Thursday, September 08, 2005

Filthy Lucre

I took the batch of flood-soiled money to the bank. I had to carry it in a plastic Postal bin (don't tell the Feds) because there was almost $600 worth of rolled change. Do you know how heavy $600 of change is? Me either, but it was heavy.

The change had been high enough in the safe to escape the nasty water. The bills were another matter. At least they were dry instead of the slimy wet state they were in on Tuesday. But they still stank of sewage.

I parked my bin in front of the next available teller and began apologising.


We decided to get the change out of the way first. That took about ten minutes since I had to pull the rolls out of the bank bag a handfull at a time and place them on the counter so she could sort them into counting trays by denomination.

Then it was time for the bills.

I told her that I had worn gloves to handle them, since they were contaminated. I offered her an extra pair that I had brought along just in case. (Although, why we even HAD vinyl examination gloves at the office still worries me) She politely declined and proceeded to dump the cash out on the counter. We had bundled things in groups of 25 or 50 as we could and so it wasn't very long before she had all the one dollar bills together. She took them over to the counting machine and began running them through, bundling stacks of 100. She made faces as the machine fanned the bills. I apologized again.

Finished with the ones, she counted the fives on the machine. Since there weren't very many, the bigger bills she counted by hand.

I cautioned her once again that she needed to wash her hands very thoroughly once she was done, as these bills had been sitting in sewage laced water. She assured me she would. She placed all the bundled bills in a box to send to the vault and then placed all the loose bills...IN HER CASH DRAWER!!!!! The one she makes change out of all day long!

In hindsight, I should have said something else, but honestly, I was too stunned to speak.

Consider this a warning the next time you get change. You have NO IDEA where that money has been.

Excuse me while I go wash my hands. Again.

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