Thursday, June 18, 2009

Battling Skynet

I just returned from wiring some funds to New Zealand on behalf of Evan's sweetie, Angie. She is joining Evan there in a couple weeks, and wanted to share the expenses for the travel they will do together. As Sally and I have free wire transfers as a part of our account, I did the banking.

As our account is with a bank that just got purchased by another, bigger bank, I asked how the ownership transition was going. "Just great! Really smooth!" was the reply.

Then we started the transfer process. My banker tried finding me in their system by using my Washington driver's license. No go. After a couple tries he found me in their system by using my account number. He then tried to initiate the transfer by using Evan's cell phone number, labeled "cell phone number", as the Swift Code. Several tries. No go. He was about to give up when I looked at the information I had provided and read it back to him. Then he realized he was using the wrong number.

How is this going so far? Just great. Really smooth.

Next, confused by the unfamiliar wire forms used by the new bank, he failed to find where to enter a transfer amount in US dollars. He asked for assistance for another banker, and after a few moments they figured it out.

"Since we're one of the biggest banks in the country our employees have fabulous job security." He told me that. Really.

Finally the transfer was complete. He went to the copier (twice) to pick up my copy. When he handed it to me, I immediately noticed that my address was listed as 14843 E. Radcliff Place, Aurora, Colorado. That was where we lived in the late 1980's. "You must have had an account with our bank there." I really don't remember, but don't think so.

He assured me that the glitch wouldn't effect the wire transfer, and then changed my address in the computer. Sally's address was already correct. As I put on my bike helmet, he cheerily added, "Have a nice ride home!" I said I'd better get started, as Aurora, Colorado was a long way off. My ride home went fine. Just great. Really smooth.

On my ride home I thought about all of the personal information that is in one data base or another. Or perhaps there aren't separate data bases anymore, but rather one ginormous, amalgamation of everything that was ever entered anywhere. I couldn't help but think of Skynet from the Terminator movies, the worldwide computer network that was waging war against all of humanity.

I'd be worried, but they'll never find me if they're looking in Colorado.

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