Friday, November 24, 2006

Welcome to the Land of Distrust

Got to vent:

I go to the bank (Santander Serfin) to cash a check that's on my name. I give the guy my NY driver's license. He cannot accept it. He needs to see a passport or a Mexican issued document with my picture in it.
I don't live here and I don't have my passport on me, because I would not schlep it around Mexico City. It's not safe. I show him my business card, my credit cards, my insurance card, all with my name on it. But no way, Jose. He tells me to talk to the bank manager.
After waiting for about half an hour, this inexcusable individual, who is supposed to be there to help the customers, tells me, as he scrutinizes my license, that he cannot accept it as proof that I am me because it could be a fake. He doesn't know what American licenses look like. I offer to show him every other proof I have with me but he won't budge. As if by looking at me, his common sense having fled the premises, he decides that I could be a scam artist trying to rip his fucking bank off.
Just like the retarded neanderthals who man Security at the Delta terminal at JFK and decide you may be a card carrying member of Al Qaeda because you forgot to take the bottle of Poland Spring Water out of your bag before inspection. They also confiscate a small bottle of rosewater spray because you may use it to blow up the plane.
These are the ¨solutions¨the bank manager offers:
1. To have the check endorsed by someone else who does have a proper id. Like a family member. Right then and there. Aha.
2. I should have asked them to make the check to CASH.
Once again, I guess my civilized instincts prevailed because I did not start choking him to death, like he deserved. Can you believe it? He would trust a check made out to cash, which I could have stolen, before trusting a check with my name on it.
The reason for his intransigence, he then explains, lying through his miserable teeth, is that one day somebody came with a fake passport and they paid him out a check. So, I say, in that case even if I brought my passport you still would not trust it to be legitimate.


Because this is a place where everybody thinks you are ripping them off, you are a liar and a crook.

Today, having learned my lesson, I bring my passport to another branch of the same bank and finally cash the check, but not without the cashier asking me to write my name, address and telephone and signature in the back of the check.

Mexicans: there is never ever going to be enough proof that anything is legitimate. Reams of signatures and endless documents will always be required to make sure that you are not being conned. It is PATHETIC.

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