Monday, June 8, 2009

A Sudden and Welcome Windfall

I had a gloriously unexpected letter from the bank yesterday: apparently, they have suddenly "discovered" over $300 which belong to me, and are giving me ten days in which to decide if I would like to claim the money. After giving the matter careful consideration, I decided that I would like to claim my money. Honestly, isn't that just like a bank to give you ten days to decide if you want something that is rightfully yours?

The money, in case anyone was wondering, is not an annuity from a deceased distant relative or a payout from a wealthy family about whom I uncovered a scandalous secret in the course of my undergraduate research. No, nothing that exciting. Two years ago I was briefly employed by a bank call center, and after three weeks of training, I opted to resign, since I realized that banks are too unethical and that I could not work for one and still be able to sleep well at night. Plus, working at a call center seemed slightly less appealing than dedicating my life to the study of foot fungus. After I resigned, the bank neglected to pay me for the training (it was supposed to be time that I was compensated for), and I was too caught up in preparing to go to Korea to notice the absence of a happy little paycheck.

The money comes at a perfect time, since all of the money that I have saved is still in won, waiting for a better exchange rate before being changed into dollars. Three hundred and forty dollars may not seem like much, but at the present moment, it feels like a fortune. I still need a few additions to my "teacher" wardrobe, and I have a dear little car that just loves to have a full tank of gas, so the money will certainly be put to good use.

In other news, there is still no word from the bank in Virginia about the house, but I'm not terribly concerned (yet). Banks tend to drag their feet on short sales, which honestly makes no sense to me. I mean, it costs a bank at least $60,000 to foreclose on a house, plus they are then saddled with a property that they need to sell in a housing market that is less than ideal. If I were a bank, I would be leaping for joy at the thought of a successful short sale, and bending over backwards to help the sale go through. I guess banks must secretly enjoy losing money and operating inefficiently.

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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"