I have a part-time job that pays for my family’s groceries and gas money and the odd mad moment of shopping abandonment via the clearance racks. I’m basically pulling in minimum wage but I like what I do, I can work around my kids’ school schedules and I like being able to feed my family. (Call me crazy, right?) Since my income has to stretch just a wee bit further than it can, I went to a “paying cash” mode years ago…actually counting out the green stuff really helps a person know where their dollar is going. Also, I have found that certain forms of currency spend easier than others. Twenties, for example. (Of course, if I were truly fiscally responsible, it wouldn’t go to Burgerville nearly so often. But at least I only give my kids “good” fast-food. Oh yeah, it’s good, all right.) Anyhoo, since 90% of the time I have at least one kiddo in the car with me, and since 100% of my kiddos still have to sit in booster or car seats, I avoid taking my kids into establishments if at all possible. Hence, the bank’s drive-up teller is my friend. Well, all except for one of them.
My local bank is awesome and I don’t want this rant to be construed as anything but a wee little blowing off of steam. Because, obviously, if it were too great of an issue I’d either haul my hiney into the bank or complain or what have you. So let’s be clear. It’s Monday morning. Labor Day actually, and I’m only a few sips into my first cup of coffee so I’m a bit more cranky than usual.
Let’s for sake of the illustration, say my lovely paycheck is for $527 buckaroos. So every two weeks I take my paycheck, two forms of identification and drive my harried self to the bank. Sometimes I get the teller who calls me “sweetheart” and always slips an extra sucker in the drawer for me. Other times I get the lead teller who always asks about my next show and how the comedy world is treating me. (I’ve banked here for almost seven years – they know me!) You get the picture, right?
But sometimes I get, Myrtle. Yes, I will call her Myrtle to pay homage to Moaning Myrtle of Harry Potter fame. They have much in common, aside from living in a toilet. (Okay, they have nothing in common, I just wanted to use the name Myrtle.) When Myrtle is my teller, it goes something like this:
Me: “Good morning! I’d like to cash this please. May I have $200 in $50s and the rest in $20s?”
Myrtle: “Oh sure thing. I’d be happy to do that for you. How are you today? Good? Good. Let me go get that for you and I’ll be right back.”
Me: Change radio station. Check email and voicemail. Tap fingernails on steering wheel as time passes.
Myrtle: “Okay ma’am. I’ve got your money right here. Now don’t you forget to count it yourself. Just to be sure.” (Slides rather fat closed bank envelope into the drawer and waves good-bye.”
Me: Drive thru and park. Open envelope to remove two forms of identification. Counts money. One $50, twenty-one $20s, and seven $1s.
Same story every paycheck but for one thing: no matter how I ask for my cash, it never comes back to me that way if Myrtle is my teller. Sometimes Myrtle even double checks with me, “Now you said $200 in 50s, right?” but the envelope’s contents will include three 50s in it that time. Whatever, you get the picture.
Last week, I ask Myrtle for $200 in 50s just like usual. The envelope looked suspiciously thin when she slid it into the drawer with her standard request for me to count it “just to be sure”. Yep, you guessed it. Five $100s, two $10s,one $5 and two $1s.
Rather than complain, I’ve turned it into a game. The kids guess what flavor of sucker they’ll get, I guess just what Myrtle is going to put in my bank envelope this time. I look forward to it almost as much as the new milkshake flavor at Burgerville. Right now it’s blackberry. Yum.