Got a Bank Account

Posted June 15, 2006 in California

I went to Washinton Mutual on Monday to get a bank account, for a number of reasons:

  • I needed to transform my paychecks into money;
  • Washington Mutual in particular won't charge me monthly rates or service fees for checks, debit card, or wire transfers (everything I need);
  • I wanted a really good excuse to leave work early to watch the Edmonton-Carolina game;
  • There's something called a Wamu: I want one!

The guy who helped me open my account was very friendly. He told me his previous job was at none other than SGI. Apparently, SGI used to offer free food to its employees. Then they only offered free lunch. Then they only offered free lunch on some days of the week. Then they only offered free lunch on Wednesdays. Then they only offered free supper on Wednesdays. Then they didn't. Then they moved. (I'm pretty sure each of these changes in policy was accompanied by a massive round of layoffs; evidently this guy hadn't made it through all of them.)

After opening my account and depositing my pay, I went to a teller to do a wire transfer. I had all my wire transfer info ready... in my email. After half an hour of the tellers' hopeless attempts to figure out some numbers, I used one of their computers to log in and get the info. I transfered a huge chunk of money from US dollars to Canadian, at the exchange rate depicted in the following graph:

Exchange rate over time

It was around 1.08. Quite painful. Then I got back home (after missing the entire first period) and watched Edmonton lose. Oh yeah, and I couldn't stay at work for my free supper. All in all, quite an evening.

(The loss is offset by the fact that Edmonton just won tonight. Oooh, baby, they're making a comeback!)