This was one of those days when I put my whole life on hold for someone else. That happens a lot, and this time it was the bank. If it wouldnít be such a hassle, I might suggest changing banks over the mess theyíve made of our business this week. And I know if I suggested it, the Boss would go along — not because he cares where we bank, but just because he likes messing around with people and acting all self-righteous when someone screws up.
It all started Tuesday, and he was just as indignant as I was when the bank returned a check we wrote without giving us time to let them know the check was okay. Why did they return it (to a supplier who might not be as happy to take our deposit checks in the future)? Because it was signed by the Boss and not by me. He rarely signs checks, but heís been on the account since we opened it twenty years ago. He keeps a couple of blank checks with him in case of an emergency situation like the one with the deposit to the new creditor.
So the bankís first mistake was to phone at 4:58 pm and leave a message to call them about the check. I called them back about ten minutes later, and they said sorry, the deadline was 5:00 and they had no choice but to return the check. Nothing they could do about it. Policy. I made a big stink about it, which is unlike me. Then I called the Boss, just so he could share in the unhappiness.
The next day he went to his branch of the bank to express his displeasure in person, but all he got accomplished was to file a new signature card, to replace the one the bank apparently lost. Itís no good, though, until I sign it, too. Thatís because Iím the only official signer on the account. So the guy from his branch called me and tells me he was faxing the form I had to sign to my branch, and I told him Iíd be in before noon Friday to sign it. That should give him plenty of time to fax it, as promised, right?
Wrong. I went into my branch this morning and they knew nothing about it. They called the Bossís branch but couldnít find the guy who called me until they went through three different people, and finally figured out the guy was out until 1:30 pm. I asked them to call him this afternoon and get back to me, and I would drive over and sign it as soon as they did.
After I got home I let the Boss know what was going on, so he could be as pissed about it as I was, and before I knew it I got a call from his branch. Their guy had decided that the signature could be handled by fax. I think the Boss made enough of an impression on him that he wanted to get him off his back, even if it meant bending the rules. Policy is one thing; bowing to a force of nature is another.