One time about 40 years ago on a late Friday afternoon, I drove up to one of my bank’s outside teller ports. I needed to cash my check to pay some bills so I put my bank card, my driver’s license and my endorsed check in the plastic cartridge, pressed send, and then sat back to watch the cartridge zoom through the tubing to the teller inside the bank building.
Only this time the cartridge didn’t zoom all the way to the teller because it stopped in the middle of the tubing. I then buzzed the teller and when she came to the speaker, I told her the cartridge was stuck in the tubing between me and her and what do we do now?
She told me to push the send button again and I pushed that button several times, but nope the cartridge remained stuck. The teller tried pushing her send button but nope, again the cartridge stayed there.
I could see it through the tubing and all I kept thinking was great, it’s late Friday afternoon, I’m broke, I have bills due, I’m low on gas and now this. Can this day get any shittier?
I brightened up when the teller said she was going to get the manager because the same thing had happened earlier in the week and the manager had fixed the problem.
So while I waited for the manager to come and work her magic, I stared at that cartridge, willing it to continue its zoom into the bank so I could get my money and be all set for the weekend. But my staring skills apparently needed some fine-tuning because that cartridge stubbornly stayed there.
The manager came to the teller’s cubicle and told me to push the send button on my end while she pushed the send button on hers. The cartridge wiggled a tiny bit but beyond that, it was still stuck.
So we tried that over and over again but the cartridge still only briefly wiggled. The manager sighed and said, “Well, Jeneane, I guess you will have to wait until Monday afternoon for your money because Monday morning will be the earliest I can have the repairman fix the problem.”
I almost started crying. I told her, “But I need some of my money to put gas in my car just to get to my job on Monday morning because my car’s driving on fumes as it is right now! Isn’t there anything else we can try?”
The manager, who has known me for quite awhile, then told me she would loan me $50 to tide me over until the tubing is fixed and then just stop at the bank after work on Monday and get the rest of my money from my check. She told me to just wait while she brought the loaned money out to my car.
So while I waited for her, I realized that my driver’s license was also stuck in that cartridge! I was planning on getting together with several friends Saturday and I was supposed to be the driver! What if I was pulled over by the police? I was pretty sure the police officer wouldn’t believe that my license was stuck in a cartridge in the bank’s drive-thru tubing unless I could convince the officer to actually drive to the bank and look up to see the stuck cartridge.
Resigned to having to spend the weekend stuck at home, I sadly told the manager about my driver’s license problem and she laughed. She said that she would write me a letter on the bank’s stationery stating that my driver’s license had become stuck in the cartridge at the bank Friday afternoon and that I would have my license back Monday. She reassured me that that letter would keep me out of trouble but I was skeptical.
The manager went back inside the bank, wrote the letter, and brought it back out to me. She had even included her home telephone number for a police officer to call to verify the situation.
She winked at me and said, “You know you could always just stay home this weekend and avoid any possible police problems.” I laughed as I told her that with my luck, I would get pulled over on my way to work or on my way to her bank after work on Monday so I would just take my chances, drive extra careful, and have a good time with my friends as planned.
I was lucky: no problems at all that weekend because I drove like a timid old lady and I received my remaining money and my driver’s license on Monday but it was a long time before I used the drive-thru banking service again.
The second banking fiasco occurred about 20 years ago. I came home one Saturday, after 4 or 5 hours of errands and shopping, and told my mom and my daughter, Tara, that I was going to tell them three different scenarios and they had to pick which one had really happened to me.
The first scenario was that I had found a large wad of money in the Meijer’s store parking lot, $150 to be exact. I called the police who took my name, telephone number, address, what day and time I found the money and the amount. The police said that if no one called to report that they had lost the money after two weeks, then I could keep it.
The second scenario was that when I went to my bank’s ATM machine to withdraw money to do my errands and shopping, something very weird happened. I put in my bank card, punched in my PIN number, punched in the amount I needed to withdraw and from what account. All of a sudden the front of the ATM machine creaked open a few inches and an arm shot out right into my face holding a wad of money in its fist!
I screamed like a banshee and then I heard a cackling laugh coming from behind the ATM. I yelled, “What the hell is going on? Are you trying to give me a heart attack? Who or what are you?”
Then I grabbed the money out of the fist and began to count it while the arm receded back into the ATM machine and a disembodied voice told me that he had worked as an ATM repairman and cash supplier for 15 years and that he had always wanted to do that to someone but the opportunity had never come until I drove up.
My money was correct and then I sternly told him that that was a very sick joke to play on anybody and could he have the machine please spit out my receipt so that I knew it was a proper transaction. He did and then he meekly apologized and I forgave him.
The third scenario I told my mom and Tara was that while I was driving down Linden Road, I was pulled over by a Flint Township police officer and given a ticket for speeding 20 miles over the speed limit. Now I had to go to court and I couldn’t fight it because the officer had caught me red-handed, or I should say lead-footed, and I would probably have to pay a large fine and have a few points put on my driving record too.
After I was done telling the three scenarios, I asked my mom and Tara to pick which one had really happened to me.
My mom immediately said, “Oh you found the money! I just know you did and you will probably get to keep it in two weeks!”
I looked at Tara and she said, “No Grandma, you know how Mom drives like she’s in the Indy 500! She finally got pulled over for speeding! That’s what happened to her.”
I began to laugh as I told them, “You’re both wrong! I really had an arm shoot out from the ATM machine and had the shit scared out of me!”
Both my mom and Tara at first refused to believe me while I steadfastly told them over and over that that was the honest truth. I said it was funny now but I could have killed that repairman for scaring me that bad while he cackled with glee behind the ATM machine.
Weird tales, huh? But true ones!