Monday, April 24, 2006

Gimme dis money

Saturday afternoon I'm back to cashing checks. Check cashing always has its own drama, usually because banks aren't open on Saturdays and these people need some dinero for their sins and debauchery.

I always count the money in my drawer once and usually twice, then count it once in front of the customer and then again in front of them. When you're dealing with 150 customers a day and usually around $8,000 in and out, it can't hurt to count the money four times.

Besides, this is YOUR money. I never get offended when the customers count the money again. I'm confident that after we've counted it four times, two of them in front of you, you've got the right amount.

Which brings me to the much-delayed point of this story. I was trying to cash a check for a woman Saturday. At times, either because I've just done a large refund or because I've cashed a lot of checks previously and not gotten cash in from money orders and MoneyGrams, I might not have a lot of cash in the drawer and have to get a loan from the Cash Office.

I told her I'd have to get a loan to cash her check. I started the process and requested the loan on the speaker. She did all the things (Social Security number, etc.) and the check went through. She got back $860-something. I gave her the $60 plus change and told her I'd give her the $800 once I got the loan.

The Cash Office buzzed, and I signed for the loan, and I counted out her $800. Before I had the chance to count it again, she had this wobbling hand motion, like she was going to scoop it up. It was so eerie, like I was going to no actually give her the money.

It was freaky. I took the money off the counter and counted it again and handed it to her. She gave me a dirty look and left.

I still have no clue what brought that on. I started to pay attention for the rest of the day and sure enough, people's hands were QUIVERING with anticipation, no matter how much the check was. $130 for a waitress, $600 for a lawn service guy and $800 for an auto mechanic.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM could hardly wait to snag the cash. It was like they didn't even care if the count was right, they just wanted the cash. You'd think they would care more about getting the right amount of money.

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