Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why I Hate Banks

Steam is coming out of my ears right now. I don't care what country I'm in, I hate the banks! American banks strive to be as inconvenient as possible, all the while fulfilling their ultimate goal of cheating you out of as much money as possible. Filipino banks, at least in my experience, seem intent on smiling broadly while cheating foreigners out of their money. Korean banks have the goal of making foreigners who bank with them tear their hair out in frustration.

Today I spent over an hour at the bank, fighting with a stubborn machine in the hopes of getting my money deposited. I had to make multiple deposits in order to please the persnickety thing, and I'm terrified that the last transaction, involving over 750,000 won (about $750), did not go through. I considered having a bank employee help me, but two things stopped me from doing so: 1. I know that none of the employees at my bank speak English, and 2. They were currently assisting #521 and I had #555 (believe me, as slowly as they move, waiting for a human would have taken at least another hour - which I didn't have).

At home on my lunchbreak, I have dedicated another forty-five minutes to attempting to use the online banking to transfer money overseas. I don't care how many times I've been told this is possible online - I still don't believe it. I can't even get logged in to my account on that blasted website. The English versian of the site is so poorly laid out that it sends one in circles, and leaves one longing to throw the computer out the window. I quit.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"