Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wrong number rings up potentially lucrative idea

I think I have the answer to the current financial crisis. It came to me through a ringing telephone.

Every once in a while the phone on my desk rings with an unusual ring that tells me it is coming in on a direct-dial line, not through the main switchboard. Of course, I get excited, because I think it's someone who wants to reach me specifically. Maybe one of those business cards I've handed out at some ag event is netting a phone call. So I answer the phone with enthusiasm.

"Capital Press newsroom, this is Gary."

There's silence on the other end of the line. So I repeat my greeting, but switch it up a bit, speaking a bit slower.

"Newsroom, this is Gary, may I help you?"

The answer back usually goes something like this:

"Hello, um, is this Bank of America?"

"No, this is the Capital Press newspaper," I say.

"Oh, sorry, I must have a wrong number," they say, followed by the inevitable click.

Obviously, my direct line number must be close to one of Bank of America's phone numbers. Sometimes those calls annoy me. But the one I got today gave me an idea.

Rather than disappoint those folks when they call, I'll just open up a bank branch right here in my office. Of course, due to limited space, staffing and time constraints (there is only me in my office, and I can only work so many hours a day, and I have a another job, so can't devote full time to banking) it will be limited services branch. We won't offer loans or withdrawals, but we will accept loan payments and deposits.

It could certainly help me get through the current economic crisis.

OK, so I won't really start a bank branch in my office. But a guy can daydream can't he? Just don't tell my bosses. I'm supposed to be working.

Disclaimer: The Gary West branch of Bunco America is not FDIC insured. Depositors assume all risks. Deposits are considered non-refundable gifts to the branch owner. Void where prohibited or if any statements herein might result in civil or criminal action against Bunco America or its stockholders or if it might result in the firing of the "bank's" president/CEO/CFO and sole proprietor.

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