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drinkers and scammers

‘I needed $5,000 cash for the reno,’ this is Tony talking, ‘and when I get home and split up the bundles they gave me there was two fifties in the middle of a bundle of hundreds.’

Tony looks around the table, bewildered.

‘How does that happen?’


Melissa the teller today, only a few months into the job and already we had to wait for an elderly customer younger than me to count her cash withdrawal  three times.

Old fingers. So slow.

My turn.

‘$2,000.00 from the joint cheque account please. Half in $100’s half in $50’s.’

What Melissa does of course is to extract the money from her cash drawer already bundled and rubber banded in $500’s for the $50’s and $1,000’s for the $100’s by someone in a room behind a secure door just out the back.

Where all the money is.

Slips each rubber-banded bundle onto a little machine that has a display that shows the $ value of the weight placed upon it.

This is how we understand the process.

But not this customer. Not today.

‘But,’ says this customer, ‘if the machine is only supposed to be weighing defined notes, what happens to the weight of the rubber bands holding the defined notes together?’


‘You do know Armaguard, or whoever, delivers notes into the bank in large denomination bundles that have to be split up into more manageable bundles for the teller?’ says Alf, ‘ and that bank staff have that particular job?’

Alf looks meaningfully at Tony.

‘Do you?’

Alf spent thirty years auditing banks and making enemies, left the job with honour intact and not a lot of friends at the golf club.


Now Mick pipes up. Little Mick, been a nuisance on the turps since he was fifteen.

‘Like the bloke at the parking station, bastard who says the machine’s cash counter is out of order when you’re paying’ on your way out.’

‘What’s that got to do with what I’m sayin’,’ says Tony, ‘how about you let a bloke finish his story before you start yours.’

‘Fucker takes your cash, lets you out then sticks it into his back pocket. Know what I’m sayin’?’

‘Inside job,’ says Alf, ‘slip in two fifties for two hundreds a couple of times a week and who needs a pay increase?’

Melissa, bless her, looked at the old beard through the glass and smiled.

‘I don’t know.’


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