Last year, I wrote a post called “When You Assume… Well You Know the Rest.” There I mentioned that I had made an assumption about my commute that turned out to be false and forced myself to look at other assumptions in my life. Well, it seems I’ve done it again. And while last time my assumption was only costing me effort, this time, it cost me money.
A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the newspaper delivery gig I had started. Ultimately, the person who was sub-contracting me decided to quit that job, so I only got paid for one week. That was my training week and the original agreement had been $45 per night when I was delivering myself and half that when I was in training.
When good checks go bad
Because I worked 4 nights in training, I was expecting a $90 check. So when I received this check, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it said $180, the full rate.
But wait, look more closely at this check. While the box appears to say 180.00, the value line clearly reads one hundred and no. Apparently, half of $45 was rounded up to $25 and four nights got me a hundred dollars.
But I didn’t read the line where the dollar amount is written out. The number looked like a 180 and it fit my assumptions. I had first assumed the check would be $90. When I saw it wasn’t, my second assumption would be that the check would be for $45 per night as an apology for the gig ending early. After all, that is something I would consider doing. The second assumption led me to believer that it would be $180.
So I wrote out my deposit slip for $180. I walked over to the bank and deposited it while the teller and I talked about my recent move. Fast forward to the following week and a routine check of my bank account revealed a “Returned Item From A Previous Deposit” and a chargeback fee. I texted the person who gave me the check. Read below that conversation:
me: I just checked my bank account and the check bounced
him: This is news to me and no reason it should of…are you sure?
me: I can’t think of any other $180 checks I have deposited
him: I didn’t write you a check for $180
me: That’s what the check said
him: You worked 4 days and I paid you $25 a day. We wrote you a check for $100
me: Well, that’s what happened. I thought the check said 180 wrote the deposit slip for 180 and the teller accepted it
I was certain that check said $180 so I went over to the bank and asked for a print out. Turns out he was right. And the check didn’t bounce, the amount was rejected by his bank. Now, I have to wait for his bank to send a physical copy of the check to my bank for them to send to me so I can re-deposit it for the correct amount. I should be getting it sometime this week.
I’m glad I checked; I don’t keep much money in that account as a rule. The account is used solely for paying debts and I want to be able to cut and run as quickly and easily as possible if one creditor starts to get greedy, like what happened to me 3 1/2 years ago with Bank of America or what may be happening with our mortgage company, 21st Mortgage who charged us a mortgage payment the day after our closing.
So when that check didn’t clear, and I got charged a fee on top of it, my bank account was $200 less than anticipated. On Thursday, $230 worth of bills gets paid. I would have bounced… again.
Have you ever received a check that was for a different amount that you thought it was?