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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hey, Bank of America, how many times do I have to tell you my husband is dead?

Dear Bank of America,


My husband died on May 12, 2010. You know this because I dutifully informed you shortly after he died. And you so generously told me that since he was such a valued customer, and you sure were going to miss his business, that I, lucky widow that I am, could take over the outstanding balance on his credit cards and pay you those thousands of dollars you won't be able to squeeze out of his dead corpse. So kind of you.

But your kindness didn't end there. Oh no. Because despite those oh-so-enjoyable conversations and exchanging of documents, his death somehow didn't make it into the right databases. Apparently, I failed to personally inform each and every Bank of America employee of his demise, failed to personally deliver a certified copy of his death certificate to your each and every branch, failed to make it clear that he was, like, really dead and isn't coming back, so no, he will never be available to sign any of your forms.

My bad, Bank of America. I'm so sorry for my failure.

But your thoughtfulness knows no bounds, Bank of America, so you make sure we have the same conversation each time I need to make a deposit or withdrawal or get a copy of a statement. Every transaction from his trust account must be made in person because of course your policy is to make sure that widows who deal with their husbands' trust accounts can't just do it online, like all of your other banking. Nope, widows must come into the bank each time, must sit down with you each time, must show you the death certificate each time, must tell you the story of his death—the date, the location, the status of our marriage, the color socks he was wearing at the time—each and every time.

And each and every time, you assure me that you're so sorry and you'll be sure to make a note on the account and enter the information into the system so that I won't have to collapse in tears in the middle of your bank the next time I have business to do. You promise. Pinky swear. Here, have a tissue.

Until, of course, your policies change again and you need to see the death certificate again and make another copy, but this time will be the last time.

Really, Bank of America, it's so thoughtful of you to ensure that banking transactions are so time-consuming and personal. You see, I have so many tasks and obligations as his widow, but these little exchanges you insist we have really help add some excitement to the otherwise monotonous grieving process.

But that's not all. Oh no. Because despite the dozens of conversations we've had wherein I explain to you—again—that he can't sign that form you need him to sign on account of him being dead, you felt that his death was no excuse for him not paying monthly fees on his old checking account you were supposed to have closed a year ago. You can imagine my surprise when I received a notice that my dead husband owed you, Bank of America, hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees because you'd been helping yourself to his money, a month at a time, until the account was emptied and then overdrawn.

Is this because I declined your generous offer to pay off his credit card? Is it because you knew I had better things to do than check to make sure that account you said you'd closed was actually, you know, closed? I guess I can't blame you for trying to squeeze every last penny out of his corpse. After all, Bank of America, your CEO did tell us last year that you have a right to make a profit. Even off a dead guy.

I really have to thank you, Bank of America, for today's little exchange. See, silly me, I thought I could just walk into the bank and make a deposit into my account of a check made out to both me and my husband. My bad, I know. Because of course you need his signature as well. You couldn't possibly allow me to rip off my dead husband. I understand, you're just looking out for his best interests, making sure I'm not swindling his corpse out of that $100 I naively thought I could deposit. After all, you really valued him as a customer.

You made the same promises and assurances to me that you always do, offered with the same insincere apologies. Oh, you're so sorry for my loss. You're so sorry to have to ask me these questions for the eleventy billionth time. You'll be sure to make a note on the account that my husband's signature should not be required for any further transactions, on account of how dead people have a hell of a time signing their name. But you mean it this time, right? You promise? Pinky swear?

I'm sure you'll be heartbroken to know, Bank of America, that this whole sordid probate business is coming to completion, and that account will be closed and emptied soon. So we won't have this quality time together much longer, wherein you tell me you can't possibly process my money without hearing the whole story of my husband's death—again. And reviewing all the paperwork—again. And then letting me know just how sorry you are for this loss we share—for me, the loss of my husband, and for you, more importantly, the loss of such a customer who was so valuable to you until he stopped paying you those monthly fees on account of being, you know, dead.

Believe me, Bank of America, I'm counting down the days until our relationship comes to a close. I know it must be hard for you. Allow me to offer you my condolences. Here, have a tissue. It's the least I can do to help you through this difficult process.

Just one more thing, Bank of America, and I mean this from the bottom of my grieving widow's heart:
Fuck you. No, seriously, fuck you.

Most sincerely,

One really pissed off widow

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