Hey y’all, I think I have a good one for this post. This is a really old story, back in the days when people thought Corona was just a really bad beverage, and faxes were still a thing. (for those of you who don’t know what a fax is…think of it as email, only on real paper scanned through a device that is slower than a computer built in 1992.)

Any who…

I worked at a call center for a very large bank that no longer exists today. Let’s just call it Seattle United. Anyway, our call center was different from the others. We didn’t take calls from customers, our clients were the bankers themselves. They would call in asking questions about our policies and procedures on, well, basically everything. EVEN THOUGH they can get the same information if they would just go into the system, type the exact same question on our Google like search page and READ what it says. But no, that would take too much time and effort. So they called us for EVERYTHING!

This is a call I remember from years ago.

OP: “Thank you for calling Seattle United, this is OP speaking how may I assist you?” (I can’t believe I still remember the script)

Banker: “Yes, Hi, this is Banker, ID #123. I have a customer here who wants to cash a check….”

OP: “…OK…how can I help you with that?”

Banker: “Yeah, He wants to cash this check, can he do that?”

OP: (in my mind I’m thinking, we are a bank after all so…yeah?) “Did you try putting the check through the system to see if it will let you do that?” (Note: for all banks they try to make the system idiot proof. If you put the check through the system, it WILL tell you if you can cash it or if it needs to be deposited. But Bankers for some reason don’t like doing this. It’s almost as if they think its a black smudge on their records if the system says no.)

Banker: “The customer wants to know if it can be cashed before we put it through.” Now I’m thinking, I can’t tell you if the check is good or not, if it can be cashed here at the branch or not, that’s what the system is for. But as you know dear readers, there is ALWAYS an exception to the rule. (Except that rule which reiterates that there is always an exception to the rule!)

At most banks there are certain types of checks that can be cashed no matter what at the branch level. Cashiers checks and Government checks are two types. If the banker put the check into the system the system would have let him know of this. BUT he called me instead…SO…

OP: “I can’t tell you if it’s a good check or not, but depending on the type of the check I can state what policy says. What type of check is it?”

Banker: “It’s a check.”

OP: “Yes, I know…do you know what kind of check?”

Banker: “It just looks like a check.”

OP: (What?!?!?! – is this guy a moron? Ok, maybe he’s just stressed…or new! Let’s change this up a little) “Ok, maybe if you tell me who the check is from that will help.”

Banker: “Do you mean the customer?”

OP: (I hang my head at this point and sigh deeply while on mute. How did this guy get this job?) “No.” I said still trying to sound professional. “Who wrote the check?”

Banker: “The people.”

OP: (I was struck silent, once again. Did he just say the people? Did he mean the customers, or was he talking about something else??? I know when I was a kid I actually liked to go to the doctors office. They had neon lights on the walls and tie died hats with stuffed animal patches on them. To me it was the coolest place to go. The name of the clinic was just “The Doctors”, there could be a business called “The People” Right?) Is that a business? The People?

Banker: “The People, The People, The People wrote the check.”

OP: (Ok this is going nowhere! He has no clue, I have no clue, let’s end this!) “Ok, why don’t you fax me a copy of the check and let me take a look at it.”

Back in those days most banks didn’t have the scan and send options like they do today. I had to put the banker on hold, wait for the banker to fax me the item which took about 5 minutes to get by the way, then get back to the banker, which destroyed my handle time. SO I get this check copy and guess what… ITS A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK THAT SAYS “WE THE PEOPLE” ACROSS THE TOP OF IT!!!!

I die laughing! It took me a whole minute to gather myself to get back to the banker and inform him that YES we can cash it and just put it through the system like he should have from the beginning. Then I tell everyone I see about this call. WOW!

What do you think?

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