Bank of America Tortures Its Customers

So the Bank of America, I guess trying to streamline the deposit process, has installed these new ATMs where you no longer put your checks in an evelope, but instead insert them one at a time into a slot like the dollar bill slot in a vending machine. The machine is supposed to scan your check and read the amount. Great. Except they don’t work half the time. Or, in my most recent episode with the bank, 2/3 of the time.

Last week I had three checks all the same size and configuration, all from the same company. All neat and flat, no wrinkles. I stuck one check in and it got rejected 4 times. I stuck the next check in and it got accepted. Thinking maybe the machines are smart enough to learn, I stuck the 3rd check in. It too got rejected multiple times. I know, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is supposed to be a sign of insanity. Believe me, this was driving me insane.

I did finally give up. But since it was 8:30 in the morning I couldn’t even go in to the bank and deposit the remaining checks with a real person. Instead I had to wait until later in the day and visit another branch where the line was very long. So, just to be perverse, I tried my checks in that ATM. They were accepted. Same checks, maybe even a little worse for wear. WTF? Technology should be installed to improve our lives not drive us mad.

Is B of A installing these infernal machines everywhere? Or is Humboldt County part of a social experiment to see how long it will take before people start trashing and burning their buildings like they did in the 70s? I know, I should be using a local bank. But we’ve had  those accounts for years. Long before Redwood Capital was around. Besides, I really like the Bank’s online services which save us lots of time. And we do have accounts at RCB as well.

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Humboldt County Soon In Humboldt County?

You might remember the film that was shot here a while back called, ironically, Humboldt County. It’s still out there and most recently got some good notices at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin. According the directors’ blog, the film has finally been sold to a distributor and is scheduled for a limited release this Fall. But in  a post script to the latest blog post, director Danny Jacobs hints that the film may get a screening sooner and closer to home.

Voting Day

Today, if you hadn’t noticed, is the day to go to the polls. For information on local and state issues and to find the correct polling place for your area, see this page from Smart Voter.

Getting on the Bus

Belated congratulations to RTC member, fellow blogger, Drupaler, HSU student and advocate for green transportation Aaron Antrim on winning one of the Economic Fuel grand prizes of $25,000 for his already running business of Trillium Transit. Aaron is a great example of someone following his passions and channeling them in to practical solutions.

The technological advances that Aaron is pushing for to improve our environment are great. But I can’t help thinking a great shift in human thinking still has to happen. I live on a bus line. I watch this huge bus go by hour after hour empty or with one person on it. I passed a bus on 101 the other evening. It too was empty. The buses run, but in spite of advances like the ability to buy passes or plan bus trips online the system seems way underused. I admit I never think of using the bus. Will gas need to get to $7/gallon before I start changing how I view transportation? Probably. And it will probably reach $7 sooner than we dare imagine.

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