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Author Topic: Going to the bank  (Read 1724 times)
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« on: August 28, 2014, 07:19:07 AM »

One of the daily duties of Ames management was to make sure that the daily bank deposit was made.

Unlike some other chains I had worked for, Ames was too cheap to spring for an armored car service.
So this duty fell to members of management to perform using their private vehicles.  Depending on
how much cash you had to deposit that day (and the crime rate in your particular town) that could be
a scary experience.  In one particular town the manager of the local Kroger store was mugged and severely
injured trying to drop a nite deposit.  For that reason we always tried to make ours during daylight hours.

Ames policy was that the bank deposit had to be made by two members of management, or one member
of management and one employee.  (unless your local police department was willing to provide an escort,
which most of them would not.)   I was in one particular store where a member of the management team
had a number of issues (bad attitude, racial prejudice, out-of-control tongue and poor personal hygiene being
key among them).   There were days where I had to ask as many as 8 or 10 employees to go to the bank with
him.  Generally they would refuse.  "I refuse to go to the bank with Mr. S------, he just SMELLS TOO BAD!"

There were days I literally had to put my foot down and ORDER someone to go to the bank with him.

When you drop a deposit every day you end up on a first-name basis with your tellers.  I remember one
particular girl who was very tall.  Each time we came she pleaded with us to find some ladies' pants for
her with a 36 inch inseam.  We never could.   Sadly she was fired when a bank security camera caught her
flipping the bird behind the counter to a nasty customer.

Then there was grand opening day in Imlay City.  That store was planned to do $6 million.  Our fist year
we topped out at $9 million.  Opening day was absolutely insane!  Lines to the back of the store and all
registers running constantly.  Imlay City was one of a few towns where the local police were willing to
give you an escort to the bank.  The deposit was roughly four times what I made in a year at that time.
I was extremely nervous.  The police showed up and they loaded me in the back of the squad car.  We
started off down the road.

The officer asked me "so where are we going?"  I answered, "Security Bank".

He turned to me and asked, "which one?"

I had no idea.  It had never occurred to me that a bank might have TWO branches in a town
of only 3000 people.

He radioed dispatch and had them call the store.  The girls in the office likewise did not know, as the
account had been opened by corporate setup people.  So they had to call Rocky Hill.  I cruised around
Imlay City in the back of a squad car for thirty minutes holding on to bags overflowing with cash until the
address of the correct branch of Security Bank came back from dispatch.

There was actually a bank less than 1/4 mile from the store.  But apparently the town limits of
Imlay City stopped just short of their location.  Hence the local police were not allowed to escort
us there.  And for that reason corporate loss prevention in Rocky Hill nixed them.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 07:21:23 AM by TheFugitive » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2015, 02:16:30 PM »

Another discussion on here about Canada reminded me of another banking issue we had at Ames.

Our store in Imlay City was located about a 30 minute drive from the border.
As a result we were shopped heavily by Canadians.  At the time Michigan's sales tax was just
4%.   Over the bridge in Ontario, they were paying around 15% between their sales tax and
the GST.  So most items were infinitely cheaper if you bought them in the U.S., which many
Canadians did.

This got interesting in the late 1980's when Canada did away with their one dollar bill and
replaced it with a dollar coin, popularly known as a Looney.  (This is because the coin bears the images
of a loon on one side and Queen Elizabeth on the other.   Yeah, the punchlines just write themselves.)

Anyway, our store began to accumulate a large stack of Loonies in the safe, because Canadians kept shopping us and our bank would not take them.  At the time the Canadian Dollar was worth around 70 cents, and the excuse they gave us was that "it just takes more time and labor to count them, wrap them, box them up and ship them back than they are worth."

This turned into a very heated dispute, and Ames Corporate actually threatened to pull our account from that bank if they did not begin accepting Loonies from us.   Eventually they did.  Good thing because there was no other bank in town that met all of the criteria that Rocky Hill required of a bank
(apparently they did not know this). 

Canada now also has a two-dollar coin, known as a Toonie.  I never really understood the problem as
being located where we were, I'm sure every merchant in town got their share of Canadian currency.
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