[Dixielandjazz] Answering Service

Bill Horton williamhorton at peoplepc.com
Wed Jan 12 17:27:50 PST 2005

This gal is a few years older than me, but I think I'm in love!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Romans" <cellblk7 at comcast.net>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 11:51 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Answering Service

OK, there's one jazz point to be made (???) (JAZZ?) The 9th button to

Attached is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by a 96 year-old woman.
The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New
York Times.


To whom it may concern,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to
pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have
elapsed between his depositing the check and the arrival in my account of
the funds needed to honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly
transfer of funds from my modest savings account, an arrangement which, I
admit, has been in place for only thirty-one years. You are to be commended
for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my
account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me
to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally
attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am
confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity
which your bank has recently become. >From now on, I, like you, choose only
to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will
therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your
bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at
your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offense under the
Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact Status form which I require your
chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order
that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is
no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history
must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of
his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be
accompanied by documented proof. In due course, I will issue your employee
with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that
it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the
number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your
phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of

Please allow me to level the playing field even further. When you call me,
you will now have a menu of options on my new voice mail system to choose

Please press the buttons as follows:

1.     To make an appointment to see me.

2.     To query a missing payment.

3.     To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

4.     To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.

5.     To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

6.     To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.

7.     To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer
is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to the
Authorized Contact.

8.     To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.

9.     To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put
on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this
may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music by Kenny G will
play for the duration of the call.

        Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an
establishment fee of $50 to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.
Please credit my account after each occasion.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client,

(Remember: This was written by a 96 year old woman)

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