Credit Unions Are Great, Until They’re Not


People love credit unions. There was a time when I loved my credit union, too! They gave me a great rate when I bought my car, and then another great rate when I refinanced my car. The people who worked there were nice and wonderful, and I could walk there from my house. And perhaps best of all, when I lost my debit card (which was/is somewhat often), I could just pop into the credit union and get a new one AND a lollipop.

There are only a handful of ATMs in the city that I can use without fees, and only four that I can use to deposit checks, but two of those are RESTRICTED ACCESS and I can’t actually use them. Which leaves: the one in a 7–11 near the Port Authority (NOPE) and the other one. The other one is, conveniently, close to the office! But “convenient” is also a total misnomer, because accessing the ATM involves :

1. Going to Madison Square Garden (terrible).
2. Standing in line in the lobby of an office building there so I can talk to the dude at the desk.
3. Being told I’m in the wrong line and waiting for the wrong dude.
4. Getting in the right line, waiting for the right dude.
5. Signing in with the dude, giving the dude my driver’s license (add in another 2 minutes here for me to find my driver’s license).
6. Getting escorted to the elevator bay.
7. Taking the elevator up the twelfth floor.
8. Walking down a long, dark hallway.
9. Using my temporary pass to open a set of doors.
10. Continuing down a longer, darker hallway. There are never any humans in this hallway. Or the other hallway. Where are the humans? What is going on?
11. Approaching the ATM.
12. Making my deposit, and having it rejected. Trying again, and having it work. (This has happened four times. WHY?)
13. And then doing it allllllllll in reverse.

This is cumbersome. It is annoying, and on days like today when THE ATM IS OUT OF ORDER, it will not stand. I passed no fewer than four big banks on my way back to the office. Big banks with ATMs and branches all over the city and the world. I’m going to join one of them next week.

Photo Credit: flickr/thedarkthing

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