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.
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
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
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 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.
When you call me, press buttons as follows:
IMMEDIETELY AFTER DIALING, PRESS THE STAR (*) BUTTON FOR ENGLISH
#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. 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 happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?
Your Humble Client
(Remember: This was written by a 86 year old woman