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I’ll just put you in the innocent pile

I just switched banks. Because I’m traveling a bunch and because of a few perks, I left our adorable, local island bank for Sovereign. As I was closing my local account, the bankeress was asking me about my kids and how business was going and I started to wonder if this was a gargantuan mistake.

At my old bank, when I deposited money, it instantly appeared in my account. I know! It was like magic and I naively thought this was how banks worked. But in the last month with the new bank? I’ve been schooled, knocked down and kicked (a few times) in the ribs.

You see, they’ve been holding my checks for up to a week and causing all sorts of trouble for me. Like I can’t pay the people I need to pay (my designers, my coders, all of the superb people that help support Writing Roads).

So, I called yesterday to find out why I had no access (five business days later) to my last deposit, again.

I was told:

  • Since I was a new customer they needed to make sure that my deposited checks were good.
  • They needed time to discover the average deposit amount I’d be making.
  • Going forward, if I made deposits that were larger than my average, they would continue to hold those as well.

Did the shriek of a record scratching just rip through your head too?


  • I’m being assumed guilty when I’ve got a good credit rating and I’ve never bounced a check (ie, I’m innocent).
  • and I’m being punished for this innocence.
  • and I’ll be punished for putting a lot of money in their bank.
  • and apparently it’s not okay to make deposits of varying amounts.

Wah huh? Who do they think they are? Google? They sandboxed me!!! I’m a freelancer! My deposits are never the same! But besides that: I’m innocent!And thus being wrongly accused.

I’m working on a guest post for Jonathan Fields right now about Dead Dudettes. And the women of the Salem Witch Trials keep popping into my mind. As I firmly and angrily yelled talked to the customer service rep at Sovereign yesterday (she is no bankeress, you can be sure of that) – I understood why these New England girls had fits on the floor, shaking and screeching.

They weren’t possessed by the devil, they were furious.

We all (you and I) work with people everyday – clients, colleagues, family members – do we make assumptions and put people in the guilty pile automatically? I’m guessing we might. And the reason would be fear. Just like with the White Men (ie. Puritan leaders) in Salem – there was something they couldn’t control (these girls – some of them single and sexy!), so they put them in the guilty basket (then stoned, burned and hung them, lest we forget) in the name of protection and safety for all.

My bank is afraid of me. But I’m really not scary. If they’d just look a little deeper, ask some questions and give me a chance, they’d see that. And it’s exactly how I’m going to spend my day seeing those around me. You can bank on it.

Image credit: openeyeglobal

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Van says:

    I like how you turned a very frustrating situation into a life lesson. I’m taking this lesson with me today.
    .-= Van´s last blog ..The Most Amazing (Thrifty) Dream I’ve Ever Had =-.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Thanks, Van…I’m trying to lower my blood pressure. ;)

  • Nikki says:

    Try Bank of America. When I moved Stateside, they were great. Money straight into your account, the works. Oh, except they were TERRIBLE setting up international transfers. Nowadays I can just do that online (but I had to work that out for myself).

    Nice post. I think we’ve all been there.

  • Julie Roads says:

    The worst part is that I would totally go back to my old bank – but who has 3 hours to close the accounts, then reopen the new ones, then change paypal and bill pays and everything else that now has the new info…You know? They’ve got me by the balls!!!

  • Heather Goff says:

    Hi Julie,
    20 years ago I had an account with the local bank and they used to call me if my account was overdrawn so that I had a chance to quickly scrounge up some money before checks bounced etc..

    I have to say, I miss that.

    That is handy service to have when you are a freelancer or artist. : )
    .-= Heather Goff´s last blog ..Useful Articles =-.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Hi Heather!
    Funny you should mention that…my bank did not do that and part of the reason I left was for more protection!!! It is essential for freelancers and artists like us!

  • Georgia says:

    Hey Julie! Can you join any credit unions around you? I’m part of one (and used to work at one), and they have waaaaay better customer service than commercial banks. I know at mine, if you had some sort of documentation that your checks were payroll checks, we never put a hold on them. Sorry Sovereign is financially raping you :(

  • Alisa Bowman says:

    Oh yeah, small local bank or a credit union is the only way to go. Yes, it’s inconvenient for deposits and withdrawals, but at least they don’t rape you repeatedly and require you to apologize to THEM for the displeasure of it all.
    .-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..What’s Stopping You From Saving Your Marriage? =-.

  • Mary says:

    this is why i belong to a credit union. owned by the people for the people ;-) i joined in the 70s and i love it. they bend over backwards for me….
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Our Art Wednesday, I Mean Thursday =-.

  • Andi says:

    I have an excellent, fantastic, wonderful bank and was also shocked into reality when I had to go to another bank for a business account (my bank doesn’t do business accounts). I went through this same thing. I let the manager have it, I think they are a little afraid of me at the bank, I actually think they have a note on my record that says “don’t mess with this one, just do what she says!” I don’t get it either! I feel sorry for people who have to deal with this for their everyday banking experiences – Julie, switch back. I am sure that whatever inconveniences you had cannot out weigh the hell you have to go through with a regular bank.
    .-= Andi´s last blog ..French Friday – Parispoolza! =-.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Andi – I reopened my accounts at my old bank yesterday morning. They were so sweet about it…made it easy. UGH. On so many levels!!! Love that your bank is afraid of you, as they should be! You’re so badass.

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