Oh, the lengths we go to in order to preserve our private information.
Funny how my checking account number is less important than a Backroads Missouri student's ninth-grade science mid-quarter scores. This is password week during our school technology security month. Yeah. 'Cause we're geeky like that. Those of us who are good eggs are rewarded with Hershey bars if our systems are secure when checked at random. The bad eggs get a solemn note with a frowny face that borders on snark. Once upon a time I got one of those. Even though I had doggedly logged off for lunch. As I did every day. But lo and behold, my unit was malfunctioning. It said I was logged off. But I wasn't logged off. You can bet I put in a technology work order after my frowny. How was I supposed to know that my unit had a problem? I am not the company computer guy. I still harbor a grudge.
Just after the lunch bell, on my way back to my classroom, I saw the tech checker shooting the breeze with the principal. I informed him that I was LOCKED, and that he could just skedaddle on down the hall and take note. Which he did. And left me a Hershey on my keyboard. Where it was already melting when I rescued it after the four-minute passing period. Oh, and I also used the opportunity to remind him of the frowny time, and how I was completely innocent. He seemed a bit uncomfortable. He humored me like a grandpa soaking up the details in a four-year-old's tale of the time Big Bird drove him to McDonald's in his Power Wheels Jeep.
But enough of the sad frowny times. After school, I took a work reimbursement check to the bank for Hick. I normally deposit such items, but today I decided that cashing it would be easier. And quicker. It was only double figures, for gas money and lunch on an in-state trip last week.
The bank was cram-packed. All three lanes were full. I was fourth in line, no matter which one I chose. I know you're scratching your citified heads over the thought of TWELVE cars overwhelming my financial institution. But we're talking Backroads here. Not a major metropolitan area. I chose the one less traveled by (the one people normally avoid due to the hairpin turn needed to access the back alley for egress when business is complete), but that made no difference. People still piled in behind me.
When my turn rolled around, I put Hick's check into the tube insouciantly. The twenty-year-old teller had no way of knowing that I had blithely signed Hick's name to the back. How could she? It was the spittin' image of Hick's hen-scratch. Then she had the nerve to ask if Hick was with me in the car. Um. NO. She said cashing the check was no problem, but she needed my signature on it as well. So she tubed it back out. I signed. My signature is quite different from Hick's John Henry.
By the time I tubed it back in, I had a new twenty-something teller. They were tag-teaming at closing time, apparently. She greeted me all over again. And asked what I wanted to do. I said, "Cash that check, please." She asked if I had my bank account handy. Of course. She wanted the account number. Spoken through the speaker. I have done this before, but when I was the only car at the drive-thru. I spoke it in a normal tone. Telly asked me to repeat it. Louder. Most likely due to the Hillbilly Cadillac idling in the next lane, all four-wheely and big-footy and unmuffled.
I told her I was a bit uncomfortable shouting that out, what with all the people around. Criminy! She had both names. She could have looked up the gosh-darn account and from her terminal. It's not like she even asked for ID. For all she knew, I could have allegedly stolen the checkbook and account number along with the reimbursement check. Not wanting to anger the waiting patrons by necessitating a third tubing to insert a deposit slip with the account number, I shouted it. Not quite so loud as huzzahs from the rooftops in honor of placing 89th in the 80th Annual Writers Digest Writing Competition. But close.
I'm hoping that the Hillbilly Cadillac folks were making a withdrawal to fund their deer camp escapades, not to finance a pseudoepinephrine-buying spree for their meth manufacturing hobby.
Ahh...for the days when I walked to the drive-up window of my little bank in Sheldon, Missouri, to deposit my monthly paycheck. When all I had to worry about was carbon monoxide poisoning if one of the townspeople suddenly had to bank on the same day as I. And the biggest breach of security I had to deal with was when the postmaster kept my People magazine from me for a day, and put it in my post office box with grease spots and cookie crumbs between the staples.