Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Going to the Bank=Running the Gauntlet

My company finally got Direct Deposit. 

That's this thing where they automatically put your paycheck into your checking account on payday instead of sending you a check that you have to take to the bank. (Actually, we used to use Chase Bank and then I could just take a picture of it with my phone and it would deposit it for me, but we left Chase and so we had to go back to the bank visits.)

Before I had a driver's license (and we weren't using Chase), Padawan always deposited my checks. Our bank was simply not within walking/biking distance. When he became a full time student, this became even better because he had no time restrictions on Fridays (the day after payday) so he usually could just deposit it at some point during the day. Every now and again, though, he has a test or a study group or a project or something, and then I have to deposit the check.

For normal people, this is not a big deal.

But I am not a normal person. And my bank (which is actually a Federal Credit Union) seems to know that I am not a normal person and makes every possible effort to rake me over the coals as I try to put money in the bank. Therefore, every trip to the bank for me is like running an emotional gauntlet. 

For starters, I leave for work so damn early in the morning (because I have to get to South Austin, preferably before the traffic gets bad) that the lanes of the drive through are not open yet, except the ATM (which is always open). My Credit Union, though, does not have a function where you can deposit your check in the ATM. You have to do it with a real, live person. I believe most banks actually do it the other way around: open the lanes first, and the actual doors open later. Or maybe they all open at the same time at normal places. I can't really be sure, because I've never in my life deposited a check myself until after I got my license. (Please don't judge me. I'm highly anxious, and I've lived in a damn city my whole life. I didn't NEED a license all those years.)

Because the lanes are closed, I have to park my car. This really annoys me because parking for me is hit or miss. It's usually a miss when I have to park in straight parking spaces instead of those nifty angled ones. Sometimes I can park in the straight ones with only two or three reverse, adjust,  and forwards (I have to park DEAD CENTER. I like to minimize the chance of someone dinging my door). More often than not, it takes me four or five tries. (We have straight parking spots at work. My very first day driving myself after I got my license, I made a fourteen point parking job. Unbeknownst to me, I had an audience of seven coworkers who stopped to witness the entire affair. It has been a year, and they still bring it up. To this day, it is the only time I have parked off center because I just gave up.) So not only do I not have a choice of using a lane, but I have to fight the stupid parking spots. 

When I actually go in, they do not have the stupid pieces of paper to fill out like in the drive through. (I think they are call Deposit Slips.) No. They want to engage you in a fucking conversation every time you go in, so they don't let you just hand over the paper with the signed check and get in and out with a "Hi, how are you?" and be on your way. They make me go inside, where I am immediately greeted by three freaking people every time (and yet not one of them can man the stupid drive through lanes!) and so I must look at and greet every single one of them in return. By the time I make it up to the counter, I have had to make eye contact and a little conversation (ugh!) with three different people, none of whom are going to be the actual person helping me. This much human contact and conversation before coffee and breakfast is just torturous. 

Then there is the person who is actually behind the super high bank counter thing. (All marble and gold. Seriously? It's so over the top. Wood wouldn't suffice?) They once again force the whole eye contact thing, smile, and say, "How are you?" I have literally just told the other three people that I am just fine and dandy, thank you, and there is NEVER anyone else in there that early because the bank has literally been open for five minutes by the time I get there, so I know this person always hears my responses to the other people, but still they always ask. I can't be rude, so I have to smile back, answer, and ask them how they are. 

Then this person will ask, "How can I help you?" and I have to say, "I would like to make a deposit, please." By this point, we are already at a ten minute delay because it probably took me six minutes to park plus one minute per employee that I've spoken to since walking in the stupid revolving glass doors. We go through the drill: account number (And do you have any special plans today? Nope. Just work), name on the account (How is traffic this morning? It's about that time isn't it? Awful, as usual), and do you have your bank card with you? (at which point I hand it over and the person makes a comment or five about how cute my dogs are because I have a picture of them in the bluebonnets on my card. Thinking about it, that one actually is my fault. I like looking at my dogs, but when you put a picture on your card, I think people expect that you want them to comment), AND THEN they ask for the check, which I have conveniently already signed but they never look first and always ask, "Can you sign this for me, please?"

Then they start typing information in. I'm not sure what, but it always feels like they're typing way more than just the amount of the check. Maybe they're commenting on my outfit for the day, or whether or not I am friendly. Who knows? And they always make conversation while they're typing. Sometimes it's more about my dogs, sometimes it's about whatever music or art festival happens to be going on in town. But it's always something. The whole process could take a matter of two minutes if they would stop trying to talk to me and just do their damned jobs, but I never say anything and just deal with it.  I just stand there, silently panicking that I will run out of things to say, that maybe I am making too much eye contact and is this weird? Worrying about traffic piling up outside and maybe there's an accident and OH MY GOD what if I am LATE TO WORK????

When they finally get their novel typed into their stupid system, and they give me my receipt, they hit me with the last fucking punch that seriously makes me grit my teeth and clench my jaw. Padawan and I have a joint account, but we are not married. My name, actually, is the primary on the account. We have different last names and on all of my bank paperwork it has "Status: Single" checked. But when I am leaving, they say, "Thank you, and have a great day Mrs. *last name*. 




Different employees, but EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. 

So this whole Direct Deposit thing is like the greatest thing ever in my book. 

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