Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Being "Efficient" and Other Faux-Pas

My debit card was "declined" today.

I was so smart (in theory) doing a month's worth of bills all at once,  staggering the dates on the checks so something like a"declined" debit card would never happen.  It turns out, me and my, "efficiency" is worse than me and my famously "big mouth."

Who does that?  Who bounces a debit card!  And it gets worse!  It happened in front of my kids when we were getting tickets for a matinee!  Swallowing the bile of panic in my veins, the woman at the register saved me with the simplest act of kindness... lying.

She said that it was the wrong matinee time, darn, but she's sure we can go home and sort things out.  I maintained a smile that probably looked like something from British claymation and said, "we might as well as run some errands and go to the bank." I'm so good at subtle.  And not looking obvious (I'm hoping it passed for constipation or something other than freaking out).  We made it to the bank with white-knucked mom explaining that it was the 3-D and I needed us to go the regular showing.

I found my favorite banker in the universe (who shares my name, and probably knows more about me than all of my relatives put together).  She showed me just how deep the quik-sand was...

-For the record, people don't have to wait until the dates on the checks to cash them, checks can be cashed upon receipt.

As freakishly large as my eyes grew at seeing that she hadn't finished writing out what seemed like the number pi (without the decimal) that somehow represented my negative balance, my brain started to follow until its conclusion.  I think they might have needed an EKG or white light if she hadn't stopped and paused,

"Huh, I don't believe it," (I must have looked like one of those cinematographic images who freeze while the world goes on  She continued, "You only have one set of fees, you get paid tomorrow so all of this (pi+) goes away, you get one more set of identical fees, and your total damage is less than $100.  Also, you have some money in your savings, so if you still needed, you could use to do whatever you wanted to do with them for the week; you have full access to that account."  She looked at me, plainly and like a dear friend.

I can take my kids to the movies. I learned something about finances (with considerably less damage than could have surmounted, and chalk up my faux-pas to a memorable experience, as well as a strangely positive one of humanity involving a movie-receptionist and a banker.  If you two read this, thanks for supporting what it means to be a good person.



  1. I know how you feel. I once had my debit card "declined" trying to buy a stick of glue. The real kicker was that I had three dollars in my wallet at the time. Also, lying to kids is part of being an adult, and one of the perks I might add.

    1. Good call by you. BTW: Lady wasn't there to thank when we saw the movie today. Thanks for the follow!