Occasionally things go right

By Mir
July 24, 2007

I arose this morning with a heavy heart, for it was time to go find myself a new bank. I’ve mentioned here before that I had a bit of trouble starting when I switched to a Big National Bank, and then yesterday was the straw that broke the camel’s back in my prolonged banking saga. I was looking forward to getting AWAY from my current bank, but I wasn’t particularly looking forward to all the paperwork and figuring out how to manage the switch and everything.

So I dawdled as long as possible and then left to go visit the bank I’d chosen.

Here’s the thing: Big National Bank promised me the CONFIDENCE of a NATIONAL CHAIN and in actuality delivered the SOULLESSNESS of the BORG. Only in a much less efficient manner. They just kept screwing everything up and I could never reach an actual human there and then they started charging all of my accounts with service fees for things that were supposed to be free and, look, believe me when I say that I RILLY RILLY RILLY wanted to find a way to make it work, but they drove me away.

So today I drove down the road to Small Local Bank and it was like walking into a Twilight Zone episode, compared to the repeated rape I’ve endured at the hands of Big National Bank.

Small Local Bank was quiet and not busy and I was greeted and helped immediately.

Small Local Bank offered me a cold beverage!

Small Local Bank listened to my tale of woe and assured me that they were different. I was skeptical, but Small Local Bank stroked my hair and told me I’m pretty.

Small Local Bank gave me a mug!

In under an hour, Small Local Bank had set up all three of my accounts INCLUDING my business account, properly configured, and also waived the hold on my deposited checks so that I can pay those pesky little bills like those mortgages (yes, still plural; SHUT UP) immediately and I won’t have to stay with Big National Bank any longer.

I ran out of time to run over to Big National Bank to close my accounts and tell them what they can do with their service charges, the checks I never received, and the ATM card that I never got to use before their stupid machine ate it, and that was too bad, but it was for a good reason. Instead of doing that, I drove downtown to meet Leandra for lunch.

Leandra is a frequent commenter here and was kind enough to reach out to me after my move to say hello and suggest we get together. We actually made lunch plans earlier than this, but it just so happened that Chickadee’s head started spinning all the way ’round while she spoke in tongues (funny, I didn’t understand most of it, but the UNADULTERATED RAGE seemed to come through most of the time) and I cancelled with Leandra because I thought I should probably stay home and sit on my daughter until I felt reasonably confident that she wasn’t going to set fire to the house or anything while I was out.

But this morning I was ready to actually go out and have some fun, and so I emailed Leandra to say, “Okay! I’m wearing a white shirt and my superhero necklace!” so that she could spot me. She immediately emailed back, “Okay! I’m wearing a mint green top and black capris!” And a normal person then would’ve though “Great, now I know how to find her,” but—being me—I immediately thought, “Should I clarify that I am also wearing pants?”

After my lovely experience at the bank, though, I was floating on air as I headed off to meet Leandra. My trusty GPS told me where to go, and I was doing great until I made my first loop around the restaurant and couldn’t find a place to park. As I made a second, wider circle it occurred to me that I might be looking for a spot for a while. Fortunately, as I rounded the front of the restaurant again, there sat an adorable woman in a green shirt and black capris, so I waved her over to the car and made her ride around with me to find a parking spot.

Eventually we parked, walked back to the restaurant, had sushi and tea (sweet for her, unsweet for me because my northern teeth cannot take the sweet version), and a wonderful time. I could’ve happily stayed for several hours, but she had a JOB or something to get back to, I don’t know. I think she was just sick of me. (Also, I suspect that many people who read me think I am just joking about what a tremendous dork I am, and then when they meet me, there’s really NO HIDING IT.)

I came back home and Otto headed out to do work stuff for a while, leaving me with the kids. I did a little work while they asked wheeeeen they could go swiiiiiimiiiiiing, and eventually I gave up on work and took them out to the pool. They swam for about twelve hours (well, it felt like that, anyway) until it was time to come in for dinner.

At that point I decided to check out my online banking with my new wonderful bank, and discovered that only two of my three accounts were showing up. A couple of phone calls later it was determined that I do have to make another trip in to sign something else, which I guess is fine because I still have to go deposit my funds from Big National Bank after I tell them to bite me, but it was a bit disconcerting. Still. I have that nice new mug and they did fix the problem pretty much right away.

And I got to leave the house without my children and go eat sushi, so really, I’m not complaining about anything.

Until tomorrow.


  1. Sara

    I was right there with you up to “sushi’. I firmly believe I am the only person in the country who thinks “Sushi? Um… NO!” Glad you had a chance for some girl time. I had some today myself (and there was no sushi in sight)and it was good.

  2. meghann

    You know, that’s what they gave my husband when he renewed his enlistment in the Army. A mug.

  3. Daily Tragedies

    But it’s so much more interesting when everything goes wrong! Now what will you write about??? ;-)

  4. Delton

    I think the return trip to the bank is just a ploy so you can get them to stroke your hair and tell you you’re pretty again.

  5. Em

    “Should I clarify that I am also wearing pants?” Thank you so much for that laugh. I didn’t even realize I was frowning until I started laughing. May have been the 1st laugh all day (all week? Yikes. I have to lighten up.)

    Also, I hope you are not joking about being a dork because if you can be a dork AND be this cool than maybe there is hope for this dork.

  6. Barb Cooper

    I’m so glad about the bank and that you are starting to have fun and sushi.

    But this post reminded me of a recent wardrobe malfunction of mine where I accidentally got caught by my children wearing a THONG from the 90’s. (It wasn’t my fault–I was out of clean underwear though an overzealous packing for vacation ethic.)So no matter how dorky you think you are, you can always repeat to yourself, “At least my children have never seen me in thong underwear. In public. And COMMENTED ON IT LOUDLY.”

    I entitling my autobiography “My Life Is So Stupid.”


  7. kate

    I do hate banks. I finally gave up after my “guaranteed no fees!!” offer turned out to really mean “FEES! LOTS OF FEES! FEES WE NEVER MENTIONED! HERE– HAVE SOME MORE FEES!!”

    Cripes. I just moved all my money to my fiance’s credit union. All they cared about was me having a local address. And they complimented my shoes. They don’t know it, but they may have a customer for *life*.

  8. ri

    Oh now you made me crave sushi! Good for you on finally getting some bank thing sorted out. I have given up on it and handed it over to my hubby.

  9. Lady M

    I bank with a Big Bank, although it’s probably a different one from yours, since I’m on the west coast. The automated services are handled really well. When you actually have to talk to a person . . . um. We try not to have to do that much.

  10. Suebob

    How can you be a dork when you are one of the coolest people on earth?

  11. Karen

    Mir….GEEBUS. Youa re NOT a dork. You are endearing and funny as heck. I kick myself daily for not spending more time with you at BH last year. Don’t hate me.

  12. arduous

    sushi cures all. i had some today because i was having a bad morning, and the day instantaneously got better!

  13. Cele

    I didn’t get a mug, but they all know me by my first name. So I don’t complain about my small home town bank. Even if you ate sushi I am glad you had a great day.

  14. Leandra

    Awwww! You’re so sweet! And I just assumed pants, by the way ;) I was more interested in the fact that you said you were wearing a Superhero necklace and wondering where I could get my hands on one. Preferably one that helps do laundry.

  15. LuAnn

    Does Small Local Bank take accounts in Kentucky? :p

  16. hollygee

    I assumed that we were all dorks and recognized you as the leader of our people. No?

    … and Sara, it’s okay. I know lots of people who hate sushi. You are safe to express your [obviously wrong] preferences.

  17. Rebecca

    Being a dork is better than being a loser… I’ve lived here 6 years now and still don’t have anyone to do a girls lunch with! I used to think I was fun and pretty easy to get along with, but I guess 6 years with no friend is proof otherwise!

  18. Brigitte

    No, Sara, you are not the only gal who believes in saying NO! to intestinal parasites!

    Ah, Pretty One, at least you are a sociable, outgoing dork, so you are sure to find friends. I, on the other hand, am just as dorky, but anti-social and hostile. ;-)

    And even when small, local bank messes up, you can get a REAL person who fixes things right away – you gotta like that!

  19. Christina

    You cannot possibly be a dork – you wear a superhero necklace afterall!

  20. leandra

    I am another Leandra (who actually lived in Athens for 5 years, ’99-’04), I don’t comment here often but I’ve been reading your blog for awhile. My name isn’t very common, so I was a little surprised to hear of another Leandra in Athens! :)

    Hope you are enjoying Georgia… just wait until football starts!

  21. Megan

    Dangit. Can’t have sushi because I have this weird internal rule about not eating raw fish if not only can I not see the water from the city, but I would have to drive over a day to see any water anywhere at all. Not to mention I don’t trust this town on principle because they have large signs announcing “yes! Home of the famous fish taco!”

  22. Chewie

    I heart dorks.

  23. JayMonster

    It takes some work, but I have learned to get Big Bad Bank to work for me, and learned what was needed to avoid the fees, because otherwise my “savings” of fees would only be lost to the ATM fees that occur when you don’t have to use another banks ATM.

    For those afraid of “intestinal parasites” it should be noted that all sushi served in the United States is first “flash frozen” so assuming that the place that is serving the sushi does so in a responsible manner, such problems do not occur here. More people got sick this year from “mishandled spinach” than from sushi. It should also be noted that not all sushi is raw. (i.e. shrimp).

  24. Busy Mom

    No sushi for me, either.

    I love my small credit union. They even call me when money is low, and, a check has come in, “Um, hey? You might want to come in and, you know, put some MONEY in the bank to cover this check.”

    I also chased a suspicious character out of their parking lot for them once. I didn’t get a mug, though.

  25. becky

    i use a local credit union and i love them. they are so much nicer than the big national banks. and i have had bad experiences with two different chains of national banks. ugh!

  26. Shigeta

    Mir, I can’t remember where I found you, but have been lurking for a couple of months. Love your stories! Loved them so much, I went back and read you from the beginning. I live in the Midwest (read Chicago ‘burbs) and I am so over it. Would love to live south. I am so over Chicago winters AND I love sweet tea!!!!
    P.S. I hope you house sells soon.

  27. jenn

    Mmm…sushi. Your comment about Chickie being possessed by the rage demon made me chuckle, since Drama Queen is doing something similar. Preteen girls, can’t live with ’em, can’t lock ’em in a closet.

  28. ishouldbeworking

    Sara: I also cringe at the thought of sushi – RAW FISH! eww. I also use a credit union and pink puffy heart them. When I needed a loan to repair my car, not only did they tell me they could do that, they refinanced my car loan that I had through someone else. The payment for the 2 loans combined is less than the original car payment.

  29. Jenifer

    Woo Hoo.. sounds like you had a good day! And I agree, we use 2 different banks here, Small Local Bank and Small Local Credit Union….. Those big chains can bite me too!

    My grandmother had her IRA with one of those big chains and you should have seen what we went through to straighten it out when she passed….. just like you said, could never get an actual HUMAN on the phone, and when you did they were like robots reading from a script and had no real idea how to help you anyway!!!!


  30. The Other Leanne

    Dork and proud of it.
    Raw fish–DO NOT WANT!
    “Valued customer since 1990” is what it says on my checks from Big National Bank. Fortunately, being in a small town they are friendly, unassuming small-town people who do their best every day, greet me with a smile and tell me I’m pretty. But no mug yet.

  31. Lynda

    You gotta hate those Big Box banks. We have all of our accounts with big box bank and hate it. They LIE to you and we will switch to something less big box for our business stuff when we get our house built, and all of our personal stuff will be at the small local bank in town. We need the nationwide chain right now because of our traveling, but whoa nelly when we get our house built.

  32. Melisa

    Apparently you and I are in the same club. Four years here and no lunch friends either. So sad. The reality is really setting in now that both of my girls are in school all day. Mir, things are really falling into place for you. Well, with the exception of the whole bank and owning several houses at once thing.

  33. ScottsdaleGirl

    Sushi? in Georgia? With Sweet Tea? Rilly??????

  34. Rebecca

    Sorry to hear you are in my boat too, but at least I don’t feel so alone! Two of my three girls will be in school this year also, too bad we weren’t neighbors!

  35. Wendy

    Another tip to help you in your getting use to things down here. Get half and half. Half sweet tea and half unsweet. Restaurant tea is too sweet for me, even though I am use to Southern Iced Tea that is made to rot your teeth.

    Glad you had a super fun day.

  36. becky

    wendy has a good idea there. after being away so long, the sweet tea in the restaurants is a bit too sweet for me, too.

    (uh oh, does that mean my southern girl card is gonna get revoked?)

  37. julie

    Pretty people,
    Sushi is rice, not necessarily with raw fish. Sashimi is raw fish.

  38. Amy-Go

    1)I have met Chickie. She is nothing like the girl from The Exorcist.
    2)Mir, honey, you are just not that big a dork. Really.
    3)Sweet tea is goooooood. Especially with sushi.
    4)Happy new bank! Maybe you can score another mug when you go back. To drink sweet tea out of!
    5)Now everyone will think I’M the dork. ;)

  39. Cristin

    Sushi makes everything (even) better *nod*

  40. jean

    Banks suck. Sorry. But they are great at taking your money and nothing else. Fees for everything. And just when you think that you’ve found someone who has a clue they quit or are transfered to another state. They are right up there with the phone company and the cable company. You’re not alone and not a dork. You put yourself out there and that is really something great. Thanks for sharing your life – the good, the bad and the ugly.

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