24 July 2007
SETI League
PriUPS Project

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The Other Guy

I almost forgot.  While I was singing the praises of Pandora in May, I revealed that there was a guy who was trying to suck the life out of Americans with time wasting and irritating policies. 

Kenneth D. Lewis, Chairman, CEO, and President, Bank of America

Yes!  That's him!

Good photo.  It appears as if he's a prosperous businessman and someone posed him for the standard head shot of chief executives and board of directors members.  He looks, to me at least, to be benign yet shrewd, and of course pensive, what with the head resting on carefully arrayed fingers.  Oh yes:  Married, well coiffed, and with just enough twinkle in his eyes that you would never suspect, were you to meet him in a neutral setting, that he was trying to suck your life from your bemused and unresisting body.

To be fair, (not that that's necessary,) he probably doesn't see it that way.  Any life that is sucked from your body is immediately transferred to his stockholders, the true owners of the Bank of America, his fiefdom.  None is transferred, Kokor Hekkus- or Bug Jack Barron-style to his own corpus.  Why, then, do I make Mr. Kenneth D. Lewis the avatar of what may seem to be a nasty and erroneous characterization? 

An Unfair, Mean Exaggeration

For one thing, this is a blog, and bloggers commit unfair, mean exaggerations all the time, often less temperately than I.  Mr. Lewis is a public figure and since I received my FBC license I've felt the need to exercise my constitutional privileges.  On a somewhat less theoretical note and due to the policies for which Mr. Lewis is ultimately responsible, I was forced to spend time in his bank.  If you recall the trepidation and distaste with which I view "shopping," you can imagine how keen I am to go to a bank.  At least when shopping, one has the fun of building food castles on the conveyor belt and watching them spill over on the laser scanner.  Ultimately one leaves the emporium of purveyance with something, either an item of desire or occasionally some telling photographs.  When one ventures into a bank, the best he can expect is an irritating wait and an exchange of documents and signatures.  Worse, this takes time, which is synonymous with life.  If I had need to spend any time at all in his bank, Mr. Lewis could have at least been thoughtful enough to provide some live music and refreshment.  Instead I got Muzak and a lollipop.

Ideally, I would not have had to set foot in the bank.  I did because they were trying to usurp my money, a process that may be considered "business as usual" by the Bank.  I had a modest CD (certificate of deposit) at the bank and it was coming due.  I sustained a letter from them offering to "renew it automatically."  Even better, since I was a "preferred customer" I would get a slightly higher interest rate.  The letter mysteriously never actually mentioned what the interest rate was, but I assumed that it would be close to "market rate" which of course varies a bit from day to day.  Apparently a "preferred customer" is defined as one who isn't paying attention, since when the certificate was renewed, it was for a little over 2% interest rate, less than half of what it should have been.  Throwing my preferred status to the wind, I stopped by the bank to get the CD repaired.

The Life-ectomy

  • I went to the bank (time, travel)

  • I waited to speak with a representative (time)

  • I explained to him "Fix this."  (talk, time)

  • He called the mother ship and had the interest rate boosted to what they would give regular, new customers instead of the unfortunate "preferred" one.  (time)

  • Papers were signed, and I finally escaped.  (time, travel, wasted ink)

I listened as the representative spoke with the mother ship.  He explained why he was asking for an increase, and he was able to do so succinctly.  "The usual reason," he told them.  That is a verbatim quote.

NP:  "Zoo Station" - U2

Richard Factor

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