I went through the drive-thru (drive through?) at the bank yesterday to cash a check ($16.00—ching!) and take out $50.00 for a weekend trip to see the Reds with my dad and kids. It only took about 37 seconds to realize that I have no idea how to ask to withdraw money from an actual person at the bank. For starters, I have no clue what my savings account number is. Also, I don’t have a bank card—it was chewed up by the machine a couple of years ago after I forgot to take it out of the slot and I’ve never felt the need to replace it—so I have to use my wife’s. Finally, I’ve never really known how to fill out a withdrawal slip, which I had to do to get my money.
“I’ll need 50.00 from savings,” I said.
“I’ll put a withdrawal slip in the box,” she said, and smiled.
“Is that completely necessary?”
I actually asked that. As if she’d asked me to submit to a strip search. To her credit, she said nothing and gave no sign that she’d heard me. It was well played, one of those moments when you both know that one of you is an idiot, but the one who is not has too much class to admit it. I thought about how suspicious it would be if I just took the $16.00 from the cashed check, drove around the block, and got the money from the ATM. Maybe not suspicious, but dumb, which is even worse.
“Fine,” I said, “Give me the slip.”
“Do you know that this is your wife’s card?” She actually didn’t say “your wife” but my wife’s name. I try to leave names out of the blog but I will tell you that the fact that she just used the name and not her relation to me—even though, how could she know for sure?–made me feel like I was doing something wrong.
I said, “Yes!” and smiled like she’d asked me if I wanted a free salsa sample. She sent the slip through and I eyeballed it. It didn’t look hard to fill out, save that I didn’t know the account number. But looks are deceiving. Most things look easy when you’re new to them. You have no idea, really how shitty you’re going to be. Confidence flies, unfettered by experience. It’s why everybody things they would be good at curling.
The woman was patient, but I had the creeping sensation that she was suspicious, and why wouldn’t she be? I was using a card that wasn’t my own, sputtering on about how I didn’t know which account to withdraw money from (we apparently have two) and filling out the slip like a third-grader.
I am worthless. I am a child.
And ultimately, I probably should’ve been denied and possibly referred to the authorities for fraud. I suspect that what saved me was my cluelessness. Anyone who was truly trying to use a stolen card to get money would have a much better cover story and be far more proficient in the process of withdrawing money. The woman at the register had to know I was telling the truth, right? Thieves aren’t as dumb as I am.


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Filed under Essays, Kids, My Issues

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