As Soon as I Handed the Guy at the Bank My Pen, I Knew I Would Never See It Again.

So today is my day off, and just now I walked down to the bank to open a new savings account, and sat down to wait for someone at a desk to help me, and this dude walks up wearing jeans and a bright yellow and blue basketball jersey with "Fila" in huge letters across the front.  The only way I knew he worked there is he asked me if I had a question. 

"Yes, I do," I replied. "What the hell are you wearing?  Look around.  You work in a bank!"  OK, no I did not say that, but are we serious here?  I looked at the girl behind the other desk, and sure enough, she was wearing full-on sweats!  Like, pink sweat pants and a little pink hoodie.  I know this is So-Cal and we like to pretend we’re laid back by wearing uber-casual clothes while we’re actually stressing ourselves crazy about our agents and managers and the fact that we still have over 0% body fat, even after the power spinbox yogalates we did for four hours this morning.  But the bank?  I mean, I’m even required to dress "business casual" at my editing job, where I’ve never once seen a client face to face.  Even on "casual Fridays," sweats and b-ball jerseys are frowned upon.  (Oh my gosh, I’m starting to hyperventilate because I just realized I used the term "casual Fridays" in reference to my own life.  Excuse me while I call my boss RIGHT NOW and quit my job and make plans to move to an island where I can make ends meet by trading shells.  That is, if I can stop the dry-heaving, which is preventing me from speaking clearly).

So I went over to James’ (his name was James) desk and he began the very official process of getting my new account opened by signing into his computer, except that he couldn’t because he had forgotten his password.  We joked about that for a minute, and then he decided to write my name down on a plain pad of paper, for some reason.  Except that the pen attached to the desk didn’t write, so he picked up a green highlighter instead, and wrote "Marcy Minton" in fat green letters.  Then, once that was done, I guess he remembered his password and started typing some stuff, blah blah, yadda yadda, and then went and got a form from somewhere.  He came back and started to fill it out, and I saw him searching the desk for a pen and coming up empty, so I said, "You can use this one."  And as the words came out of my mouth and the pen passed from my hand into his, it felt like slow motion, and I thought, "I will never see this pen again." 

As it happens, just, JUST before leaving for the bank I cleaned out my purse. I had had 2 pens, but decided that was excessive and removed one.  This information will come in handy for you a little later.  But back to this pen. This pen happened to be one of my favorites.  It was one I stole from work during a brief period when they were getting us really nice clicky, soft grippy pens. 

So we finished opening the account, and he says Thank You, and I say Thank you, and he shakes my hand, and I get up to go, and Sure Enough.  He keeps my pen.  I hesitated for just a fraction of a second, picturing myself asking for it back and the awkwardness that would surely ensue, and while I hesitated he began filling out some other type of paperwork with it, and I realized that he seemed really to be struggling today, and therefore I would let him keep the dang pen, darn it.

On my way out I stopped at the ATM to deposit a check.  I opened my checkbook to fill out the deposit slip, and this is the part I told you about, the part where it sucks that I cleaned out my purse this morning, because instead of having one pen left, I had no pen.  Dammit.  So I marched back inside, determined to ask James for my pen back, awkwardness be damned, but there he was, all innocent looking in his loud jersey, still writing with it.  I couldn’t do it.  So I went to the table where you fill stuff out and used one of the pens attached to the desk (the first one I tried didn’t work, by the way.  They really need to get on that!) and went back to the ATM.  I was just about to seal the envelope and stick it in the machine when I realized I hadn’t endorsed the check.  Arrrrgh.  So I went back in again to use the pen, and this time I passed James, and he said, "Did you have another question?"

"No, I’m just… depositing… some…"  And he was already like, "Oh, oh, OK, ok," and the awkwardness I had been hoping to avoid was there anyway, but I was still sans pen.  UGH!  So by this point I was SO ready to just get out of the f-ing bank, and I went back out to the ATM and it was BEEEEEEEEEEPing, and I realized I had left my card inside! But luckily everyone seemed to have steered clear of that ATM, probably because of the ear-splitting beep coming out of it, so my card was still there, and I finished up my transaction and walked home.

Lessons learned: Never clean out purse, never let people in sweat pants/loud jerseys handle your finances, never assume that once you’ve stolen a pen it won’t be stolen from you, and never assume that a simple task will be accomplished simply and without hassle.  Never.


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