Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"

Yep, famous quote from FDR. How does it apply today?

Well, yesterday, I decided to do a favor for a neighbor, and simultaneously accomplish some much needed errands. I was going to head to my local Bank HaPoalim and deposit money, along with slipping a check into the box for her in an already sealed envelope.

When I arrived there, I found pandemonium raging. At least thirty people were there, clamoring for something- I knew not what.

When I walked in, I noticed the computers and ATMs were all down.

I then inquired from a bank employee, who told me that there was a major computer failure in the entire Bank HaPoalim system from "Eilat to Metulla", and they were supposed to have it fixed, but it's been two days.

What could I do at the bank, you may ask? Well, the nice employee told me that basically, he
can't guarantee any money deposited yesterday, because he can't print receipts or record transactions. Not only that, but they didn't know when it would be fixed.

So, I dejectedly headed home, hoping to get to the bank another day, when the computer bugs were gone.

The funny thing was, that rumors started flying. No matter what any employee of Bank HaPoalim said, all the bystanders were sure that the bank was crashing, taking all their money with it. Some said other banks had the same virus, others said that Bank HaPoalim had lost everything in the US stock market- fears were rampant.

I stopped by my neighbor to tell her that I'll have to take care of her check tomorrow- and here too, she inquired if the bank had failed, if they would lose everything in the account....

So I turned to my faithful internet- and low and behold: computer failure. (Thanks, IBM). And, it was up and running again by the time the banks closed. (I have yet to verify this by going to a bank this morning.)

So- what is there to fear? Banks crashing, money disappearing? Nope- nothing but fear itself.

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