I usually keep a spare change container of some kind at home, the receptacle of choice right now is an old-style glass milk bottle like the ones you see in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons. For no good reason, I took a picture of it and made it into a desktop, you can see it here.
The downside to this is taking those coins to the bank. If you’re lucky, your bank has a coin counting machine. The teller takes your change, runs it through the machine, gives you cash (or deposits it if you’re smart) and everyone’s happy. If you’re unlucky, your bank will only take rolled-up coins, and if you’re REALLY unlucky they ask you to write your account number or some other such nonsense on the rolls. There’s a Coinstar machine at the grocery store, but they charge 8.9 percent, and I want it ALL, baby!
I place the change into a plastic container and drive to my bank (IBC Bank) to see if I can get lucky. Well, how about that! They have a machine, and I don’t even need my account number! I hand my bounty to the teller, she goes into The Secret Room With The Magic Coin Machine and I wait…and wait…and wait. After about 15 minutes, they tell me the machine’s busted and they’re going to return my change. The teller goes back into The Secret Room With The Magic Coin Machine, and soon pops her head out and exclaims the machine is fixed! Woo-hoo! Or not. woo. After another five minutes I leave change-full and cash-less. I give them a silver star for trying, though.
But hey, no biggie, there’s another branch just down the road…I get there to find it closed. Fark. Okay, there’s another one not TOO far away, I’ll have to drive through some crappy traffic, but it’s a nice day.
“We don’t have a coin-counting machine…” After hearing that, I’m left wondering “What kind of craphole bank doesn’t have a coin-counting machine?” It was in a nicer part of town, though, so maybe its beneath them or something. Jerks.
As Fate would have it, I had planned to go to another part of town to do some apartment-hunting. There’s a bank branch in the area so I figure its worth a shot, and I can browse around the nearby mall for a bit afterwards and spend my loot. I can’t find the damn bank, though (there should be a special place in hell reserved for the moron who designed the layout of the roads in that area) and the parking lot at the mall is PACKED SOLID. Mental note: stay the hell away from La Cantera until after Christmas.
I figure I’ll try one last time, surely my luck can’t be so bad I strike out for the 5th time. Unfortunately, my Spidey-sense starts tingling as I drive up, so I don’t even bother to take the change with me inside the bank. Come to discover my luck IS that bad; they only take rolled coins. For bonus points, the cashier is an blithering idiot who starts babbling about coin wrappers. I make a smartass comment about ‘no wonder Coinstar is in business’ to the mouth-breather and walk out.
I tell you, this kind of crap only happens to me…IBC has 31 locations in San Antonio, I visit 4 of them and can’t get satisfaction. Now, I can either pay the Coinstar tax, or get a bigger bottle and play this game again in a few months. Then again, I wonder if EB Games would take $58.22 in change, its not like its all pennies!