Thursday, March 06, 2008

Rob Peter and Pay Paul

As far as word flow looks, I think it the title would look better if it was named:
“Rob Ralph and Pay Paul”.

I went to the credit union the other day to make what I thought would be a simple transaction.

The tax laws allow me until April the 15 to pay into my IRA for the previous year. That is what I did last year. About this time of the year, I paid the maximum in the IRA I have with the credit union with no problem.

This year I went to the credit union to repeat the same thing I did last year. My intention was to draw money out of my savings and pay the same amount into my IRA. No cash money is involved. It is just paper work, rob Peter to pay Paul.

On the little stand that you stand and fill out your forms, deposit slips, cash withdrawers, and transfers, I took the transfer form and withdrew filled out withdrawing from my savings and transferring it to my IRA account.

I got in line and a lady teller down at the end motioned for me. So I went on down to her window.

I took off my baseball cap and pulled out my driver’s license. They have a sign up to remove your hat and dark glasses before doing your transactions. They want to be able to see who they are dealing with, and so does the video camera.

I gave the form and my driver’s license to the teller. She looked it all over and got on her computer and said, “This is a new one.” Meaning she never did anything like this before.

She asked me to be patient until she look up instructions on how to handle such a transaction. She looked a while and then called the head teller over and they both looked and couldn’t find anything. Then they called the main office of the credit Union, which is in another town nearby and they put their heads together and decided what should be done.

The lady worked the computer very carefully. I appreciate it that she wanted to be sure she was doing it right. It was a lot of money I just handed over to her. By this time there were no customers there, except me. All four or five tellers got behind her and watched her. I could not see her monitor so I don’t know what she was dealing with, but the intent interested faces of the tellers behind her suggested she was playing one hell of a video game.

Another teller picked up the phone and called the main office and asked them something, then hung up, and I had to write them a “letter of intent”. Letter of intent? They gave me a blank sheet of paper and asked me to write a letter of intent and request they withdrawn the said amount of money out of savings and put it in my Roth IRA. Isn’t that what the transfer form was for that I filled out? I did as they told and gave them the sheet back. When I write, I scribble and all the words run together. Nobody can read it, not even me. She grabbed it and put it with the other paper work. They didn’t even look at it. It could have looked a note saying “This is a hold up! Give me all your money.” Or anything else and they wouldn’t have known.

One of the ladies said they should fax all the forms to the main office to make sure the forms are ok, which they did. Then one got on the phone and called the main office and said they just faxed over some forms, please check to see if they are ok. They kept them on the phone until they looked at the papers. They were good.

It would have been amusing if they did interpret my scribbling note as a hold-up note. When they faxed everything over to the main office, what would they have done? Fax back and say, “for God’s sakes! give him all your money and get down on the floor!”

During all this, with all the calls made to the main office one of the tellers would ask the one that called, “Who did you talk to?” And she would tell her and the would say something like, “I thought she worked in blabla?”
“No, she did, but now she works in blablabla”
“I thought xxx worked there – where did she go?”

My teller more than once thanked me for being patient. And I each time responded that appreciated them being careful with my money.

We also said that it was good they were learning what to do with IRAs for the last year, because before April the 15th they will probably have plenty more of the same type of transaction – now they know and be ready. So, this was a learning experience.

The teller thanked me for doing business for them. I said, “Wait! What about a receipt?”

“They will mail it to you.”

“I would like some kind of proof now I just signed away that money –what about a copy of all that paper work and my letter of intent?”

“Sure!” she said, and made copies and gave them to me.

Then I said, “Would you stamp those and initial them please?”

Which she did with a smile…. “Picky, picky, picky” she probably thought.

I spent about one hour there and shifted thousands of dollars around and got four to five tellers involved. After it is all said and done, I figure my net worth decreased about $3.06, which is the cost of the gallon of gas that took me there and back.

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Blogger kenju said...

You were smart to demand copies and her signature. what if something went wrong with the computer?

7:07 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I don't know if you would call it "smart" or "paranoid".

8:08 AM  
Blogger Si's blog said...

Trips to the bank do get to be like that, don't they. I guess we should be glad they are keeping all of our money safe. At least we are getting something for all of the fees they charge.

10:18 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Yes, I think the money is well protected in forms.... now, as far as I know, someone might can just walk in from the street and walk into the big vault and help themselves, but as far as forms, they are going to do it right - by the book!
The credit union I belong to do not charge any fees, in fact they pay interest on checking and savings. The only fee I give them is my safety deposit box rent. But on the other hand, I am sure they are not keeping my money safe for the enjoyment of it. Something has to be in it for them.

I think what they must do is not cut with the interest... like if it pays 4% interest, give me 3.5% or something like that and let the .5% pay for services rendered.
I'm just speculating, I have no idea.

10:52 AM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...

My Mom says,

"We rob Peter to pay Paul...and then here comes Henry!"

3:49 PM  
Blogger ET said...


And Jack won't be far behind!

4:26 PM  

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