A Story set in the future
by, 06-06-2010 at 02:53 PM (1574 Views)
I got off work and was on my way to the bank, I had my check to cash and I also wanted to see if I could get to my safe deposit box safely. I had been saving my collectable coins in there and now that the government had recalled all bullion and since my coins were classed as bullion I wanted to get them out but the bank had a treasury agent posted there every week for the last three months.
And anyone opening their box had to do so in front of the agent and let the agent inspect the box. All Gold, silver and platinum bullion was confiscatable .
The silver eagles were recalled and the government gave you a check for the bullion value based on the date they made the recall decree, but since then the value has skyrocketed so if they get it you lose quite a bit.
I went into the bank the teller was there and looked tense I smiled and said hello, but the smile was not returned. You don't look very busy today I said, and she rolled her eyes to the offices.
"I just want to cash my check"
She took the check and looked up my account, and said "There is a hold on your account, I cannot cash your check today, I held out my hand to get my check back but she did not turn it back, "we have to hold your check also until the treasury clears your account from investigation"
"Investigate what?" I asked.
"You have a box here and the agent has all the names on the list of boxes that have not been investigated, until she has checked out the contents of the box your accounts are frozen and we have to hold any transactions"
"Well I need money to live, what am I supposed to do?"
You can wait for the agent to come back up, she is with another customer now they are going thru her box.
I thought for a minute, I had hoped that I could have gotten into the box at some oppurtune time, and pulled my coins before they could be confiscated. Many of my collector friends had seen it coming but I did not think that would happen, after all I did not have a big stash just a few gold and silver eagles that I had picked up now and then, and some other coins that my father had collected and saved and I did not feel comfortable leaving at home.
I thought about leaving, but money had been very tight lately, I needed to cash my check in order to buy groceries and get gas for my car to get back and forth to work, I hated to lose the money but it looked like it was about all I could do.
The agent came back up, she had a large gallon plastic bag, in the bag I could see there was jewelery and a silver looking pot, the lady following her looked as if she was about to cry.
The agent looked at me waiting there and went into the office followed by the lady whose goods had been confiscated.
How did we get to this point, the land of the free and the home of the brave having the government confiscate your hard earned goods, what a crock. I remembered laughing at those people who had warned me of such a day, paranoid I thought, that was years ago, nobody made such public warnings anymore, too dangerous, and chances are you would end up in a thought redirection camp to get your mind on a more orthodox bent.
My bitter thoughts were interrupted by the office door opening and the woman who just was legally robbed rushing out the door, like a bird flying from a thrown rock, her head was down and she did not look except straight ahead and out the door.
Mr Geld please come in, the agent said, she was a rather attractive woman in her thirties, very professional in her clothes and bearing. I walked in and took a seat without being asked and said, "I come in to cash a check and I am being investigated? I can't cash my check?"
The agent looked at me like I was an exceptionally stupid child and said in a teacher to pupil tone, "Our records show that you have rented a safe deposit box here and that you have not yet opened it in the presence of an agent in compliance with anti-terrorism and drug laundering laws."
"Oh that, nothing there except some of my dads estate collectables that are waiting for the lawyers to clear up the tax issues"
The box is in your name, the agent said matter of factly.
"Well yeah, it is but I aint no damn lawyer and when my dad passed I did not want to keep his things in my house where they might have been stolen"
Do you have your key with you? the agent asked.
Yeah its here, I reached into my pocket and pulled the keyring out.
Lets open it and then I can unfreeze your account and you can get on with your business.
We walked to the elevator and I was thinking, about the log I signed in when I was still putting things in it, I must have made a few dozen visits to it at least, to take things out and to put things in, I had not been there since before the order was signed outlawing possession of gold and silver by private unlicensed citizens, all done in the name of stopping terrorist funding, tho no terrorists had ever been funded by silver or gold bullion.
We went into the vault, it was only the agent and I, I took my key out and opened my lock, the agent took her master key and opened the other lock and we opened the box.
Inside were all the little treasures I had managed to set aside back before my wages were cut and the laws outlawing overtime were put into effect, it was not much, a few gold eagles, a few platinum and silver ones, some old junk silver, the agent looked at me, and said, "this was your fathers"
"Yeah, when he was getting up in years he started buying these things, I did not have much interest in them but I saw that the prices of them were going up so I put them in here and forgot about them"
She took a small note pad and started marking down the items and putting them in a large plastic bag, she took everything out and I asked," is there anything there of my dads that I can keep?"
"No, all these things are bullion, silver, gold, platinum"
"He was a collector, he was not saving these things for any other reason than that he liked them, he was not trying to fund terrorists or laundering drug money"
"Well, Mr. Geld, the law says that all these articles are not permitted to the citizens, but we will give you a check at a fair value established by law and you may decide to apply for a license to possess or trade numismatic items, but the law is clear you are not entitled to having these things, I will write you a receipt for the items and you will receive a check within 90 days."
I followed her to the office, I noticed that the teller I always used to tease and banter with did not meet my eyes, the bank was quiet and if any others were in the bank they must have been hidden away behind the closed doors in the hallways.
Inside the office there were some large tupperware containers, the agent put my coins in one of them and sat down and typed somethings into her computor.
"Are you married?" I asked.
"No", she answered as she pressed a button and a printer started to hum.
"Have any children?" I asked.
"No" she answered as the printer started to print the receipt for the contents of my box.
For a brief instant I thought of crushing her, knocking her out, taking my coins and the **** with the consequences, but I decided against it, I had nothing against this girl, who was just doing her job, I felt sorry for her for a second, she must have to steel herself against all the people who blame her for the laws she has to carry out.
I do not know why the usual questions of marriage and children effected her, but she stopped for a second and I could see her tear up a little.
"I was just making conversation, I did not mean to make you feel bad," I said.
"Excuse me," she said and got up, I could see that those questions had bothered her, she got up and left the office, I looked at the tupperware and thought how easy it would be to retrieve my property and let her explain it to her bosses.
She came back in after a minute, her eyes were a bit red, and she seemed to have been crying.
Are you alright", I asked.
She looked at me for a minute, and she looked like I reminded her of someone she had known. Not like a stranger, but more like my daughters would look at me.
"I joined the treasury department out of college, my father was a diplomat in London when the radiation was released back in 2012, I can never have children, we all got sick, my mother and I survived, but my father and my sister both died."
"I wanted to help stop terrorism, and here I am taking collections from people, jewelery from widows that are all they have left from their husbands, and since then we are not allowed to go after them, but instead we do full body scans on people at airports, except for them, because they will not stand for it."
"I know," I said, "it does not seem to make much sense, but what can you do? Your job is what it is, who knows, maybe you have helped stop terrorism?"
She looked at me, "I know what I can do" she took the coins out of the box she had put them into, "take these",
"I do not want you to get into trouble, I do admit I would hate to lose these things my father had saved, but he was a good man and knew people were more important than things"
She went back to her computor and started typing, she hit the print button and handed me the copy it printed.
It said, Contents of safe deposit box # 463 Third Fourth Bank of Illiana Illinois, bank number 31774547713. No bullion found, owner thanked for cooperation and accounts returned to normal business transaction.
I put my coins into my coat pockets, thanked her and went back to the lobby.
Can I get that check cashed now Robin?
The teller looked up my account and smiled and said, yes Mr. Geld. I will do that for you right away.