Nickel and diming

Banksters—greedy vermin who pissed off Jesus enough that he lost it and threw them out of the temple—carelessly screwed us and the economy so well that President Obama rewarded them with bazillions of tax dollars. Since they haven’t done much of anything they promised they’d do, rather like the president himself, little people—noncorporate persons who aren’t immortal or dedicated to maximum profit at all costs—are moving their nickels and dimes away from big banks and entrusting them to local banks and credit unions. Good.

I worked five years for a bank in various jobs, and a colder bunch of heartless bastards than the honchos at Harris Trust I have yet to encounter—singly yes, but not so many in one place. Those five years left a bad taste in my mouth, and I use banks with reluctance, like many civilized persons.

After suffering with TCF in Minnesota for some years, when we moved to Chico I picked a “community” bank because it was close to our apartment, and since then I’ve had good service from it through thick and thin, mostly thin.

Not long ago my “community” bank was bought by a much bigger foreign bank, although I suspect they’re all the same. Ordinarily that wouldn’t matter to me, but I had chosen a local bank deliberately and now it wasn’t local anymore. More important, I had gotten used to the people who work there, and when I think about moving my personal dimes and nickels from what is now one of the big banks I was avoiding, I don’t want to leave them. They’re not heartless bastards, and they got sold out, too. I’m not rejecting them; they’re collateral damage.

I don’t have enough money or complex enough needs for the bank I use to make a lot of practical difference to me. The logos may vary, but I want pretty much the same things.

I’ve been looking for differences in service since my bank was bought, and I’ve got to say the online interface is much better than before. The biggest change, though, is that now whenever I go there I’m subjected to loud commercial radio, mindless drivel too loud to ignore. I don’t suppose there’s a correlation between forcing customers to listen to crap and the fiscal chicanery that got us where we are, but the noise pollution alone makes me cringe. So before I go there I’m usefully forced to nurture the equanimity of a calm and peaceful mind, at least until I decide on a credit union.