Friday, May 15, 2015

Check This Out

I received a cashier’s check in the mail for $2,850.
Thank you, Derek Hales, 879 Franklin Ave., Newark, NJ 07107! 

Not knowing who Derek is, I called the bank on which the check was drawn, Lebanon Citizens National Bank.
Lo! and behold, the check is bogus!

Derek sent explicit instructions for the funds: Deposit the check, less $400 for my trouble, and issue a Money Gram for some cat down in Puerto Rico for $2,450, less expenses. And I mustn’t disclose to the Western Union office what’s going on because…it’s a secret! I’m to be a mystery shopper, checking up on how Western Union treats its customers.

I took the check, the instruction letter, and the USPS envelope to my local Post Office. You want to guess what happened next? After waiting in line for 30-minutes, I was beckoned to the counter, only to be told by the Postal worker, “I’ve got to go on break.”  There are 12 customers standing line, with two windows open…and she has to take a break? How about working up a sweat clearing that line, then resting?

No, that’s not how it works.
She told me to approach another window, being worked by a Postal Supervisor. So I stood behind another customer—essentially in line again—for another ten minutes. 

When it was my turn, the woman wouldn’t look at me. I described the situation, presented the check, letter, and envelope, and she said I needed to call the Postal Inspector Service. Translation: She didn’t want to mess with it. 

I called the Postal Inspector Service. They told me to take the stuff back to the local post office...or I could file a report on line.

So after 50-minutes standing in line at the post office with pretty damning evidence of wrong doing by some schmuck out in New Jersey, all I got was passed around like a bad check. Ironic.

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