A Biomythography - Note 1
by Secret Hippie
When I was 23 years old and living in western Massachusetts, I made $7000 that year. I saved $1000 in my bank account. I was living a stoic and buddhist life. Or, if you prefer, I was cheap and dead broke.
Another financial landmark that year came when, during one month, my bank statement was off by a penny. I did the math. I checked it several times. The bank had made an error in its favor of one penny. I was mad.
But I didn’t complain
The next month, the bank statement was off by a penny again. The mistake was in the bank's favor. And now I thought that it was deliberate.
I knew that I should complain. I drafted a letter about the problem but I didn't know where to mail it so I kept it for a visit in person.
When it happened for the third month in a row, I was so mad that I had to go to the bank and show them the error of their evil ways. I walked up to the teller window with my paper statements in hand and my complaint letter, signed and dated. I showed the bank teller how the withdrawals and deposits didn’t add up right. The bank teller was very polite and agreed that it looked odd but he said he might not be able to do anything about it.
The teller took my information and promised that, if the bank was at fault, I would be rewarded. Weeks went by. I didn’t hear anything from the bank. Then my bank statement arrived. It had $20.03 extra in it.
The bank had returned my three cents and given me a twenty dollar reward. Or had it? Someone in the bank had been pulling a penny skimming scam. I had to wonder if I had complained to the person who had been pulling the scam. In that case, he must have thought to himself, how much does it take to buy off a person who notices a penny missing each month? Probably twenty bucks.
And he was right.