Throughout most of my life, I have been unable to accumulate huge amounts of money. In fact, keeping the wolf from our door has been an ongoing struggle for my child bride and me. Thick payment books usually followed the purchase of any and all major purchases. The first few days of each month found us agonizing over which payment could be skipped in order to satisfy another that was past due.
Eventually, by curtailing unnecessary spending to the point that we were able to save a portion of our meager income, we began a savings account with our bank. They rewarded us for our frugality by changing the designation of our checking account from “Standard – Tin” to “Excellent – Platinum.” Over the years, we managed to accrue enough in the savings account to buy what we hoped would be our retirement home.
We transferred enough of our funds from our savings account into our checking account and wrote a check for the property. Little did we know that doing so would void our “Excellent – Platinum” rating and out checking account would revert to the original “Standard – Tin” designation.
This change was brought to our attention only when we received our monthly statement. Buried deep within the explanations for all the transactions, was a service charge of $30.00 designated as “Maintenance Fee.”
Needless to say, I immediately demanded enlightenment from a lady at the bank, and was told that; “You withdrew a substantial amount from your savings account.”
“My God, lady, are you telling me that I have to pay you a fee to use my own money?” Her answer was, “Yes; withdrawing this money from savings disqualified you for the “Excellent – Platinum” rating.”
By this time, my blood pressure was probably off the chart. I asked what qualifies one for all the free “stuff,” (toasters,coffee makers, etc); that they hype in all their advertisements; as an attempt to entice new depositors. I received no answer.
The lady continued: “Most importantly; you must have all your income direct deposited into our bank. Bring us the deed to your home, your endorsed life insurance policies, your eldest son, the titles for all vehicles, any spare change in the sugar dish and assignment of your pension checks. Then, you will be able to write one check each quarter if less than $15.00. Doesn’t that sound nice, Mr. Demijon?” she grinned.
Dejected, I asked, “I suppose that it’s out of the question to ask you for a loan of a quarter for the parking meter beside your office?”
“We compensate for one parking citation per year; and I see from your Computer records that you used this privilege last month: Is there anything else, Mr. Demijon?”
I glanced out the window and spotted a billboard across the street advertising; – “POPPA JOE’S BANK & TRUST:” “I. R. GREEDY; President.”
“NO;” “I said in a quivering voice:” “Enough is enough; and I’ve had quite an abundance: Thank You very much.”