Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Six degrees

Can the problems of my world really be traced back to Republicans? What happened to me today suggests so.

I went out today in search of Canadian currency for my upcoming vacation. I've discovered on my last few trips that many places do not take debit/credit cards, so a little pocket money is useful. I went to my bank, a small credit union and they did not carry Canadian. They suggested I go to what I will call Megalo Bank. I did. Megalo Bank informed me that I would need to open an account to get currency, so I decided to go to a larger, Maine-based bank. The teller there informed me that I would have to open an account and sent me to the receptionist's desk. The receptionist told me to have a seat to wait for a customer service officer. When the officer was available she brought me into her office and I told her that I would like to open an account because I would like to order some Canadian currency. This must of triggered a red flag to her. She started by saying that I needed to provide a local ID that was current, as if I was a transient living in my car. She looked at me as if I was scuzz. I thought I was opening an account, and not joining a sorority.

I pulled out my ID and filled out a form, listing that I had been employed for 5 years at the same place (the local municipality, no less), had lived at my home for 2 years and was worthy of her time. I found it ironic that that artwork on her wall was a picture of my place of work, a pencil sketch. This local bank prided themselves on being a part of the community in which they were located, which included celebrating local landmarks.

I waited for ages while the woman went to perform a credit check. I found a good vein in case she needed my blood too. She came back and informed me that I had been approved but that she didn't want to open an account for me simply so I could get currency. It would be a waste of their time. I did say that I already had an account with my husband elsewhere, but liked the fact the her bank was convenient to my work and local. I wasn't prepared to pull up stakes at my current bank though. I have a partner to consult. I bemoaned that this city is so small and normally I did not have problems obtaining foreign currency, and that every bank I went to was the same. Her answer to this was to say that the Patriot Act required that people must have bank accounts at the institution they are seeking currency from. I took some info about their checking accounts, apologized for wasting her time and left.

The Patriot Act is already a sore topic for me as a librarian. A swell of post 9/11 nationalism caused both some Democrats and Republican to craft such a faulty piece of legislation that punishes instead of protects. What really bothered me today was a woman in a position of power looking at me and judging me for how I look. It reeks of Republican apathy to me. What if I was homeless? Do I have less of a right to have a safe place for my money, or access to foreign funds? I was raised by Republican parents, but my mother taught me acceptance of most people. I always hated snobs. I suppose it's because I wore hand-me-downs and was quiet around people I didn't know. I realized today that we all don't have the right to do basic things. I blame the Republicans.

1 comment:

Leucantha` said...

I feel like the comment queen on your sight tonight. I guess I had more catching up to do than I realized. I didn't know this either, since I don't travel much outside the U.S. Even though it is close I haven't been to Mexico in ages. It would seem that there should have been some sort of provision made for exactly what you wanted to do. That is truly asinine.