Albert Camus once wrote about Human Beings struggling in the face of the Absurd. He must have been thinking of me today sitting in front of my merchant services bank rep at B of A., where I had gone on a special visit to obtain a Letter of Bank Account Verification to support my 800 page application to a credit card terminal processor.
As it turns out, B of A does not provide letters of Bank Account Verification. You remember those? This is a short missive on Bank Letterhead signed by an officer of the bank stating that the name of the account holder, the account number, ABA routing number, and the bank officer’s official contact info and signature. In the old days, when banks were actually conservative, risk averse, financial institutions, and not financial empires too big too fail, you walked into your local branch, sat down with a banker, and could obtain such a letter without much of a problem.
Unfortunately, B of A does not supply such letters. It hasn’t since at least 2006, I later found out, thanks to the magic that is Google. Apparently B of A does not trust its own employees enough to provide them with bank letterhead. I can only surmise that a bank that is currently seeking a final multi billion settlement with the DOJ over its toxic mortgage backed shenanigans and other alleged widespread direct and indirect financial hankie pankie is a bank that I know is nothing but careful about how it slings around its own paper.
As it turns out, I ended up resolving the Bank Account Verification crisis at B of A and was able to send the insistent credit processor enough substitute but equivalent official info that I think the application will go through. But it is a sad day in America when a financial institution where I have banked for over a decade, and where I maintain substantial funds on deposit, is unable to supply me with the simplest of retail banking courtesies for fear that its own employees might be fraudsters. After all, who could imagine such a thing?
At any rate (all puns intended), I shall continue on my inexorable, at times Sisyphean, goal of getting Needlepoint Land ready for business. I will say this.
I may be an inconsequential, small-time, owner of a microscopic start-up who happens to be a woman.
I may not gambol with the beautiful people in a big rented summer house in East Hampton thanks to my Wall Street year-end bonus or jet around the world to places like the 2014 Davos conference to make wonky speeches about current global economic trends and female empowerment.
But never in a million years would I consider running my business by defrauding government agencies, my customers, or anyone investing in Needlepoint Land.
Perhaps the bank manager who eventually found it necessary to lecture me earlier today about the B of A letterhead situation might consider a little humility and think about that.
© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016
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