It’s a Good Thing
“I’m upset!” wailed my beloved Austrian Princess in the phone this morning. (Those weren’t her exact words, but this is a family-oriented blog.) I held the receiver away from my ear as she continued, “Ve have no money! I called de bank to check our account, and dey told me ve have an overdraw of eight dollars!” I felt my stomach clench. It’s still six days from payday, I’m supposed to be going on a short vacation later this week, and my wife was hoping to go to the zoo to see the penguins. She likes penguins. Being overdrawn would definitely stop those plans, and would probably put us in a bind for six or eight weeks. I had visions of covering one credit card bill with the other credit card – never a good thing!
“It’s okay, Hunny-Bee,” I said. “I just put my check in the bank yesterday. Maybe they’re just a little slow in getting it recorded.”
“Vhat do you think ve should do?” she asked. “First Federal doesn’t open until nine. Do you have your receipt?”
I dug through my billfold. Six dollars, a lottery ticket I forgot to check, and… “Yep, I have the receipt.”
“Vell, I’ll call them at nine when dey open,” said my wife. “This stuff makes me nervous.”
We chatted for a minute about such pleasantries as identity theft and the horrible problems we had with USBank and how nasty they were to deal with and the money CitiBank keeps trying to take from us even though we’ve never had a CitiBank account. Dagmar is much better at dealing with people than I – she’s calm and rational, whereas I tend to be either polite to the point nothing gets done or verbally abusive. (For some reason I can’t find a middle ground. Either I’m getting yelled at, or I’m doing the yelling. In both cases I end up feeling bad about the exchange.) So when problems like this come up, it naturally falls to her to do the initial phone calls.
I turned back to my computer and pretended to work for a while, one eye on the clock. At six minutes after nine my phone rang again. “It’s just me,” said my wife. “I talked to the lady at First Federal. She says she remembers you being in to cash your check. She said that she helped you herself.” I heaved a relieved sigh. From previous experience, I know USBank would have denied ever seeing me, and would have demanded we go down there in person to prove we had deposited any money. First Federal is a much more personable bank.
“I guess it’s nice that they know us by name, huh?” I replied. “Are they going to fix the problem?”
“De lady said that she’d call the main bank and see what she has to do. Then she’ll call me back.”
We chatted for a few more minutes, commenting how nice it is that the First Federal people know us by name and how it feels like a small-town bank. Nice. After we hung up, I went back to pretending to work.
At nine twenty-seven my phone bejingled at me again. “Vell, they found our money,” said Dagmar. “De nice lady accidentally wrote the deposit on a savings deposit slip instead of a checking deposit slip.”
“We don’t have a savings account,” I observed. “How could they put our money in an account that doesn’t exist?”
“I don’t know,” answered my wife. “But they said they’d have the money in our checking account by this time tomorrow, and there will be no overdraw charges, and nothing will go on our credit report since this was their fault.”
I just about fell over. Someone was taking responsibility for their actions! Hooray for humanity! Someone made a mistake and DIDN’T try to cover it up. Instead they said, “Oh, we made a mistake. We’ll fix it.”
Just to reiterate, we were dealing with the Hamilton Boulevard branch of the First Federal Bank. Good people. We’ve been dealing with them for six years (ever since I moved to Sioux City) and have never had a problem. I highly recommend ’em.
Since I’m already throwing flowers at people…
Since I switched all my web stuff over to a server on AxisHost a few months ago I’ve had absolutely no glitches. In fact, it’s kind of a fib for me to say that “I” switched my stuff over – they did all the work for me. All I said was “Help – all my stuff on so-and-so’s server is down and I want to switch,” and they very painlessly did the switch for me. Good. Good good good.
Dagmar and I were at the Chesterfield last Saturday night and ran into the guy who owns Champion Cycle in South Sioux. Not only did he know me by name, but he knew I was going to a rally this weekend in Wisconsin, knew who I was going with, asked about my bike, talked kindly to my wife, and was generally very personable. He also mentioned that he’d just gotten off work. It was 11:30 on a Saturday night. Now that’s dedication! (Or obsession, I guess.) In any case, if you wanna buy a Kawasaki, go there. Good guy. Makes me happy.