So now it is official - we have left the International Banking Conglomerate that swallowed up our Big State Bank that bought out Your Friendly Neighborhood Bank that Kim once opened an account with back when she got to Our Little Town.
I'm not really sure what to think about this, beyond the sense that it was something that needed to happen. IBC didn't become the soul-consuming megapredator that it is by accident - it is astonishingly good at figuring out how to extract fees for the privilege of being given your money, and eventually that reaches levels of absurdity that can only be met with derision and flight. And, from what I can tell by talking with the friends I have who work there, we are neither the first nor the only people to feel this way. In point of fact, the friends I have there are dwindling in number too, as they seek less rapacious pastures.
But we've been there for a long time, and I did have some friends there. One of the tellers would save for me the funky coins that crossed her path - I'd buy them from her when I came in, if she had any. Another of the bankers had a child who took skating lessons with my daughters, and even after that ended we'd see each other at the local minor league hockey games sometimes. You can't live in a small town for very long without making these kinds of casual friendships, not unless you try hard not to do so. It's one of the things I like about the place.
I suppose we will just have to start over with our new bank, Local Credit Union. They seem reasonably aware that their continued hold on our business rests on their restraint when it comes to fees, and they've been pretty good about adjusting some of their rules to accommodate our teachers' pay schedules. So far, so good.
They even have picnics for their customers, whom they insist on calling "shareholders" for some reason. Perhaps we'll go.
So it's another closing, another opening, another show.
Sometime this weekend I will have to give my new debit card a whirl, with its unfamiliar PIN. Such are the milestone events of the 21st century. Part of me thinks I should buy a book for my first purchase. The rest of me knows that this would just be using the whole experience as an excuse to go buy another book. I'm not sure any of me is really bothered by that fact, though.
So we'll see.
Thanks, IBC - you've given me another reason to go buy a book, one I can pay for out of the fees you are no longer charging me. That's one parting gift I'll be glad to take.