[StBernard] My Mentor

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Apr 30 22:25:18 EDT 2008

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old
woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in
the New York Times.

Dear Sir:

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 pension,
an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.
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 answer 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

My mortgage and loan repayments 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 nominate.
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 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

In due course, at MY convenience, 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
#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
is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later
date to that
Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.
#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
on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering
#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English. While this may,
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

(Remember: This was written by an 86 year old woman)

P.S. And remember: Don't make old ladies mad. They don't like being old in
the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss them off!

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