Why is it so damn hard to cash a check?

I know I keep saying that I’m not going to write posts like this anymore but it does at least have a common theme of frustration. I won’t bore you with the details of work but I did have quite an aggravating day. Things worked out by the end of my shift but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t suffer from stress to start with. The rest of the post won’t deal with work but I mention it as I want to convey that I was already stressed-out and wasn’t in my best form to take shit for the rest of the day. I had my afternoon all planned out. Not only did things not go my way, it seemed that things went awry in order just to piss me off.

Here’s the way my afternoon was supposed to go: after work I was going to ride my bike across the street and swing by Panera Bread. There I was going to grab a snack and get online. Normally I would head over to the library but I had to go to Market Basket in the same plaza as soon as I was done. They have a time limit on using their wi-fi connection so I didn’t have time to write a full blog post. That was fine, I still had other things to do online. Then I was going to Market Basket and see if they could cash a check at the service desk. I got a refund check from Comcast, as I cancelled my service in the middle of the pay period but still paid the whole month automatically. They sent me a check for the difference, and if Market Basket could cash the check I was going to use that money to buy a gift card and pick up some beer for home. I normally don’t shop there but this person does, so I wanted to get her said card for her birthday this week. From there I would go home, have dinner, shower, write a blog post, then work on revising the novel.

I left Panera Bread and headed over to Market Basket. It had started sprinkling. I’m fine with taking my bike through a sprinkle or mist. I knew that we were supposed to get a shower but not later in the day. I gave it no further thought as I went to Market Basket. In there I went right to the service desk and found out to cash a check I had to have a Market Basket card (presumably, one of those discount card deals like so many stores have now). I figured I would go to the Shaw’s across the street, and if they couldn’t do it, then I could go to my bank downtown. After I got on my bike and started heading toward Shaw’s, the rain started to come down a lot harder. I went home, getting agitated at not getting things done as well as the slow-moving traffic keeping me from getting home in a timely fashion.

Finally I did get home. I cooked spaghetti for dinner. As I cooked it I noticed that an awful lot of steam came from the pot the spaghetti was in… so much so that I think it might have been smoke. It didn’t smell like anything was burning, though. I noticed the colander that I dried the spaghetti in was slightly slimier than usual. I have to wonder if I didn’t rinse the pot out enough after washing it last time. I did have an aftertaste of detergent after eating, although it could have been psychosomatic. So far I’m suffering no ill effects. This paragraph really doesn’t tie in to the whole frustration thing but I figured I’d throw it in there in case something happens to me tonight you now have a record of a possible reason why.

After dinner I showered and dressed and headed out again in the car. By the time I got to my bank they were closed, so I went to Shaw’s after all. Yet when I got there I discovered that they charge a three dollar fee to cash checks. I can’t understand why I have to pay to get my own money. I left that service desk and headed over to the bank that’s within Shaw’s. I knew it was in vain but I gave it a shot. They couldn’t cash it either as it wasn’t one of their bank’s checks. I went back to Market Basket because by that point I still didn’t have the gift card. I thought I would go ahead and sign up for a Market Basket card after all, even if I don’t use it. The girl said it would take four to six weeks to process it. First of all, that’s dumb. Second, that didn’t help me tonight. So I said never mind, got the gift card with my debit card, and headed to my bank. At the bank I used the ATM to deposit the check. I was kicking myself for not just doing that in the first place. I just wanted the cash instead.

From there I went to a different grocery store nearby for a snack, but they didn’t have the beer I wanted in the quantity I wanted. Determined not to compromise at that point, I only got my snack and stopped at a convenience store on the way home. I know they had the six-pack of Samuel Adams Summer Ale in cans that I wanted. I paid too much for it there, but by that point I didn’t care. There’s something about lemony beer in a can that makes the day takes the edge off of the day.

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