Thursday, October 06, 2011

Sign On The Dotted Line

While my American friends are using their smartphones to deposit money in their Chase accounts without ever leaving their apartments, I have to deal with Canadian banks.  It takes some getting used to.

Anything that isn’t simple means going into the bank and dealing with the tellers.  And of course, because everyone inside the bank has something complicated to do, it takes forever to get your complicated thing done.  You just have to plan on spending an hour in there and hoping for a good outcome.

Today’s transaction was especially complicated.  The teller took it in stride and just got on with it, but it took some doing.  After 20 minutes of tapping the keyboard and squinting at the monitor and looking things up in a manual, she said, “OK.  Now I just need to get some John Henrys on this,” and headed for a cluster of desks.

“Oh,” I thought to myself.  “She means John Hancock.”

Pretty flashy signature for an insurance man
Pretty flashy signature for an insurance man.

But while she was off locating John AND Henry, I started thinking, “Hang on. This is Canada.  Maybe up here a signature has to do with a steel-driving man, and not with the American Declaration of Independence.”

But wait.  There’s more!  It IS John Henry, but it’s not the steel-driving man!  Apparently a cowboy never signs a document, he puts his John Henry to it. Who knew?