Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cash is King

 In Vegas there is only one color that matters - green

A couple of weeks ago I was at the bank. It's one of those too-big-to-fail banks, waiting to make some changes to one of my accounts. I sat in the little waiting area in the middle. Why don't they put real magazines for people to look at instead of just bank propaganda?

It was kind of busy. There were three or four people waiting in line, when this woman walks in. This only really happens in Vegas. She was around twenty-three years old, about six foot tall, weighed no more than 125 pounds and had been enhanced .. if you know what I mean. She wore a small leather miniskirt and a tight white t-shirt. She was obviously either a dancer or a stripper - not a grinder, there is a difference. None of which I found unusual for Vegas, except that she had a medium-sized canvas bag stuffed with something draped over her arm.

Now my choices were to either continue reading - Ten Ways to Financially Plan for Hospice Care or I could watch her .. you guess which one.

It took about ten minutes for her to reach the front and be helped by a teller. The bank teller was in her thirties, smartly dressed with a short bob cut and glasses. The dancer said something and then loosened the draw strings and gently poured out several bricks of cash.

Nothing grabs your attention like a brick of Benjamins. The whole bank just stopped, transfixed by the money. The teller quickly gained her exposure and the stacks of money disappeared behind the bullet-proof plexiglass. Poof - the money vanished. Having worked in a casino for a number of years, I have a sort of idea about these things .. and I would estimate that the amount of money was in the 40k range.

The teller picked up the phone and I could hear it ringing in the bank manger's cubicle. The bank manger picked up the phone, spoke for a few moments and then hung up and dialed a number. Now I can hear the phone ringing in the bank's financial planner's office. I see him pick up the phone.

Two minutes later both the bank manger and the financial planner are shaking hands with the dancer. The bank manger is in her fifties, in good shape wearing a sharp business dress/suit. The financial planner is much younger. In his early thirties. Slicked back hair, firm chin .. in good shape.

I see that the financial planner is well trained. He is making eye contact only .. no wandering. A short, firm handshake.

I've dealt with the bank manger before. I've seen her gently deny a loan request from an out of work mechanist, rebuke and scold a business man for improper deposits and with me she has always been friendly and attentive. Now she is all mother hen. There's not even slightest hint of being judgmental or condescending. It's like she's found a long lost daughter and is welcoming her into the bank family. The financial planner is stiff and nervous. I think he realizes he's only inches away from cold, steel death if he makes one mistake.

They sit in the bank manager's cubicle. The financial manger jogs out and gets everyone water. A few minutes later a bank teller walks in and gives the manger a small paper receipt. It must be the total amount of cash, but I'm not close enough to hear the amount.

The bank manger smiles .. first true emotion from her. She then starts busily typing on her computer. The dancer is now family.

A couple of days ago, I signed the last of my paperwork. I asked my banker if she remembered the woman and asked what happened. She told me she was a dancer/stripper for a very high-class joint and that she was just taking all of the tips and stuffing them into a bag. When the bag got too full, she stack the bills and put a rubber band around them. Incredibly she just kept the bag in the car and kind of forgot about the money. There was more money in the car than the car was worth.

Then she was driving up Eastern Ave., listening to the radio and heard about a rash of car breakins, looked across the street, saw the bank and decided to make a deposit.

And that's how it works in Vegas.

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