"For best service, touch
screen and check in here."

Right now it's sunshining and raining at the same moment — very Seattle. Glad I moved back here. Bluest skies you've ever seen. Trees the greenest green.

I'm new in town and need a bank, but I hate banks. Banks are only a collection of fees for services grudgingly rendered, so for many years I've banked at credit unions instead. You don't get nickel-and-dimed at a credit union, and you might occasionally be treated like a person instead of merely an account number.

Boeing Employees Credit Union is no longer just for Boeing employees — it's open to anyone who lives in Washington — and like GEICO and AARP, BECU no longer stands for anything, it's just BECU. My pop banked there, and my mom still does, and both my brothers and both my sisters bank there, so what the hell. I went to my local BECU branch to open an account.

There were no traditional teller-windows, but 10 customers were sitting on chairs and leaning on walls, waiting to talk to staff. They've eliminated the lines, I guess, and that might be a good thing. In the center of the room, an electronic kiosk flashed, "For best service, touch screen and check in here."

I touched the screen, and it asked me what I wanted at BECU, and listed four options, but "Open an account" wasn't one of them. While I studied the choices listed, it kicked me off. Timed out. "For best service, touch screen and check in here," it said again. Jeez, I know I'm old, but that was quick. I don't think I'd paused for even five seconds.

I touched the screen again, and selected whatever seemed closest to "Open an account" — "checking/savings services" or something like that. Next it asked me to slide my ATM card, "which will identify you." Well, I wasn't expecting that and it seems kinda creepy, but OK, I reached into my wallet for my ATM card from the Wisconsin credit union where I'm still a member. While I was reaching, the machine kicked me off again. Timed out. "For best service, touch screen and check in here," it said again.

I touched the screen for a third time, determined to win the race this time. I pressed "checking/savings services", and this time I had my ATM card ready, slid it, and the kiosk immediately knew my name, and took me to a screen with a dozen options. I speed-read through them, looking for something akin to "Open an account," and the machine kicked me off again. Timed out. "For best service, touch screen and check in here," it said again.

Sure, I'm old, but I'm not particularly slow, and fairly computer savvy. That kiosk was *really* in a rush.

I looked again at the 10 people waiting for service, and decided BECU isn't where I want to deposit my life savings. I banked at frickin' Bank of America and Wells Fargo when I was much younger, and even huge places like that were never as frustrating as my one brief visit to BECU.

At Sound Credit Union down the street, there was no line, no kiosk for checking in, and a human employee helped me. Joining took about half an hour.

Back in Seattle for three months now, I have a rented room, two library cards, a bus pass, a Washington driver's license, and now an account at a credit union. I almost have Washington plates for my car — I've paid the fee and filed the paperwork, but the plates are delayed due to "supply chain issues," so my car still looks like I'm visiting from Wisconsin. The visit is over, though.

Now all I need is a job. Wanna hire me? I'll do anything legal, for $20 an hour.

And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not… 

♦ ♦ ♦  

July 8, 2022

Obituary for NYPD officer:
"hobbies included abusing his first wife and children"

♦ ♦ ♦  

Why Republicans want to redefine one word in the Constitution 

♦ ♦ ♦   

Behind the curtain of Wells Fargo's corporate PAC 

On January 12, 2021, Brian Smith, the head of Government Relations and Public Policy for Wells Fargo, sent a message to Wells Fargo employees involved with the PAC. Smith announced that "the company's senior leadership has decided the nonpartisan Wells Fargo Political Action Committee (PAC) will pause our political donations for the foreseeable future." When donations resume, Smith wrote, "we will take into consideration the actions of elected officials who objected to the Electoral College vote during this critical period in our democracy."

… Wells Fargo's PAC was "paused" for less than 90 days. On April 9, 2021, the Wells Fargo PAC donated $15,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), a multi-candidate political committee supporting the reelection of more than 100 Republican House members that voted to overturn the election on January 6. 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Biden planned to nominate anti-abortion lawyer to federal judgeship, emails show 

Republicans are always 'the bad guys'. Always. But with only rare exceptions, Democrats like Biden are never 'the good guys'. 

♦ ♦ ♦   

The bastards are still trying to destroy People's Park in Berkeley 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Who is the greatest saluting extra in movie history? 

♦ ♦ ♦   

One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...

♦ ♦ ♦

The End
James Caan
Mona Hammond
Larry Storch 


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...

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