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Dear Bank Manager

Joke submitted by: Anonymous

Dear Bank Manager,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing the check with which I

endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations some

three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the

check, and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor

it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my

entire salary, an arrangement which, I admit, has only been in

place for eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of

opportunity, and also for debiting my account with $50 by way of

penalty for the inconvenience I caused to your bank. My

thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has

caused me to re-think my errant financial ways. You have set me

on the path of fiscal righteousness.

No more will our relationship be blighted by these unpleasant

incidents, for I am restructuring my affairs in the second half

of 1999, taking as my model the procedures, attitudes and conduct

of your very bank. I can think of no greater compliment, and I

know you will be excited and proud to hear it.

To this end, please be advised about the following changes:

First, I have noticed that whereas I personally attend to your

telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you I am

confronted by the impersonal, ever-changing, 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 of your

branch, whom you must nominate. You will be aware that it is an

offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an


Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I

require our 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 Justice of the Peace, and that the mandatory

details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and

liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course I will issue your employee with a PIN number which

he/she must quote in all 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 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 by introducing you to

my new telephone system, which you will notice, is very much like

yours. My authorized contact at your bank, the only person with

whom I will have any dealings, may call me at any time and will

be answered by an automated voice. By pressing buttons on the

phone, he/she will be guided thorough an extensive set of menus:

1. To make an appointment to see me

2. To query a missing repayment

3. To make a general complaint or inquiry

4. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there;

Extension of living room to be communicated at the time the call

is received;

5. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am still

sleeping. Extension of bedroom to be communicated at the time

the call is received;

6. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to

nature. Extension of toilet to be communicated at the time the

call is received.

7. To transfer the call to my mobile phone in case I am not at


8. To leave a message on my computer. To leave a message a

password to access my computer is required. Password will be

communicated at a later date to the contact.

9. To return to the main menu and listen carefully to options 1

through 8.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my

automated answering service. While this may on occasion involve a

lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration. This

month I’ve chosen a refrain from The Best Of Woody Guthrie:

“Oh, the banks are made of marble

With a guard at every door

And the vaults are filled with silver

That the miners sweated for”

After twenty minutes of that, our mutual contact will probably

know it by heart. On a more serious note, we come to the matter

of cost.

As your bank has often pointed out, the ongoing drive for greater

efficiency comes at a cost. A cost which you have always been

quick to pass on to me. Let me repay your kindness by passing

some costs back.

First, there is the matter of advertising material you send me.

This I will read for a fee of $20 per page. Inquiries from your

nominated contact will be billed at $5 per minute of my time

spent in response. Any debits to my account, as, for example, in

the matter of the penalty for the dishonored check, will be

passed back to you.

My new phone service runs at 75 cents a minute (even Woody

Guthrie doesn’t come for free), so you would be well advised to

keep your inquiries brief and to the point. Regrettably, but

again following your example, I must also levy an establishment

fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

Best Wishes,

Your humble client

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