This post is written for those of us who still believe there is greater banking security in a physical financial institution rather than trusting the internet and potential hackers and scammers; for like-minded people who still can’t (or refuse) to understand cryptocurrency and wonder if there’s more than smoke and mirrors behind NFTs.
It was a dark and stormy night.”
Unfortunately, this mundane line correctly describes the weather conditions that prevailed when I chose the drive inside lane at my local Wells Fargo bank to deposit cash rents from a number of tenants.
It was 2015 and I hadn’t thought of online banking.
Most people couldn’t understand my reluctance.
Somehow, I liked the paper trail of deposit slips, checks, and ledger entries. Something I could reach out and touch.
Moreover, I had suspicions about possible hackers even before Russia made it fashionable.
It was a Friday night just before the bank closed at 8:00 p.m.
I was pleasantly greeted by the familiar cashier who usually handled customer check-in at this branch of Wells Fargo.
Her voice was distorted by the loudspeaker she was forced to use to communicate with the bank’s mobile customers.
She asked me to go up a little. The voice in the squawk box warned that the cash drawer would hit my car rear view mirror. I was too close to his armored cabin.
Why am I always too close or too far in these banking alleys?
As usual, my car was not positioned to allow me to make this seemingly simple transaction.
Reaching the cash drawer involved either opening my door and physically getting out of the car.
Unbuckling my seat belt and leaning out of the driver’s side window so much that an unbiased observer would think I was suspended.
In my case, this Friday evening, I chose the latter.
As I placed my little pile of green gold in the cash drawer, the “dark and stormy” came into my life.
At the wrong time, before the cashier retracted the cash drawer in which my rents were kept, a strong wind blew the hard-earned dollars everywhere.
My first reaction was to jump out of the car to try and round up my money. Rents were quickly entering the realm of the sunk when I noticed brake lights, drivers eager to pick up a weekend bonus floating down a busy Rt.1.
Look honey, you’re not gonna believe what happened on the way home tonight! Let’s go out to dinner!
In my zeal to accomplish this rapidly becoming impossible feat, I had briefly forgotten that I was actually pushing my car forward. Leaving the driver’s seat to chase my disappearing dollars, I realized, too late, that the car was on.
With my foot recently removed from the brake, the car did just that – drive!
To my horror, the car moved up to the pillar separating the lanes. The column built of river stones and masonry was strong enough to stop the car’s independent progress.
It is said of some people that they, “I can’t explain where their money is going.”
The $4,600.00 in rent must have been somewhere, though I cannot, for the life of me, explain where.
I know where it wasn’t — in my bank account!
Nor is the $500 deductible that helped my insurance company pay for a new bumper.
Net cost of my Friday night banking experience $5,100 not including intangibles, like stress.
Financial risk is in the most cursed places!
It got me thinking though: what is this online bank that everyone has been talking about for years?
This story was self-published on 04/04/22