So this was one of those 'office pin-ups' (in a boring office, not a mechanics or plumbers or something)... I thought some of you might get a kick out of it.
A 98 year old woman wrote this to her bank. The bank manager thought it
amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.
I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to
pay my plumber last month.
By my calculations, three 'nanoseconds' must have elapsed between his
presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to
honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my
entire salary, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only
You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and
also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience
caused to your bank.
My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused
me to rethink my errant financial ways.
I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and
letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal,
overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.
From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood
person. My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no
longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by check, addressed
personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must
Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person
to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact
Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it
runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her
as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all
copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary
Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income,
debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.
In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she
must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28
digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses
required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As
they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Let me level the playing field even further.
When you call me, press buttons as follows:
1-- To make an appointment to see me.
2-- To query a missing payment.
3-- To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4-- To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5-- To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6-- To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7-- To leave a message on my computer. (a password to access my computer
is required. A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the
8-- To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
9-- To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put
on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will
play for the duration of the call. Regrettably, but again following your
example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting
up of this new arrangement.
May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.
Your Humble Client