Something as simple as changing cash has seemed to become complicated for me.
One day, I needed quarters for laundry, so I took a $10 bill into a bank to perform a very straightforward exchange for a roll of quarters. When I told the teller, “I just need a roll of quarters,” her response was “sure; I just need your account number.”
I didn’t say anything, and I just looked her in the face. I’m pretty sure she got the “are you serious?” aura that I was hopefully emitting. It took her about five seconds though before she said, “ohh, you need an account here before I can do that, but there’s a laundromat right across the plaza.” I didn’t say a word, and she apologized to me and told me to have a nice day. In fact, I don’t think the dumbfounded look on my face changed at all for the 30 seconds I was inside of the dumb bank.
(1) It is absolutely ridiculous that there is any restriction to exchanging currency in a bank. [Ok. I guess the argument for counterfeit can be made, but, really, who's gonna counterfeit $10 bills and go to banks to change them to quarters?]
(2) I may be reading into this, but from the way she worded that, it sounds like she thought I’d even entertain the idea of opening an account with a bank that was ready to turn me away for trying to exchange currency.
Whether I have an account at the bank or not is a completely moot point. The transaction is going to yield neither party a net gain. The fact that this exchange occurred makes me less likely to ever step foot in that bank for official business. If she would have given me the quarters, who knows? Maybe one day I would open an account there.
But back to the first point, isn’t a bank supposed to be the place where people go to exchange currency?