A bit ahead of the curve, I chose this title for my play about banking and being bankrupt. Now, the word is fair game for everyone, 43 years later. In the play, I discuss what working in a bank is like (from an insider’s point-of-view) but to keep from boring my (future) audience, I have included a running gag about an elderly customer, Mrs. Tuttle, and her multiple transactions.
To simplify your reading of this material, I have removed the other simultaneous conversations that are taking place while Mrs. Tuttle does her banking. (It is intended as comic relief only.)
[TUTTLE is the very first customer of the day…]
MARGARET: Hi, Mrs. Tuttle. What can I do for you today?
TUTTLE: Quite a few things: you don’t mind, do you?
MARGARET: Why should I mind? It’s my job to serve customers.
TUTTLE: Good. To start with, please bring my passbook up-to-date.
MARGARET: Mrs. Tuttle, your passbook is now up-to-date. I had to mark down thirty-seven back items.
TUTTLE: I know: I’ve been forgetting to bring it with me.
(TUTTLE begins looking through her handbag.)
TUTTLE: Now, if I could only find my other passbook, I’d make a transfer to the one you just finished with.
TUTTLE: Here it is.
MARGARET: How much would you like to transfer?
TUTTLE: I don’t know: how much is in this account?
MARGARET: I’ll bring it up-to-date, too.
MARGARET: Here’s your other passbook, up-to-date.
TUTTLE: Good. I’d like to transfer one hundred and twenty dollars from this account into that one.
MARGARET: One, twenty?
TUTTLE: Yes, one hundred, twenty dollars and no cents.
MARGARET: No sense.
MARGARET: There, Mrs. Tuttle, your one hundred and twenty dollars has been transferred.
TUTTLE: Now I’d like to withdraw one hundred and fifty dollars in cash.
(MARGARET begins to give TUTTLE her money.)
MARGARET: Twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, one hundred, ten, twenty, thirty, thirty-five, forty, two, four, six, seven, eight, nine, one hundred and fifty dollars.
TUTTLE: Good, now I’d like to pay some bills.
TUTTLE: ,,,And this hydro bill for sixty-five dollars and twenty-three cents.
MARGARET: That makes a total of one hundred and thirty-eight dollars and fifty-four cents in utility bills.
TUTTLE: How much did I have in service charges with my retirement club card?
MARGARET: Nine utility bills at twenty-five cents is two dollars and twenty-five cents.
TUTTLE: Since I’ve taken out more than I need, I’d like to deposit ten dollars back into the account where the original one hundred and twenty came from.
MARGARET: Ten dollars and…
TUTTLE: …no cents.
MARGARET: No sense.
[This all happens in Act 1, scene i]
Oh, How the Times Have Changed
And yet, with all the advances (and advantages) of online banking, Mrs Tuttle would still probably go into her branch and get the teller to do all her transactions for her. It’s easier.
The only people who truly benefit from online banking are the bankers.
There: I’ve said it aloud.