A Simple Task Gone Awry

We males depend a great deal on the women in our lives. This story is just one example. My wife, Ann, and I have been together about eighteen years. This is the second marriage for both of us. We were widow and widower when we met. We married when I was 70.

A few days ago, Ann was afflicted with a temporary, but serious illness, and needed to be admitted to the hospital. I went to see her and, though her body needed mending, her mind was in control. “Dear, she said, “This has happened at a bad time. There are bills to pay and, even though you received a paycheck today, it needs to be deposited. You need to do this!”

“But, honey,” I protested, “I haven’t done anything like this in many years. I don’t know how to deposit money!” “I’ll teach you,” she said. The instructions she gave were thorough. She told me which bank I needed to go to, what form to fill out, and what to do at the drive-in window. “Easy enough,” I thought.

Driving to the bank was easy. I knew just where it was. But, finding the drive-in window became the first problem. I circled the building and eventually found the window but did not enter the drive-in lane right away. I had not made out the deposit slip. I pulled over as close to the side as I could and stopped the car. Fishing through my pockets, I couldn’t find the blank deposit slip. No problem, I thought; I’d have the teller fill one out.

There were two lanes being served by the bank. No one was in the lane closest to the teller’s window, but I drove into the second lane because it was easier to get into. This was my second mistake.

Since I had left the left lane open, another vehicle arrived and slipped into it while I was deciding what I needed to do. Now, I could not see the teller’s window from where I sat. There was an apparatus blocking my view. This housed a canister of some kind. I had no idea how to use this device and pushed a button marked Call. Nobody answered. I reached out and picked up the container and brought it into the car for examination. I needed to put my check in here, I thought. But how? It didn’t appear to have an opening anywhere. I pushed the Call button again.

As I waited for a response, the car beside me departed and a woman’s voice came from somewhere, “How may I serve you?” “I’d like to deposit a check,” I said. “But don’t know how to use this bottle thing.” There was silence at the other end. After waiting a while longer, I said, “Maybe, I should come into the bank.” The voice responded, “Yes, that would be good.” I drove out of the lane and to the front of the bank. I parked and retrieved the envelope with the check and found that I needed to “unpack it.” This required that I strip four edges away from the envelope. I did this. Inside was what I thought to be a check. I’d bring this in.

In the bank, I went to a teller and gave her the contents of the envelope and said, “I’d like to deposit this.” The woman examined what I had given her and said, “This is not a check, sir. It’s a check stub.” “Oh, I responded,” I must have left the check in the car. I’ll go get it.”

Feeling foolish, I went back to the car and examined the pieces of paper that were there. I saw no sign of a check. Gathering all the pieces of paper I could find, I reentered the bank and went back to the same teller. I said, “There has to be a check in here somewhere. See if you can find it.” “Yes sir,” she said, “I see it here but I need to open the envelope. What you gave me earlier was a stub from a Credit Union deposit that had been automatically made by your employer.” She removed the edges from an envelope I had given her and asked, “Do you wish to deposit or cash this check?” I responded that it was to be deposited.

I felt that my behavior might have raised some flags and wanted to allay any suspicion the teller might have of my integrity. “Would you like some ID?” I asked. “Oh no,” was the response. That would be required only if you were cashing.” “Definitely, depositing!” I stated. Then I added, “My wife normally does this. I haven’t deposited a check in many years. She’s in the hospital.” I needed to explain my ineptness.

The teller moved her fingers in magical fashion, then said, “All done. I hope your wife feels better soon.”

As I returned to the car, I felt unseen eyes on me. I knew my performance in having this mission accomplished had not been stellar. I must not make any mistakes as I left the bank’s parking area. With great care, I drove to the street and turned right. It should have been left. No problem, there was no way they could be aware of this mistake.

I did not know until later that there had been one saving grace to this entire ordeal. Ann laughed gaily as I recounted the story of what had happened at the bank.

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