If that's what it takes to stifle Congress-critters from yelling "SHUTDOWN!" while swearing "no compromise" like they're in some epic Mel Gibson film fighting rogue enemy states rather than each other, than hell yeah, let's go. Hold elections every damn year if that's what finally ends the gridlock. One year term limits let us fix collective mistakes and right quick, and who wouldn't vote for that?
And yes, I'm only kidding! Sort of.
In other news, now I know why I got a bad feeling and
ran screaming out the door of my local Wells Fargo branch about a month ago, never to return declined Wells Fargo's offer to set up a new checking account after going to them to cash a check. It wasn't their idea to open an account, it was mine: Wells Fargo is closer to my place than any other bank and I was all for it - but only if they had free checking. They didn't, so I balked at opening an account and figured that was that.
But before the teller would let me go? He wanted my Social Security number. He'd already taken my driver's license, which I guess he needed to cash the check, but I'm not really sure why when it was drawn on his bank's name, nor why I can still recall what looked like him entering information from my license into his computer. Really?
I must've paused a good five seconds, very tired and figuring today of all days I was not the one, when I said, "My Social Security number? Why do you need it?" The place was giving off some strange vibes: the teller counters were unusually low and lacked windows - it was just wide-open space - and I guess it was casual Friday because everyone was wearing jeans, polo tops and t-shirts, even the bankers, while the managers were in khakis.
I sunk into phantasmagorical thought: here was a strange bank from the past with no free checking inside a bank from the future with people in jeans and khakis, with counters so low you could jump them, while tellers fed tall stacks of cash into machines alongside a public not even separated from them by a window, and a pimply fellow who'd taken my driver's license ("Sure - you must need it for the NSA", I cracked) who was now trying to pry my Social Security number from me.
"Well," he said, "we ask for your Social Security number in case you want to open an account in the future - it helps us prepare records for you so everything's ready when you are." Well, how fucking convenient!
I stared hard at him. "If I want to open an account in the future I'll walk back in that door," I said, jerking a finger behind me, "and let you know. You don't need my Social Security number and you're not getting it. Did you put my driver's license in that computer?" I asked, taking my things off the counter and pointing at his machine.
He claimed he hadn't, so I thanked him and moved off to the khaki-clad manager standing beside the line forming behind us to ask about handing over my driver's license and getting grilled for my Social over an account I told the teller I didn't want to open.
All standard procedure, the khaki-clad one claimed. I was in disbelief - both at that and their lack of free checking - so asked again if there was any way I could open a free account, but he said unless I held deposits over a certain amount (which were way over what I can afford, which I felt he knew by the rather rude and presumptive up and down he gave me as he spoke) that there was no way and no free online option or any other waiving of fees. I took one more look at his khakis - another point of disbelief - thanked him for his time, and walked out.
At least now I think we know why I went through some of what I endured that day.