The end of a relationship can be hard, but it can also feel like a fresh, cool breeze on a sweltering day. Sometimes you get to the end of a relationship and wonder how it ever went on so long in the first place. Complacency is a powerful force, but when its bonds are finally shattered, the happiness you feel makes you realize just how bad things had become.
I got out of an abusive relationship this weekend. I broke up with Bank of America.
I received a check from my publisher on Saturday and took it to the bank to deposit it. I braced myself for trouble because it was an out-of-state check, and sure enough, I was told that there would be a hold on it while the funds cleared, and those funds wouldn't be available for TEN DAYS. Apparently Bank of America doesn't cotton to that new-fangled electronic gizmo banking, but instead prefers to put my check in a leather satchel and hang it on a post outside, to be picked up by the next Pony Express rider as he heads north through Indian Country on his way to New York.
I explained how this was uncool since any royalty payments I receive for this book (shut up, it could happen) will come this way, but the bank manager shut me down, and not even fake-bank politely, either. When I said that I was considering closing my account and opening a new one somewhere else, she said that these rules were FDIC regulations and would be the same at any bank I went to, so don't bother. Furthermore, if I used this particular check to start a new account somewhere else, there would be a 90-day waiting period before those funds became available.
"There's nothing you can do, little man," she said. (paraphrased) "Submit and go home."
So I walked out to my car, drove down the street to another bank (one that had come highly recommended by another writer for just this reason), and thirty minutes later, I had a new account. The funds will be available tomorrow or Wednesday.
I'm not going to kid myself. My new bank doesn't do business in order to help the common man and make the planet a nicer place to live. But I feel like I just broke up with a girl who was narcissistic and hateful and liked to stab me in the eye with a fork. If my new girlfriend turns out to be a crack addict or a boogereater, at least it'll be a new kind of anxiety. It's nice to change things up from time to time.
Have a nice life, Bank of America.
UPDATE, 10/3 - As good as their word, my new bank came through with my funds, and I even got a call just now from the bank manager to let me know. The funds actually became available before I've even received a debit card in the mail. Fancy!