Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I hate banks. They are evil. They are creepy, slimy and corrupt.

And somehow, we all buy into them. Imagine an honest sales pitch from a bank to an average account holder:

Bank: Hey, give me your money. I'll hold on to it *wink* and you only have to pay me small fees from time to time. I'll invest it and make a shit-tons of extra cash.
Customer: So, you'll pay me some of that cash right?
Bank: Uh... well, I'll give you a ridiculously low interest rate on it, which won't even come close to 1% of the rate of inflation, so really you'll lose a lot of money in the long run... but hey! WTF else are you going to do with all that money? You've got to put it somewhere!
Customer: Hmmm... you have a point there. I know nothing about investing and I'm not really good with financial planning... I guess I'll just bend over and you can do whatever you want to my ass.

If only the world were so honest...

So, today, I'm at the bank depositing my paycheck, which happens on the rare occasion that the CEO forgets to turn in payroll on time and writes everyone checks instead of waiting for direct deposit. Ah, the joys of a startup...

The teller gestures me over and I hand him the slip and check.

"Just a deposit." I say. Confident, certain, period.

"Ok, nice weekend?" He ventures a rapport builder from the books.

"Yeah, it was good." I never understood small talk with tellers. I don't know this guy and nothing against him but I don't really want to talk to him. Although, it can be a good social engineering experiment from time to time. You can get good info from a teller about bank life and whatnot. It's good for ninja recon. But I just ran down from my office to deliver this check and I'm eager to get back to writing code. Ah, the life of a geek ninja... So I keep my answers brief and curt, but not rudely so.

"Oh! Is this a payroll check?" He asks.

"Um... yeah." I reply, as if it matters.

"Well, you know, I'm seeing here, with balances like this, you can upgrade your account for free and get free checks and a bunch of other goodies." He calls over another teller.

"Yeah, I think someone already pitched that to me. It's the one where I have to open a savings account and transfer a minimum of 75-bucks a month into savings and it pays like a retarded interest rate...?"

"Uh... yeah..." He smiles. He knows I'm onto him.

"Right. I just use this account as a holding bucket to transfer funds to other accounts where I can invest it and make real interest rates that beat the national rate of inflation. You might notice that I generally keep a balance of about $100 in that account." I nod.

"Oh..." He nods.

The bitch of it is that every time I go into the bank, they offer me a free savings account. I always turn them down for the same reason. You'd think they would catch on that I'm NEVER going to fall into their lame little savings account pit of despair and allow them to rape me with my own money. But they continue to prod and poke.

A woman walks over, obviously a higher ranking teller. She's here to help my teller. So, now I'm standing there as they tag team the difficult task of depositing my check into my account.

I stand and wait.

At times like this, where tellers stand puzzled at their computers, like they don't know QWERTY from Q-Bert, I look all around the bank. I case the joint. WTF else am I going to do standing there. They don't put up the comic strips or anything to read aside from saving account propaganda and that's only entertaining for so long.

"Someday, I'll save enough to fulfill my dream." This from smiling people in pictures, propping up slogans, like they actually believe the savings account at this bank is going to help them fulfill anything besides the corporate profit ledger.

Nobody else is even in the place. It's just after 11am on a Tuesday. I'm the only customer. There are three tellers, an account manager at a desk and a snoozing security guard. The vault is open and I can see all of the safety deposit boxes.

"Oh," the female teller starts. "So, this check is from Bank of America, so it will take a couple of days... We have to call them and it takes a little longer..."

"Uh... is that different from the 10 day waiting period you normally put on it?" I dart my eyes from side to side between the two tellers like they are playing ping-pong with lasers.

"Well, it might add a day or two..."

"OK, in that case just give it back." I wave my hand, palm up, gesturing that I want it back.

"What?" The tellers are both taken aback and the original one clutches onto my check like it's his lost baby.

"Give it back." I'm not fucking around anymore. "And get your fucking ass on the floor!" I whip out a shuriken and my ninja mask unfurls in a smoky glaze onto my face. My clothes turn black and I am Ninja! "And you!" I point to the other teller. "Increase the interest rate for all savings accounts to 3%, no... 15%! Now, bitch!" I'm shaking the shuriken like a shiv and I'm ready to pond-rock-skip it under the cash-drop window slot and into this bureaucratic pawn's unethical chest. She starts furiously rabbit punching the keyboard with her index fingers, hunting the letters like a rat on speed.

The male teller screams like a little girl and the guard is jarred awake from his free-coffee-and-donut infused siesta. With a dumb, befuddled look of amazement he draws his firearm and, rubbing his eyes with one hand, points the gun carelessly just to my left, at the teller. BANG! The bulletproof glass catches the bullet with a fat crack and a popping sound as it rips a line down the middle. I kick the rest of the safety glass in and reach through to pull the male teller out into the customer area in front of me.

The woman keeps hammering away at the keyboard and the manager's office suddenly erupts into a torrent of profit-loss ticker tape. It spills out into the main room in heaps and rivers, knocking the security guard over and wrapping him tight in a tangle of paper. Now we are all swimming in a beautiful streaming notice of short-sells on the banks stock, red numbers next to little profit stealing dashes. I'm clutching the teller's shirt shoulder as he's sinking into the thin stream of ticker paper. He screams, "Don't let go!" I squeeze tighter and the shirt rips. He's torn away from me by the force of ticker-tide, lost in a sea of white and red.

Profits drop to mere millions and customer accounts make cha-ching sounds in the distance. ATMs spew forth cash into the streets. I hear the hordes of the poor and oppressed singing the praise of Sleep Deprivation Ninja, the savior of our finances.

Bank customers line up outside, throwing rocks at the window of the establishment. The large glass cracks and paper waves rush the sidewalks, spilling us out into the street. I somersault three times on the heap, using the momentum of the crashing financial tsunami to carry me out into the open arms of the city.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja leaps onto the side of an adjacent skyscraper, bounces across the street to another, and another, and soon, vanishes from site of all the onlookers in a sea of financial anarchy.

Zecco Trading


steenky bee said...

Dude! I need you to come with me to return some items at Target. I want no hassels. Perhaps you wouldn't have been so quick to react if they would have offered you a toaster? Or at least a free sucker. Look at me. I suggested a ninja wouldn't be quick to react. What's wrong with me?

Captain Dumbass said...

As a former bank employee I can verify that they are all in league with Satan.

Anonymous said...

"3%, no... 15%! Now, bitch!"

Hah. Hahahah!

Mike said...

Why does everyone everywhere have to offer you some deal you don't want?

Do you want to supersize that?

No. That's why I didn't ask for it!

Do you want a membership card that will save you 10% on future purchases?

Still no. It has been no all forty times I've come in here and it will always be no!


Unknown said...

Companies need to realized that customer information tracking is only creepy if it's stuff NOT relating to the company. But they SHOULD keep track of every time you say "NO!"

Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to take my vast earnings out of my bank and send it to you. Do with it as you will. You've convinced me that my odds will be better sending it your way....

The teller's disappearance into the ticker tape reminded me of De Niro's death scene in Brazil.

Unknown said...

I did the math and it's actually a better investment to buy non-perishable food for the next two years than to put the equivalent money in an interest bearing bank account, even at 3% interest, which is what my GOOD bank gives me. Even at that rate of increase, with inflation, next year, your money will be worth less and the food will cost more.

Pam said...

i effin hate banks...right now it's a necessary evil.