Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the following is a real letter...

and a real description of real events that occured on the morning of December 7. i wrote and sent this yesterday at the request of Nice Guy Banker.

all names have been changed and expunged to protect the innocent, the guilty and the uninvolved.

December 9, 2007

Dear Nice Guy Banker:

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me this morning. I very much appreciate all the wonderful things you and Great Girl Banker have done over the years to help me take care of my grandmother. Because you two have been so kind and considerate, I have to say I never imagined in a million years I could be treated by an employee of the bank as I was last Saturday, December 7.

To give you some background, due to my grandmother's failing health and the five-hour distance between my home in Connecticut and Home Town, we decided last August to move her to an assisted living facility twenty minutes from us. All things considered, she's doing remarkably well, but we've had to put her house on the market, and last weekend, my husband and I spent cleaning out the place. To understand the enormity of the task with which we were faced, the place has nine bedrooms, two kitchens, two baths, one living room, one dining room, one pantry, two foyers, and an attic - every inch stuffed with a hundred years of memories, keepsakes and trash.

To say this was emotionally trying for me is an understatement, but in the course of it, we found her missing safe deposit box key. As part of taking a break, we decided to visit the bank and just for a lark see what might be hiding in teh safe deposit box. The young lady who helped us was very nice and professional. She made a point of checking my Power of Atty form to make sure I was supposed to have access to teh box. When all checked out okay, she had me and my husband sign the form, opened the locks, and handed us the box. She pointed out a room, told us we could open teh box in there, and left us alone. What she did not say, OR what I in my emotionally and physically overwrought state did not hear her say was dont leave without signing a form. It is not my intention to get this young woman in any kind of trouble, Nice Guy. It is perfectly possible she did explain the procedure, and we ddin't hear her. I don't mean to fault her in any way.

We opened the box and in it we found not gold coins or hidden treasure but naturalization papers, birth and death certificates, divorce papers and other family documents. We decided to take them all with us. We left the box open on the table. We asked for some plastic bags. Initially we considered waiting to close out the box, and were told we would have to speak with Nazi Employee, but then, seeing how busy the bank was, we decided to leave. We waved to the nice young lady. At all times, Nazi Employee was busy at her desk. No one attempted to stop us. No one waved us down. No one shouted STOP THIEF. It was never our intention to do anything inappropriate or wrong. We were in a very emotional place and really needed to focus on what we needed to get done.

We left and went back to packing. About half an hour later my husband's cell phone rang. It was our daughter calling from Connecticut. A lady from the bank had called and she was quite upset. I immediately returned the call. When I spoke with Nazi Employee, I said, " Hello, I understand there is some trouble regarding my grandmother's safe deposit box that I just came in and emptied. What's wrong?"

At this point, to say Nazi Employee launched into a tirade is putting it mildly. In the course of the conversation she threatened me with bank security, the police and the IRS. Or maybe it was the SEC. She was talking really fast and she wouldn't stop and I very quickly realized that she was very scared and really needed me to come back and since I was only across the street, which she should have realized, if she'd taken the time to read the account address, that I would do all I could in my power at that moment to do whatever necessary to rectify the situation. I tried to ask her repeatedly what time the bank closed. She wouldn't stop long enough to let me ask her the simple question that I was asking not to be oppositional but to try and be cooperative given all that I was already dealing with in terms of schedules and coordination and moving men, not to mention deep, gut-wrenching emotions.

So after I tried half a dozen times to assure her i DID understand the necessity of coming back and that I was perfectly willing to do so IF ONLY she'd stop long enough to tell me what time the bank closed... I told her to SHUT UP.

In plainest, purest, English.

Then I snapped the cell phone shut, vaulted down the back steps, and charged across the street. I sat down and waited for her to notice me. Which she did, very quickly.

I asked her who she reported to, and assured her that person would be hearing from me first thing Monday morning. At this point, Nazi Employee turned belligerent. She charged me with disagreeing her on the phone, which I most emphatically was not, she accused me of making her shake, to which I said, "Good." She threatened me in front of a lobby full of customers and bank employees with the IRS, the SEC, bank security and the police. She threatened me that she had a tape in which I told her to shut up. I said, "I'm gonna tell you to shut up again if you don't stop." At that point, after I signed the form, she started shouting and shaking her head, in full hearing of other employees, including the first young lady, "Big mistake! Big mistake!"

My husband and I very quickly the left the building and he was genuinely concerned that she was going to call the police. I could not imagine what I could be charged with except for failure to understand a bank procedure that I did not understand even existed.

Nice Guy, as you and Great Girl know, my family has done business with the Home Town Bank for over eighty years. Just because we are selling our property in Home Town does not mean we wish to sever our ties with the community. Despite the stress of the weekend, my husband and I enjoyed our stay at the Fanciest Hotel In Town so much we are considering purchasing a condo or vacation home somewhere on the island and if we did that, Home Town Bank is the first place we'd come for a mortgage.

Whatever I did that was not appropriate was only done out of ignorance and because we were both so emotionally and physcally overwrought. We never in any way intended to cause such upset. My husband is normally extremely sensitive to these kinds of things and the fact he wasn't shows just how affected we both were. Neither of us deserved to be spoken to and made to feel like criminals.

I truly believe that Nazi Employee needs to be placed in a position where her acute appreciation for detail and procedure can be utilized to its fullest degree, and where her interaction with the general public is none to extremely limited. As far as I am concerned, the young lady who initially handled the matter should be completely exonerated of any failure to describe any required procedure, because I know I was very upset at the time, and was not likely to hear or understand.

You have already been gracious enough to apologize on behalf of the bank so no other communication on this matter is required. If there is a tape of the conversation, I am quite certain that my side of the story will bear itself out. Thank you again so much for listening to me... I wish you continued success and a very happy holiday....


Meadow Soprano

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.


Stacie said...

wow... what a horrifying experience!

Patrice said...

My g-d, what a saga! I'm wondering in what form of English you told her to shut up? She does sound horrible. Wouldn't it be interesting to hear the tape?

This sounds as though it was a gut-wrenching task for you and Beloved. At my Dad's house, we only had to go through FORTY years of accumulated stuff!

Well, it's over with now... and you can get back to real (or unreal) life.

I'm glad you wrote that letter. Do you think they'll notice that you're a writer?