I had a thought today as I had to find a canceled check to give to my Dad. My bank, like so many others these days, does not send back my canceled checks. Instead, I get copies of the checks microscopically printed on a piece of paper in the bank statement. Why does the bank do that, I wonder? I can cut out the copy I need, but it’s so tiny, I don’t know that Dad will be able to read it. Does the bank save money on postage by making teeny copies instead of mailing the original canceled checks? If so, just how much could they possibly be saving? And wait, I PAID for those checks; why aren’t they mine again when the bank is done using them to clear the money from my account? Instead of giving them back to me, someone has to copy them to send me the copies and then what do they do with the originals…destroy them? So the bank may have saved a penny on their bulk mailing rate, but they paid an employee to copy and destroy (or file or whatever they do) the originals. How strange. Also, there are times when the original canceled check is required, as in the case when an employer is trying to prove to the IRS that a tax has been paid.
Another thing that banks do now is to require fingerprints when one wants to cash a check. You know what I mean; say your boss has written you a paycheck and you need the cash immediately and don’t want to wait for the check to clear. You take the check to your boss’ bank where the funds are controlled, and they will give you cash for the check right away. Then you have the actual cash to deposit into your account or to spend at the store, etc. and needn’t wait for the paycheck to clear the banks before you can pay bills. Quite a few banks now not only require photo i.d. to cash the check for you, they also take your thumb print. But WHY? Isn’t the photo i.d. proof you are who you say you are? What are they doing with the prints? Can any institution now randomly require fingerprints of us, and what do they do with them? Does this mean that we are unwittingly creating a data base of our fingerprints somewhere for some purpose? I mean, really, the bank doesn’t have anything to compare my fingerprints to (can you imagine: “Wait, Ms. Customer, we’ll give you the cash for this check after our on-site forensic analyst compares your print to the last print you left to make sure you’re still the same person.”) Seriously, why are they collecting fingerprints?
Amazing the nonsense we tolerate. We wouldn’t for one hot SECOND put up with the stuff from neighbors or fellow citizens that we consent to from our institutions and government. Maybe that’s why there is so much road rage and random anger in the streets. We’re taking out our angst on each other since we feel powerless against the machine.
Back in the day, we would have picketed or something. Now, we blog. For all the good it does.