Dear Bank Manager
Dear Bank Manager,
I am writing to thank you for bouncing the check with which
endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations
three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting
check, and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to
it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of
entire salary, an arrangement which, I admit, has only been
place for eight years.
You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of
opportunity, and also for debiting my account with $50 by
penalty for the inconvenience I caused to your bank. My
thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident
caused me to re-think my errant financial ways. You have set
on the path of fiscal righteousness.
No more will our relationship be blighted by these
incidents, for I am restructuring my affairs in the second
of 1999, taking as my model the procedures, attitudes and
of your very bank. I can think of no greater compliment, and
know you will be excited and proud to hear it.
To this end, please be advised about the following changes:
First, I have noticed that whereas I personally attend to
telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you I am
confronted by the impersonal, ever-changing, pre-recorded,
faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on I,
you, choose only to deal with a flesh and blood person.
My mortgage and loan repayments will, therefore and
longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by
addressed personally and confidentially to an employee of
branch, whom you must nominate. You will be aware that it
offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open
Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I
require our chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs
eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or
your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please
that all copies of his or her medical history must be
countersigned by a Justice of the Peace, and that the
details of his/her financial situation (income, debts,
liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.
In due course I will issue your employee with a PIN number
he/she must quote in all dealings with me. I regret that it
cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled
the number of button presses required to access my account
balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation
the sincerest form of flattery.
Let me level the playing field even further by introducing
my new telephone system, which you will notice, is very much
yours. My authorized contact at your bank, the only person
whom I will have any dealings, may call me at any time and
be answered by an automated voice. By pressing buttons on
phone, he/she will be guided thorough an extensive set of
1. To make an appointment to see me
2. To query a missing repayment
3. To make a general complaint or inquiry
4. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am
Extension of living room to be communicated at the time the
5. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am still
sleeping. Extension of bedroom to be communicated at the
the call is received;
6. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending
nature. Extension of toilet to be communicated at the time
call is received.
7. To transfer the call to my mobile phone in case I am not
8. To leave a message on my computer. To leave a message a
password to access my computer is required. Password will
communicated at a later date to the contact.
9. To return to the main menu and listen carefully to
The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention
automated answering service. While this may on occasion
lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration.
month I've chosen a refrain from The Best Of Woody Guthrie:
"Oh, the banks are made of marble
With a guard at every door
And the vaults are filled with silver
That the miners sweated for"
After twenty minutes of that, our mutual contact will
know it by heart. On a more serious note, we come to the
As your bank has often pointed out, the ongoing drive for
efficiency comes at a cost. A cost which you have always
quick to pass on to me. Let me repay your kindness by
some costs back.
First, there is the matter of advertising material you send
This I will read for a fee of $20 per page. Inquiries from
nominated contact will be billed at $5 per minute of my
spent in response. Any debits to my account, as, for
the matter of the penalty for the dishonored check, will be
passed back to you.
My new phone service runs at 75 cents a minute (even Woody
Guthrie doesn't come for free), so you would be well
keep your inquiries brief and to the point. Regrettably,
again following your example, I must also levy an
fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.
Your humble client