I had some bank problems recently. I have a "writing name" as T. calls it and, after months and months of depositing writing-gig-related checks under that name, my bank decided they they weren't sure who I was exactly, and they sent my checks back. In order to sort the mess out, I had to go into the bank and meet with an actual bank manager person. I get intimidated ahead of time, when I have to meet with people like that. I don't know why, but I always assume they'll be rude to me, or chew me out, or make me feel like an idiot. As it turned out, the bank manager guy was probably a good twenty years younger than I am. He was fresh out of college, and had moved from Ohio to North Carolina for his first ever job. He was also very, very nice. I explained the name mix-up problem and, instead of criticizing me, he was impressed. The other tellers were impressed too.
"I've never met anyone with a writing name," one of them gushed.
We sorted it all out and I left, feeling a renewed faith in bank people. The next time I received a check written out to writing name me, Scott suggested I walk it in, and deposit it in person--just to be safe.
I was in a hurry that afternoon, so I grouched a little. What? Walk it in? That will take forever! I've become addicted to convenience--to pulling up to the drive-through ATM and not having to actually interact with anyone. I stick the check in the envelope. I feed it into the slot, and it's done.
But I walked it in. I took the kids with me, too. There was no one else in the bank at all and the air seemed energized suddenly, when the kids and I walked in. The tellers smiled. The teller who helped me with my deposit that day looked at my check and smiled some more. It's so nice to put a face to the name! she said. I process people's checks all day through the ATM and I never know who they are.