Monday, October 13, 2008

{blink, blink}

So, one of the things I needed to do PDQ was get a new bank account for our new business. When it was Just Me I operated under just my name…with my husband coming on board, we went ahead and made it an “Enterprises” and I scurried around getting the permits to reflect the new name.

And of course, if you’re operating as Us Enterprises, well, doggone it, people are naturally going to want to write their checks to Us Enterprises…in which case, you need a business banking account that understands such things as what a partnership is, and that checks made out to any combination of Him Us, Her Us, and/or Us Enterprises are acceptable for deposit.

I waffled a bit about where to put our business banking account, but eventually I settled on one of the Mega Banks for three basic reasons:

1. Branch locations – one is right around the corner from the Den, and they have additional branches about everywhere you look.

2. They had a rather nice offer going with free checks and transactions, and no maintenance fees – I hate maintenance fees, they give me hives.

3. I thought they’d probably be easier to deal with, seeing that they are a Mega Bank and have constant and heavy exposure to every conceivable cross-section of the American business world.

That last one is huge for me. As I’ve mentioned, this isn’t the first Official Home-based Business I’ve run. This old hen, she’s pecked in this poop before. The only thing more irritating than having to figure out what the requirements are for your specific “flavor” of business (home-based or otherwise, by the way) is having to argue with a teller about whether or not you have to file form XSS44-176E(be) with the State.

We actually have a very simple deal going here. It’s a basic partnership with pass-through taxation (meaning, the “business” doesn’t make money, my husband and I do…we pay taxes on the money we earn as individuals…well, actually as a married couple filing jointly, but you know what I mean), we’re using our real names as our business name so there’s no DBA requirements…easy-peasy, really. Minimal paperwork. I’d checked it over fifteen times to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, annoyed the hell out of several employees of the City, County and State by phone and fax, etc. etc. etc.

Eventually everybody said, “YES! OK!? YES, you’re FINE, we don’t CARE, we’ll see you on April 15!!!!!!”

Let the games…begin!

I decided to go ahead and take advantage of the online enrollment, because I made this decision at 5:45 on a Thursday evening and had plans for Friday that did not include a two hour ordeal at a branch sporting a Business Banking Specialist™. I scanned copies of our partnership agreement, business license, business cards and SS-4 showing our EIN from Los Federales.

Late the next day, I got an email from Buddy, my new best friend over there at Mega Bank. I kid you not, this is what it said:

Thank you for fasing your partnershp agrement but unfortunetly it is too small for me to read please fas in a clearer copy thanks-buddy

{blink, blink}

For a moment, I thought I was being scammed. I thought maybe someone intercepted the online application and was now phishing me. But, it all checked out…the bank really is letting someone with proofreading skills that bad send emails to customers.

I have to admit, my opinion of Mega Bank just took a quiver downward. But, hey. You know. Maybe Buddy ain’t from around here, maybe I should consider just how bad my Farsi or Mandarin or Spanish or Whatever would be and just send Buddy what he says he needs.

Wait…if ‘fasing’ means ‘faxing’ (it did)…I didn’t fax them, I sent him a scanned JPG of them…hmmmm… (another slight confidence-dip happened right around this point…)

So I look at my JPG files and wonder what the hell Buddy’s problem is. They’re clear as a bell. And then it hits me: When you double click on them to open, the default view is 25% - at 25%, it looks like a smear of word-like ink blotches.

Hmm. C’mon, you’re kidding, right? Surely anybody who had worked with file attachments for, you know, three SECONDS would know all about the ‘zoom’ and how it affected the view ability of an image file…?

So I reattached the same exact files and sent them to Buddy again, telling him that if they seem blurry to check the zoom on his reader. At 50% or better, they should be crystal clear for you there, Buddy.

I hear nothing from Buddy for a bit.

Then Friday, I received this gem:

Thank you for your partnership agrement, which is clearer thank you. I do not hav biz. license or faticous name certificate also I need DBA copies from newspaper and the other docs to State this is the last document I need thanks-buddy.


Friends…there are times when you really start to find your confidence shaken. I’m starting to have a baaaaaaaad feeling about Mega Bank at this point. That Buddy writes like my six year old I can forgive (mostly) (except that seriously, Mega Bank? WHY would you let this guy write emails to end consumers?! Let him practice on internal clients for a while first, dudes! He’s making you look baaaaaad, here!), but I find it much, much harder to forgive a business banker who doesn’t understand when a business does, or does not, require certain forms be filed, stamped, and otherwise validated.

So I sent him our business permit again and reminded him, as gently as possible, that we are a simple partnership (husband/wife, no less), and had no DBA, and therefore no need for a fictitious name certificate. (That I resisted adding, “FICTITIOUS, not FATICOUS, you twit!” is, I think, proof that I have the Zen of a master…or else that I am really, really passive-aggressive non-confrontational.)

To which he replied, I still needing DBA copies from newspaper and other docs to State. I cannot open biz account without these docs. Any questions please call. {number}. thanks-buddy.

I pondered a few choice responses, but finally settled on this one:

Buddy, thank you for your assistance with this. I think it will be best if you close this new account request at this time, and I will make time to sit down with a business banking specialist in-branch so we can go over the requirements face-to-face.

It was soooooo hard not to put because I suspect you are a complete twit and the idea of you touching my bank account in any way gives me a rash on my brain. on the end of that last sentence.

Fortunately, my Zen mastery passive-aggressive nature won out.

I left it off the email…and posted it here, instead, without actually revealing who Buddy is or what bank he works for.

Because I am kind and gentle that way…


Judy said...

YOu showed great restaint. LOL
It can be a real hassle to start up a small business. I know, Hubs and I did it a few years ago. It was the best move he ever made. (It is really HIS business as at the time I had my own embroidery business.)

Anonymous said...

You are much kinder than I would be. I would be sending copies of the other e-mails and looking for another bank, probably at the cost of great inconvenience and expense to myself.

Carrie said...

I would be running to another bank ASAP...right after I wrote the bank president a letter and attached copies of the emails. :-)

Anonymous said...

OH good grief. I completely agree with Jane and Carrie - RUN, don't walk, to another bank! And definitely send copies of those e-mails to the bank president/manager/appropriate big kahuna with a kind suggestion that they find someplace for Buddy that's better suited to his - ah - lack of clear communication skills. Sheesh.

Lon said...

I second steph b's suggestion, except that I wouldn't be at all kind in telling Buddy's manager that I am Seriously Not Impressed, and have decided to go to a bank with competent staff.

Jane Mackay said...

I second Lon and third Steph B and Carrie.

your copy editor,

ps. I am having fare guesing as to what bunk is migabunk, but i only tell you if you please emoling me in clare copi yur dba cirtuficat.