Saturday, July 09, 2005

When Convenience Isn't

Upon moving to Mt Pleasant I chose to bank with Bank of America. While I'm sure there are many fine reasons for choosing one bank over another, things to do with interest rates, tax abatement, their level of patriotic fervor (they're named for America that's gotta be a lot of points) gross tonnage, and angle of incidence (again, banking, not something I understand) my rationale for picking this bank was much more simple. It was (still is) very close to my apartment, and I'd heard of it. I realize that FDIC means I don't have to worry about getting some pretend bank that will take all my money and go to Mexico, but still, I'd rather bank with a giant corportation. Corporations are required to care about money, right? That's that deal. They suck your will to live and ruin the environment, but they have lots of branches and know how to online bank.

I ended up banking with Bank of America primarily because it was the first bank I passed on my walk to the Metro. I selected an option whereby I am prevented from meeting with tellers except for a once a month visit. I believe it's called menstrual banking, but I could be wrong. Suffice to say I'm an ATM man. I don't have any great desire to talk to tellers or wait in lines. I like the simple ease of an ATM transaction.

There is no such thing at my bank. Using the ATM at my bank has more in common with scratch and win tickets than it does with informed choice. I take out money and it's like a lottery, some days I manage to trick the machine into giving me 20 of my dollars when I want more and others I'll get 40 when I want less. The touch screen is so bad and the buttons so close together that you are basically unable to pick a particular option. I've tried repeatedly to take out, say 80 dollars. I usually don't get that far. I usually end up sucking it up and taking the "Fast Cash $20." I press and tap and drag my finger over the ideal choice and nothing happens. Occasionally I'm permitted to make *a* choice, though it is anyone's guess if it's the choice I want. I've just decided that this is the price I pay. Today in a miracle that deserves consideration under my sainthood application, I was able to get 60 dollars from the machine. Now, in point of fact, I wanted to take out 40, but 60 is pretty close to 40 and it's not like precision is something you'd want from your bank.

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