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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

July 13th, 2007

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08:42 am - Adventures in Currency Conversion
I have previously admitted to being low on cash. How low, one might ask? Well, on Monday morning, I was $24 short of having enough cash to pay my mortgage, which is due on Saturday.

Step one was to sell off all the books I knew I'd never look at or read again. This gathered me about $5 (or approximately a quarter per book). "Okay," I thought, "you're 20% of the way there."

The next thing I thought about was selling sets of rune dice. I've been making these with some industry for a while now, and I have a few sets made up.

They look like this:

The central issue with that is that it doesn't solve my immediate need (as orders need filling and cash needs transferred and yada/yada/yada and I only have until Saturday to deposit this cash). So I started thinking about other things I could do.

After a lot of thought and a lot of false starts on things (such as selling Discordian Futhark runes on apples that look like this:
I decided that I would take the 30 Euros I had down to the currency exchange and get me some real American Dollars!

The first order of business, of course, was to find out what the real exchange rate was for the cash. A quick Google search found that the appropriate current prices would yield approximately $41.30 for 30 Euros. Not bad: a strong Euro and a flacid dollar aren't always a bad combination (considering I'd bought those 30 Euro for about $39 in April).

The next order of business was to call my bank and see if they'd do an exchange for me.

Of course, like any good bank, they indicated that it was no problem. Until I informed the nice lady how much I had.
her: Just thirty?

me: Yep. Thirty Euros. Is that a problem?

her: Well, not really, but we charge a flat $10 for all currency conversions. We've outsourced our conversion to a company in Florida, and that's what they charge us. But I know the airport can buy it!

Okay, so now I have to pay 20% of the total USD value and wait for the cash to arrive in my account from Florida? Ack. I only have four days left to get this all done!

So, strike one. Next, I called the airport and asked about their rates. The nice lady informed me that they'd buy my Euros at $37.87. Not bad, hardly 10% loss. But then there was the matter of a small, flat fee.

The airport charges $5.95 for all their transactions.

So here, I'm losing not quite $10. So I settle on that and leave my office at lunch to get the currency exchanged. I'd still walk out with more than my needed $19.

About halfway to the airport, though, I remember a critical bit of information that suddenly made the bank look much nicer: I was going to have to pay $2 for the convenience of parking for 15 minutes while the exchange took place.

But, of course, I was most of the way there when I realized this, and given that I was already spending the gas (another hidden cost), I decided to go through with it.

I walked into my bank a half hour later and deposited $30. I had left the Airport with $29 after all the fees and about a gallon of gas was burned, and decided not to dump all my cash into my account. At this point, I mostly felt like I had been bent over a table by the airport and had them shove a Boeing 757 up my ass, but at least I had made my mortgage payment, and on time no less!

Now, I was tired of starving. I decided I could spend $3 on food, so I dropped in on the McDonalds and ordered from the dollar menu.

I cannot remember the last time I've eaten fast food, and I hadn't spent any money on food in over three weeks at that point. I cannot express how delicious that double cheeseburger was.

Nor can I adequately express what it did to my digestive system, but that's another post.

So, simply put, everything worked out: a full stomach (unknown for two weeks at this point) and a paid mortgage.

And all it took was asking the airport to shove a Boeing 757 up my ass.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Carnival World", -JB

(32 comments Leave a comment)


Date:July 13th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC)
A /conversion/ fee?! Wholy crap, was this your bank, or a random bank?

Wow, its been years since I last tried to do such a thing, and i know i wasn't charged.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
That would be my bank. Apparently this is the new "in" thing: all the banks are doing it.

I really wanted to ask, "So, if all the banks jumped off a bridge, would you guys, too?"
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
I gotta say, that conversation yesterday, while it made me slightly horrified at capitalism, really made research more pleasant.

I am wondering if I am going to have to come on IM every day now for a suitably amusing addition to research...
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC)
You just might. . .
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 01:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes: the discrepancy between American attitudes toward currency conversion and European attitudes was quite apparent :)

It made me long for the nice little shop in Paris where they were all business, gave me a decent rate, and sent me off in about 30 seconds.

Of course, I could find a money changer just about anywhere there. In Columbus, OH, there's only one, and it's at the airport. And banks, as you see, aren't being positive about the exchange rate.

I suddenly miss Europe a lot more than before :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC)

CHEESEBURGER! (make it a double)

How much do you sell those dice for (including shipping if you happen to know it)?

And I'm glad you made the payment :D
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC)
Okay - so how do I buy a set of your rune dice? :-)
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC)
I'll join the que in asking about the rune dice. They're a great idea.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
I am going to join the rune dice bus here :)

Psst... *Shakes fist* Darn it all for not having money :)
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you have a paypal button on your site. I might have to use it in August.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
The nice thing about PayPal is that it's always open :)

And I appreciate it, honestly :)

Btw, I've been meaning to say, but always hit "post comment" before I remember it at the end of a comment: lovely icon. :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
Early in my Buffett listening years, I thought it was a "mean kosher pickle"
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:05 pm (UTC)
You should be able to see them in the entry above. If not, you can find them here:





And feel free to digress.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)

a suggestion

I see you have a cafe press shop. But despite it being a good site, the appeal of a chronarchy tee-shirt is <irony type="british">perhaps somewhat limited</irony>

Now What would Esus do? has a lot more popular appeal. IMHO. Preferably in small caps so its even easier to mis-read :) and a photo of the Paris altar, naturally.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)

Re: a suggestion

Indeed, I need to update that quite a bit: I have some solid ideas here and there, but I have not managed to pull in the time to do it.

But are you saying you are not in need of a Chronarchy.Com thong?
[User Picture]
Date:July 14th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
*squees at the glory of the futhark dice and the apples*

If you do sell that at some point, I would be interested!

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