Bank of America, as of today I’m quitting you. It’s going to be tough. I know that within the next several weeks when I attempt to shift our several accounts from you to our teachers’ credit union and reconfigure automatic payments and deposits to a benevolent system, I’ll no doubt go through convenience withdrawals. I can foresee this difficult period so tedious and stressful, in fact, that at some point in the next week I’ll be tearfully exhausted at the end of a long workday, and cuss so loudly at a customer service menu that the dog will flee from the room. Even so, Bank of America, I know I have hit bottom. I can no longer be you groveling bankcard bag bride. I will follow, as millions have, twelve steps to make this change in my life.
1. First, I admit that I am powerless over you, Bank of America, except as a tiny, infinitesimal consumer. The fact that you want $5 a month from regular people while last year you spent $4 million in lobbying alone tells me that my society and government have become unmanageable. Bank of America Lobbying Expenditures 2012 By the way, the $60 I’ll be saving next year I plan to send to Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign. I trust you’re not funding her campaign since you’ve already pumped $19,750 into her opponent’s race this year alone. Scott Brown's Corporate Donations 2012 And of course that doesn’t include any of the front group money you spend anonymously as a result of Citizens United. It’s not much, but the small check will make me feel much better.
2. I have come to believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. It’s called collective action. And the more of us that pull the needle, and collectively stand together to say we did it, the better. I’m posting this on my blog and I’m sending this to all my friends. Don’t worry. I’m no prom queen, but I do have enough like-minded friends who’ll send it to their friends, and they will then send it to their friends. And, some of those friends have friends who are some damn good looking middle-aged prom queens, so watch out.
3. I’ve made a decision to turn our money over to the care of a credit union—sort of banking Gods. For what it’s worth, the way I understand banking Gods were like what I grew up with in my small town in Western Montana. Those banks, and the people who ran them, were much like George Bailey and his savings and loan. If you want to see that kind of God, watch this: Move Your Money
4. I’ve made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. Here’s what I’ve found: I have only two reasons to continue to bank at Bank of America. First, up to now I’ve been just too lazy to switch accounts; second, the women in our local branch are absolutely lovely and helpful and just like the rest of us. They’re part of the 99%. Corporate heads have made stupid decisions, and it’s these poor women who have to absorb all the anger. I know the corporate policy is not their fault. Regardless, I must remove their company’s needle from my arm.
5. I am admitting to the credit union staff when I go there to move our accounts that I have simply been too lazy (and busy) to switch accounts until now even though I have always called myself a progressive. I am admitting to all of the readers that I am more often than not inconsistent.
6. I’m entirely ready to have the credit union remove the defects of my character. Unfortunately, I think they don’t offer that service. I’m hoping they’ll do basic electronic funds transfers.
7. Steps seven through eleven—sorry, I’m too agnostic to even ponder a parallel.
12. I trust once I break free from my pusher, once I get all of these fiscal fuss-items fussed with, I’ll feel righteously indignant. One might even call it a spiritual awakening. I’ll post a message in the future to other Bank of America junkies to let you know how it’s going.
The good news, though, is that there’s help. Call it a sponsor. Here’s a website I found in my darkest hours. http://moveyourmoneyproject.org/about
***This post is in no way intended to denigrate those who use 12 Step programs to battle addiction. I honor all who use any means possible to find their way out of that dark and disabling disease. We’re all really traveling through life one day at a time.