Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Banks of America - Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Give a Shit

Here is a story about a bank. A bank right here in America. I will not be giving out the brand name, but just know it's a "Bank in America." That's all I'm saying. Well, no, that's not all I'm saying. I'm also going to tell the story of some bank bullshit and how I made my way up the ladder to find some answers. 

Once upon a time, there was a man who found his bank made an error on his mortgage payment, one in which they charged him a $25 late fee. Having to spend extra time determining the source of the error and the fixing of the issue, the man went to his bank with some questions. We pick up the action here:

Knock on door.

Hey, bank, you made an error.

Bank Lady
Oh, we did? Let me check on that. 

Clock turns one day.

Bank Lady
Why yes, we did. It's a bank error, and the paper now says "bank error" on it, and we have rectified the problem. We waived the $25 late fee, and you can go on your way.

But wait, the bank made an error.

Bank Lady
Yeah so?

If I make a mistake, I am charged $25 (quite a steal mind you in this competitive market of fees), but if the Bank in America makes a mistake, they have no consequence at all?

Bank Lady 
Ah, no.

Jim shakes his head.

As I take this blog OUT of Final Draft screenwriting format, I'll finish the story swiftly, but with some embellishments. See if you can tell when that starts.

On this Friday August 7 visit, I asked the Bank Lady if she could have her supervisor contact me. She said she would look up his number and get it to me as soon as possible. To her credit I got the name of Bank Man by the end of this day, August 7, saying I should get a call by August 10 or 11 from "Ronald" (I will call him that since that is his name.)

Clock turns 10 days.

I ended up calling on August 17, and Bank Lady was surprised Bank Man hadn't called yet and said she would e-mail and call him so he would call me ASAP!

Clock turns 2 days.

On August 19, Bank Ronald Man calls and leaves a message, the kind that takes awhile to comprehend because the fast-talking, overly smooth chatter goes by so quickly and because you have to take a shower with each listen. After washing up, I deciphered the slick bullshit talk to grab his number and gave a call back. This was 1:45 pm the same day.

Clock turns 5 days. 

Though I still haven't heard back from Ronald, I do hope he calls back. I know I will call back, and here is how I imagine it will go...

Ronald will do his slick bullshit talk and claim that in the small writing of our agreement, in the microscopic print mailed to me in correspondence that looks more like junk mail than junk mail, it states clearly our terms. Banks rule and humans are zippo.

I will stop him in mid-sentence, right before he gets to the word "zippo" with the words "who is your manager?" He will tell me that his manager/supervisor/overlord will be telling me the same thing. I will stick with "who is your manager, and how can I talk with him or her?" (I've been here before.) After my third attempt (they always give up after the magic three number), I will get the name and number I need.

I will call, and go through a similar routine, ultimately getting another manager's name. This will be the manager of the manager of the manager of Bank Man Ronald who oversees Bank Lady.

And it may go something like this.

Phone rings.

Hello Mr Rothchild?

This is Mr. Rothchild.

Geez, you sound old!

How can I assist you young man?

There was a bank error by this Bank in America and I believe that bank should  -

Dial tone.

Clock turns 100 years.

Dinosaurs return to planet Earth and eat all the stupid-ass selfish bankers like Skittles while the good people who did an honest day of work watch on smiling. 

Fade to black. 
James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer living in San Diego. He actually loves his new bank and banker. He can be reached at

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