Fail To Fool Me Twice… You’re An Idiot

, , , , | Legal | January 15, 2021

I work at a check-cashing place, and by nature of that business, shady people are always trying to cash forged or stolen checks. We’re very well trained in spotting these situations.

One day, a young man, maybe seventeen years old, comes in trying to cash a personal check. 

Young Man: “I got this for doing some work for [Account Holder #1].”

I attempt to contact the account holder but can only leave a message. I decline to cash the check but tell the customer that if the account holder calls me back and says it is okay, we will cash it. Lo and behold, the account holder calls me and says that the check is stolen.

The very next day, this same young man comes in with another check from a different person. I am astonished that he has come back to me to try and cash it. I go through the routine again but this time I get the account holder on the phone.

Account Holder #2: “My apartment was recently broken into and some checks were stolen.”

When I got off the phone with him, I turned around to inform the customer of the situation but he was gone. Fortunately, I had his ID on my side of the window, so he had taken off without it. I was thrilled to be able to turn it into the police with all of the other evidence.

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The Heart Of The Matter Makes No Difference

, , , | Right | January 14, 2021

I have been a teller at my branch for over a year now. One day, an unfamiliar woman comes up to my window. She hands me a check made out to one of our male customers and her ID. His name is signed on the back and matches the signature we have on file for his account. However, his last name is completely different from hers.

Me: “Hi! How can I help you with this today?”

Customer: “I want to cash this check.”

Me: “All right! Let me take a look at it and see what we can do for you!”

Already, this has some red flags. I look up her name in our system. Nothing. She is not a customer with us. I pull up the payee’s accounts, thinking she might be a custodian or his power of attorney, but no legal documents bearing her name are on file with us.

Me: “Ma’am, do you have accounts here with us?”

Customer: “No, I don’t.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to cash this for you today because you don’t have any accounts with us. This customer would have to come in and present ID for the check to be cashed.”

Customer: “But it’s his check! He has accounts with you! Why can’t you cash it if he has accounts with you?”

Clearly, she has no idea about the concept of fraud or the absurdity of expecting a bank to cash a check that doesn’t have her name on it simply because the payee has accounts there.

Me: “I can’t cash this for you because you don’t have accounts with us. He needs to come in and cash this himself.”


Me: *Shriveling away inside* “Yes. He needs to be here.”

Customer: “Do you think my bank would cash it for me?!”

Apparently, I am expected to know other banks’ policies. At this point, I’m willing to say anything to get her to leave.

Me: “Sure. They might.”

She took the check and left me in a huff. It took a cup of coffee and a few pieces of chocolate for me to process what had actually just happened.

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Allow Me To Deposit Some Reality Right Here, Part 2

, , , | Right | January 14, 2021

When people want to pay off their vehicle loans, there is a processing period if they pay by check before they can get their title. If someone is selling their vehicle to another person, they obviously want to have the title right then, which is only possible if they pay in cash. I have this conversation frequently when people ask when or how they will get their title.

Me: “If you pay by check, there will be a [time] processing period and then you will receive your title in the mail. If you pay by cash and let us know in advance, we can have the title ready for you same-day.”

Member: “Okay, so if I pay with a cashier’s check I can have it today?”

Me: *Pause* “No, a cashier’s check is a check.”

I realize “cash” is part of “cashier,” but you’d think the fact that “check” is an actual standalone word in the name would mean something!

Allow Me To Deposit Some Reality Right Here

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Don’t Bank On Anything Useful

, , , | Working | January 14, 2021

My husband and I took some church youth on a trip a few years ago and the church debit card locked up because we had unknowingly broken some security rules. There was no way to unlock it right away, but it automatically unlocked the next day, and we understood the problem and could figure out how to work around it. There were some changes made to how the account worked right before this trip, and somehow, none of the four employees I spoke to in getting things sorted out in the week leading up to the trip — all of whom were informed that we needed things in order before leaving — thought to tell me the out-of-state rules were different than in-state.

Fast forward a few years. We are preparing for another trip with our church youth. I call the local branch of the bank about two months before our trip to get a list of rules so we know what to do and not to do so that we aren’t stuck using personal accounts halfway across the country. The teller is completely confused by my request for travel policies and looks up the person who regularly works with our church accounts. This person also has no idea what to do with my request and transfers me to someone in the corporate office.

I explain what I need again and how it was a problem in the past.

Bank Employee: “We don’t give those out. It increases the risk of fraud if people know the safeguards we have in place.”

Me: “So, you shut down people’s accounts for breaking rules, but you won’t tell them what the rules are so that they can follow them?”

Bank Employee: *Pauses* “Yes… we don’t even have a compiled list of all those policies.”

Me: “We can’t really work with that. I have parents who are trusting me to take care of their kids, and your policies are to refuse me the information necessary to do that.”

Bank Employee: “I will see what I can find out for you, but please do not make it public.”

This lady emailed me a few times after my phone call to let me know she was working on my request, which required speaking to multiple departments. I finally received a list of their safeguards about three weeks before we left. I printed one copy of the list before deleting the email, after thanking her. We did not have any problems with frozen accounts on that trip.

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Party Like It’s 1999

, , , | Working | January 11, 2021

I work at a small-town branch of a bank. I often get asked other questions that have nothing to do with banking. One customer asks if I know the number to the local DMV office.

Me: “I don’t, but I can Google it for you.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you! So helpful.”

My boss comes up behind me as I’m typing and hands me the phonebook. I’m in my twenties, and I haven’t seen a phonebook since I was a little kid.

Me: “Um… what’s this for?”

Boss: “I heard you say you needed to look up a phone number. We have a phonebook in the back. Here you go!”

Me: “Actually, I just Googled the number.”

I write the number down for the customer. She thanks me again and leaves.

Boss: “So, you found the number for the DMV on the Internet?”

Me: “Yes. I do it all the time.”

Boss: “But we have a phonebook!”

I examine the phonebook in question.

Me: “This thing is as old as I am.”

Boss: “It still works!”

Me: “So, no one’s number has changed in two and a half decades?”

Boss: “Uh…”

Me: “That’s why I look online. Generally, you’ll find updated information.”

Boss: “But you can use the phonebook.”

Me: “You can use it. I’ll stick to Google.”

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