Looking Down on Life; at a Fraction over 6' 7", GEOFF HILL Is Ulster's Tallest Journalist. His Lofty View of Life Appears on Alternate Week Days
Byline: GEOFF HILL
Today, courtesy of reader Julie Maguire, we publish a letter sent to a bank in the United States which the bank manager sent on to the New York Times.
It encapsulates brilliantly what many of us think about banks. Except me, of course. I'm entirely happy with the Ulster Bank in Omagh, and they're entirely happy with me, since the manager has spent several winters in the Bahamas on the interest from my overdraft.
I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations some three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it.
I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire salary, an arrangement which, I admit, has only been in place for eight years.
You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account by $50 by way of penalty for the inconvenience I caused to your bank.
My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. You have set me on the path of fiscal righteousness.
No more will our relationship be blighted by these unpleasant incidents, for I am restructuring my affairs in 2002, taking as my model the procedures, attitudes and conduct of your very bank.
I can think of no greater compliment, and I know you will be excited and proud to hear it.
To this end, please be advised about the following changes:
I have noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, ever-changing, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. …