a small retail business) and offered to buy said schooner for ten grand, cash dollah.

No. Bad sheeple!

They beat around the bush a little, the woman offers a weak excuse, and the transaction continues.

Finally the young teller and her boss shovel the moron out the door.

A Dramatic Sigh of relief is heard from the line of customers.

I’m next, and I do nothing to make our excellent young woman’s life any better. I fork over the $9,000 check I’ve written on the corporate checking account and explain that the effing system will not let me deposit it to my personal account. What I expect is she will simply deposit it to checking.

She, however, being a creature with common sense but still being too young to understand that common sense no longer applies in our world, says sensibly, “I can just make this transfer.”

“That would be perfect,” I say, succumbing to the same illusion.

So now the poor kid tries to accomplish this. She struggles and she wrestles and she keyboards and she taps. Eventually the manager AND the non-customer-servicing teller emerge to try to help her. They all struggle.

More Dramatic Sighs waft heavenward from the customer line.

After some determined persistence, they succeed. God bless ’em! I am thrilled and very, very glad I did not persist in trying to make the transfer electronically, $4,000 on one day and then $5,000 on the next. (Just imagine the potential for fuck-up!) I fly out of the office, not waiting to eavesdrop on the next transaction but hoping that all Mr. Dramatic Sigh wanted was to extract enough cash to buy a Big Mac for lunch.

And thinking… “Thank you, God, for not making me work in customer service!”

Image: DepositPhotos

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Author: funny

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  1. hah! There is a similar 10k rule when moving money into or out of the US. The government sits up and takes notice when you are doing such a thing.

    A couple of years ago, I was transferring a large sum of money via wire transfer to my brother up in Canada – repaying monies he had loaned *me* (via my mother’s estate) for my house down payment. Given the amount, it made sense to chase the very best exchange rate we could find – which is *not* via my bank, Wells Fargo.

    There are a number of currency exchange companies out there, and you can set up an account easily and transfer funds with no service charge – they make their money on a small arbitrage between the exchange rate THEY get and the one they give YOU – but it’s still better than the bank rate.

    So I sign up with one such company, and go through the process to validate my account etc. Then I go to actually do the transfer, and the system balks – can’t do more than 10k without approval. So I call in to get approval – a nice young man says “oh no problem we just have to get some information” – and one of the questions is “why are you transferring this money out of the country”

    Me: um, none of your business?
    Him: well we have to put something down – is it to help family?
    Me: sure

    But the *next* question blew my mind –

    Him: And, what will your brother spend the money on?
    Me: I have no idea? It’s his money?
    Him: Well, we need to know? The government requires it?
    Me: He’s not an American citizen? Once the money leaves the country, it’s no longer associated with a US person? So…no?
    Him: You have to give us something?
    Me: Hookers and blow!

    He was, unamused. I ended up hanging up on the conversation.

    Found a different exchange company, this one based in Canada, who did not ask such intrusive questions! Transfer was made, and nobody had any concerns about why I was sending money out of the country, nor what it would be used for once it left.

    • Wow! Big Brother is watching you… And he doesn’t need Siri or Alexa or that little camera on your laptop to do it.

    • It’s not just transactions in/out of the country that generate a reporting requirement. The Bank Secrecy Act mandates a number of reporting requirements for financial institutions subject to US law under efforts to track money laundering. Any currency transaction $10k+ to/from/passing through a financial institution requires a currency transaction report. How big of a deal is this to the govt? That $10bn fine levied against Deutsche Bank was for lapses in their money laundering procedures

      • So I wonder what happens when a bank customer answers a question like “how are you going to use this foot-high stack of hundred-dollah bills” with a lie. The bank can argue that it acted in good faith by inquiring but had no way of extorting the truth from the perp. 😀

        I guess, though, that if you were laundering money you’d have some excuse on the tip of your tongue, wouldn’t you? “Why, yes: I’m paying the landscape dude in cash.” ???

      • I didn’t work specifically in AML, but from what I remember, if a financial institution has reason to believe the transaction or account are being used for illegal activity the FI is supposed to refuse the transaction and freeze the account. This obviously puts the FI in a precarious spot. Flagging an account/transaction will generate bad press/customer ire for locking a client out of an account. Not flagging a transaction/account that is later found to be connected to illegal activity will generate government fines, possibly restrictions on conducting future business, and bad press for supporting illegal activity.

  2. Oh, wowzers! Soooo glad I’m kinda sorta poor right now. ;o)

  3. TOO FUNNY!….This type of thing actually happens quite often to me at my CU….which I assume is why they have chairs. When the “storm” starts in the line…I just have a seat and enjoy the show.
    Couple of things different at my CU….First they can not give you cash….you can/must get it from the ATM outside the branch. Otherwise it can be in travelers checks or check. AND anything over $10K transferred of withdrawn is reported….AND numerous transactions just below that threshold are reported as well.
    The CU has a lot of benefits BUT in this neck of the woods has quite a few “quirks” that drive me up the wall. Congrats on being “debt-free” once more!

    • Not give you cash? That would make me bonkers. I don’t like using ATMs, first because they’re subject to the usual old-lady-induced computer frustrations and second because anybody can be standing around out there watching you and waiting to grab your purse.

      As others have pointed out, there’s an intrusive reporting requirement. That’s not the bank’s fault, though: that’s a gummint thing.

      The only quirk that’s really crazy-making here is that they just don’t have enough branches. The CU in question is at the university campus where I used to work, which is a bit of a drive from my house. There’s a Costco up in that direction, and so I will combine errands when I have to make a run on the CU. But sometimes it really is a nuisance. They used to have a branch right up the road — almost within walking distance, if our area were safer to walk in. But they closed it without explanation.

      Otherwise, their customer service and their overall policies are as day vs night when compared with the local banks. I’ll never do business with a bank again.

  4. I’m with you on never using a Bank again….I’m juuussst about ready to close my last bank account that I have had since 1978…This account has went thru many mergers and policy changes yet the number and most of it’s benefits have remained. What is bad is the once a week…EVERY week… call from said Bank wanting to know what services they can provide to me….for a fee. You’d think after almost 40 years with the same account number that I would need to be left alone.
    And ….Yup…Our CU may not hand you cash by way of teller BUT the customer may walk the 50 feet outside the building to the ATM on the building and get cash. Pretty sure this is for our state as the “bank lobby” has a strong presence and freaks out about CU’s. In this neck of the woods there is no better place to get a car loan …new …or used. The thing that really pushes my buttons is the number of checks I was allowed to write per month and how they were counted by some “enforcer” at the head office. BUT my “new best friend” a smart teller at my branch… hearing my complaints…researched and found that I was ENTITLED to an account WITH unlimited check writing AND free UNLIMITED checks on top of it. Haven’t heard from the “enforcer” since….

    • Yeah, our CU — or maybe it was one of the banks — had a tiered checking account system like that. Seems to me that was a bank trick hereabouts.

      I hardly ever write checks anymore. Will write one, once a month, to Gerardo because it’s a nuisance to rustle up $80 in cash, but otherwise, I charge everything and pay with a single electronic payment each month. This works as long as you never miss a payment…obviously, if you lapse on a deadline you’re going to get an interest gouge, and if you don’t pay faithfully, you run the risk of sinking up to your nose in credit-card debt.