Thursday, February 23, 2012

Slightly Stressed

Thursday February 23, 1:13 p.m.

It's been one of those mornings...finally paid the piper, i.e. VISA, since I had that hefty bill to Nippon Express for my moving expenses. But just before I headed over to the bank, both my parents asked and then chided me for not getting a passbook. When I insisted that the guy who had helped set up my new account never gave me one back in December, Mom looked incredulous and annoyed, which automatically got me internally's a Pavlovian response developed through years of training.

In any case, I went over to the bank with Dad in tow, just in case any trouble arose. As it turned out, the young clerk informed me that the bank is no longer in the business of giving out passbooks, so there was no trouble. Mom, who never likes to lose an argument, gave a short but somewhat frosty "Ah, so?"when I told her what happened (I was civil, I assure you). Still, I got a bit of the stick for proving that I was part of the working poor and that I just had to find any sort of job at the earliest opportunity.

Sometimes, I just can't win....

Passbooks are still used with abandon in Japan. I've brought my UFJ passbook over from there. And they come in designer covers of beloved cartoon characters. When UFJ used to be Sanwa Bank so many years ago before a couple of mergers, my old passbook had Peanuts characters since Snoopy is pretty much a god in Japan. My current one has the Disney characters. The crazy thing is that at selected ATMs in Tokyo, if a passbook gets all used up, the ATM can offer to make a new one for you right on the spot, and of course, with your choice of cover.

Still, I'm happy that I don't have to worry about passbooks anymore in Toronto. I think we've killed enough trees already for the banking industry.

The only other stressor right now is that I actually got my first bona fide comment on my other blog, but it may be a troll. The "Anonymous"tag was my Yellow Alert, but although he/she was blunt in his/her question, he/she was polite enough. I sent him/her a polite but friendly enough response, so I'm seeing what his/her next response is.