Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The 35 Cent Check

I found this article today and was amused...

How Far Would You Go to Cash a $0.35 Check?

Would you cash a 35-cent check? Two days ago I wouldn't have known the answer to that question. Now I do, and, I'm sorry to say, the answer for me is yes. Yesterday I spent 30 minutes traveling to my bank and back to cash a 35-cent check.
Here's the story and what I plan to do with my spoils.

Two weeks ago I received a letter from my health insurance carrier. Excited to be receiving an unexpected check, I tore into the envelope and retrieved a check written out to me for the grand sum of $0.35. I went to chuck the check into the trash bin, but some unknown and unseen force held me back.

Staring at the check, I laid it next to my computer, where it sat for two weeks, buried by the usual clutter that seems to follow me like grunge follows Pigpen of Charlie Brown fame. Two days ago while I sifted through the grunge, the check resurfaced. Convinced it had taken on a life of its own, I started to tear it up, but again something held me back. So I relented and took the check to work with me yesterday.

My bank, Citibank, is just across the street from where I work, so at midday I set out on a 35-cent adventure.

As I neared the bank, though, something didn't look quite right. As I got closer I noticed a large chain wrapped around and through the bank's door handles and held together by a padlock. At first I thought, "Wow, the credit meltdown took out Citibank! This is worse than I thought." Looking around I soon realized, however, that all the shops were closed because the office building had just begun renovations.

Racking my brain to remember where the next closest Citibank branch was, I reversed course and headed back the other way for five blocks. Entering the Citibank branch, I marched up to the teller and triumphantly tendered my 35-cent check.

"I'd like to cash this check, please. I'd prefer quarters and dimes." The teller looked at the check and without missing a beat said, "Are you sure you're comfortable walking around with this much money?" Nice.

Now get this: I actually had to sign for the cash. She just smiled and said it was bank policy. Now I'm thinking the insurance company and the bank are owned by the same company. Anyway, with cash in hand, I left the financial institution with my head held high and change a-jiggling in my pocket.

So what am I going to do with my newfound wealth? I'm putting it toward my savings goal. With that $0.35, I've already achieved .000875% of my goal. Giddy up.

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