Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Who knew freelancing would tag me as a subversive?

Who knew that leading the life of a freelance writer would cause me to be tagged as a subversive out to undermine the American banking system?

I visit my credit union so often that most of the tellers recognize me on sight and greet me by name even when I'm not visiting their windows. Today, luck of the draw had me at the window of a new teller, a young man who did not recognize me and who apparently had limited authority to use the bank's computer.

How do I know this? Because he could not accept my deposit.

And why couldn't he accept my depost? Because I had made too many of them.

Made too many deposits? Excuse me. Don't banks/credit unions want people to deposit money?

I'm not sure what the magic number is, but I've made eight deposits in the past eight days--or eight deposits in the past six business days--because that's how the money's flowed in from clients, publishers, and other sources.

It's a simple process: I receive money, I deposit money. Apparently, the credit union views this as suspicious behavior because its computer system is programmed to reject an "excessive" number of deposits.

One of the other tellers* had to override the system so that I could make the deposit.

Good grief.

*Interesting side note: The teller who overrode the system is married to a Secret Service agent assigned to the Bush ranch. I guess if you're going to have trouble with the banking system, there's no one better to call for help the the spouse of a Secret Service agent.

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