Making a Bank Deposit…Sounds Simple, Right?
The Pocket Babe and I rent our condo from the owner. We don’t anticipate ever owning another piece of Real Estate in our retirement years. So today was rent payment day. Our arrangement, like many others here, is to simply deposit the money into the landlord’s bank account; usually not a big deal. Fill out the deposit slip, stand in line and complete the transaction.
This morning’s transaction, however, had a few complications. First, I forgot my pen. Big deal, you say. But it is REALLY a big deal here. The banks never have pens. Since my first experience with the banking system some time ago, I learned to always bring a pen but today, I forgot.
I walked into the bank, frustrated, knowing that this was going to cost me some extra time on a morning that was already a bit crowded, time wise. I figured I’d have to borrow a pen from another customer. I’d seen that done many times with others and hoped I would be lucky enough to score the use of a borrowed pen.. But first, I needed to get a deposit slip.
In this particular bank, unlike the others I have visited, there is only one small dispenser of deposit slips available for all customers and it was located in a corner of the lobby, on a person’s desk. Slips for both savings accounts and checking accounts were all mixed together in the same tiny dispenser and one simply stood in what passes for a line (actually more of a pulsating throng of people) and pulled the desired slip from the tiny dispenser. Today, however, the bank had no deposit slips…none. Customers were gathered around waiting for scraps of paper. I politely but forcefully mingled with the throng and emerged with my very own scrap of paper. I felt victorious. Phase one…COMPLETE.
I intended to record on this scrap of paper, all pertinent information relevant to the deposit I wanted to make; Date, name of the account holder, account number, amount of deposit, my name and ID number as well as my phone number. I would then take my paper scrap to the teller window and imagined that she would find the correct account on her computer, take my money and issue a deposit receipt for my records. But first…I needed a damned pen!!
I searched the extremely crowded lobby for a likely pen donor and spotted a man who was in the process of passing a pen to another gentleman. I started to close in but not before 4 others beat me to it. I was now number five in line to use a borrowed pen. Damnit!!! I waited approximately 15 minutes and then it was my turn to use the borrowed pen. Hot damn!
Onto the small scrap of paper, I dutifully recorded all the information I suspected the teller would need to process my deposit. I then passed the borrowed pen to the person in line behind me and joined the next line waiting for a teller.
The regular line had 58 people in it and that line was being served by 2 tellers. The “special line” is for folks like me with grey hair, pregnant moms and others. There were only 5 people in that line. This is one of a number of benefits of being a senior citizen in Ecuador. Reduced travel and transportation fares is another. Many restaurants and hotels also offer seniors a special rate. I’m not yet 65 but my hair looks as if I am. I’ve not yet been questioned.
The special line moved fairly quickly and in less than 10 minutes, it was my turn. I approached the teller window, handed her my scrap paper and the deposit amount and in less than 30 seconds, she handed me a deposit receipt and I was on my way.
I was in the bank for some 45 minutes when 10 minutes would have done it if only I had remembered my pen.
I see a business opportunity here. Maybe I should open up a small stand outside banks that sells pens….or better yet…rents them. I would have gladly paid!