January 29, 2011

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing, but serious enough to have it published recently, 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 with last month. By my calculations, three nano seconds 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 twenty one 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 I have so grossly 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 and your employees have become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. 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 proof. 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 for you. 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 nature.
#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 computer is required. A 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 put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
#10. This is a second reminder to press * for English. While this may, on 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 less than happy and cordial day?

Your Humble Client

And remember: Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.


  1. Great !!! Often thought of doing that myself !

  2. Too bad we can't see the dumbass reply the bank returned if anything.

  3. Dave....
    You will never see the answer from the bank.
    It would take a lot of registered letters with no result in the end...
    Now, if you own a HUGE amount, it could be different...Not the case of this woman, I think... and same for me I'm afraid....