America’s Most Convenient Bank

Posted: May 18, 2009 in Braak

Recently, the bank at which my theater company banks, Bank North, was bought by TD Bank, and now they’re all TD Bank.  Maybe it was the other way around.  Whatever, it was something like that.  I used to have one bank, now it’s a different bank.  I heard all of these radio commercials with Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, talking about how great this merger was going to be, and shouldn’t I be EXCITED for it?  It’s going to be AMERICA’S MOST CONVENIENT BANK!  ZOMG!!!111!!!1

Kelly Ripa always wants me to be excited about things.  Today, though, I went to make a deposit.

Just so you know, I do my personal banking at a different bank.  On the way to AMERICA’S MOST CONVENIENT BANK (ZOMG!) I passed four branches for my bank, including a supermarket branch that’s open for seven hours every day, even on Sundays.

The nearest branch of TD Bank (America’s Most Convenient Bank) is actually in a different county.

So, I get to America’s most convenient bank on a Monday morning, and there’s one teller–I guess they don’t do a lot of banking on Mondays?  There’s a guy ahead of me, and he’s being processed in some way.  I don’t know for what, but I can see that there is paperwork, and he has two or three forms of ID and a substantial sheaf of supporting credentials.  I hear words like “Homeland Security,” and consider it impolite to try and overhear more.  His transaction takes somewhere on the order of fifteen minutes.  He apologizes three times.  The teller pretends that I do not exist until it is my turn at the counter.

When I arrive at the TD Bank counter, the teller greets me, and informs me that I am at America’s Most Convenient Bank.  Behind her is a very lovely sign that says as much:  TD Bank:  AMERICA’S MOST CONVENIENT BANK.  I do not believe it is possible for TD Bank to stress their nationality and relative convenience any more thoroughly than they have.  The teller asks how she can help me, and I tell her:

“I would like to make a deposit for my theater.  We had a bank account at Bank North.  Here is the number.”

She looks at the deposit slip I hand her, and informs me that I’ll have to go to the terminal at the end of the very long counter.  I look down, and notice that there is no teller at that terminal, but the woman remains obstinate.  I take my money and my deposit slip, and walk down to the end of the counter, waiting patiently at the Bank North terminal.

The teller looks at me, then she, too, goes to the terminal at the end of the counter.

“How can I help you?”  She says.

“I would like to make a deposit…”  I repeat.  The sign behind her still reads America’s Most Convenient Bank.  I notice now that the phrase is trademarked.

“You’ll have to wait,” she tells me.  “There are different keys for different terminals.”  She leaves me, and the line that had formed behind me, while she attempts to find someone who has a set of keys.  I look back at the waiting bank patrons and sheepishly apologize.

After a few moments, a man comes to the terminal.  “How can I help you?”  He asks, America’s Most Convenient Bank ™ glinting in the background.

“I’d like to make a deposit,” I said.  “Do you have the keys to the terminal?”

“Oh, no,” he replies.  “Margaret has those.”  He leaves.  A moment later, the first woman returns.  I see that her nametag reads “Margaret.” She takes out her keys, and processes my deposit.  There is no mention of where she got her keys from, or why she didn’t have the right ones the first time.

“America’s Most Convenient Bank ™” hovers always behind her.  Taunting me.

  1. Hsiang says:

    Obviously, they are using the other definition of the word “convenient”.

  2. Jeff Holland says:

    Are you sure you weren’t on an episode of “Punk’d”? This sounds a bit like a routine from “Punk’d.”

  3. threatqualitypress says:

    Well, I’m pretty sure they only put celebrities on Punk’d. And also, don’t they come out at the end and say, “Haha, got you!” And give you the opportunity to punch Ashton Kutcher in the face? That’s why I always wanted to be on Punk’d.

    Anyway, I kept wondering if the fact that they trademarked “America’s Most Convenient Bank” meant that they didn’t have to actually mean it. It’s like, “We’re not saying that we actually ARE America’s most convenient bank. We’re just saying that the words ‘America’s’ ‘Most’ ‘Convenient’ and ‘Bank’, when strung together in that particular order, are a symbol that we are legally identifying with our corporate entity.”

  4. Moff says:

    On a tangential note, an idea I’ve tossed around for a while as I’ve started and restarted Pothead Space Ninja* is to have my protagonist decide that he’s going to kill or at least potentially lethally threaten the heads of major corporations who practice this kind of bullshit. Because I think it would be very satisfying, if you had the skills to bypass high-tech security systems, etc., to break into a TD Bank senior vice president’s home and hold a knife to his throat and explain to him what your experience with his company was and that, contrary to what he has believed until now, it is not OK to waste the time of the thousands of people who live outside of the bubble he lives in—whose money, in fact, makes it possible for him to live inside said bubble.

    There’s no fucking accountability. And it’s so widespread that if I found out someone really was breaking into senior vice presidents’ homes and holding knives to their throats, I don’t think I could bring myself to mitigate my enthusiasm with a token “Of course, I don’t really think it’s OK to break the law this way…” I think I would just be all fucking for it. Some days, anyway.

    *I have officially crossed the line, I’m pretty sure, of being a person who talks about his novel and will never actually write it.

  5. threatqualitypress says:

    I generally just found myself too bemused to get properly angry about it.

    It’s like, some days you just have to acknowledge that you live in a Kafka novel, you know?

  6. Moff says:

    Yeah. But other days, I really do want to do the knife thing.

  7. Amanda says:

    But, you ARE a celebrity!

  8. Jeff Holland says:

    I wonder if this is what happened to Lindsay Lohan – that she got stuck in one of Ashton Kutcher’s elaborate Punk’d scenarios, but then Kutcher never jumped out to do the reveal, and things have just snowballed from there.

    What I am saying, Chris, is that every day Ashton Kutcher doesn’t jump out at you laughing, things are going to get worse and worse.

  9. wench says:

    It could always be worse. The guy ahead of you with the 3 forms of ID and the Homeland Security thing? That could have been them saying that everyone who had an account with the old bank had to reverify with the new bank before processing transactions.

    Be grateful, dude. Seriously. Never say it can’t get any worse.

  10. V.I.P. Referee says:

    “The teller looks at me, then she, too, goes to the terminal at the end of the counter.”

    Hilarious, gasping for air funny. Maybe not for you. It was probably painful and disorienting in a “lab rat” sort of way for you. Did you get any free, “grand re-structuring” merchandise–perhaps, a t-shirt plastered with “Ask me about doing business with ‘America’s Most Convenient Bank’!” ? It’s a fairly presumptuous claim on their part, by the way, but I’m sure intellectual property laws will silence any challengers…

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