Interesting day I had. Woke up normally. Lit my first cig of the day before I get the coffee going. Listen to WABC then WOR after 6 A.M....
Then I decided to do stuff.
Waited for Staples to open so I could get some of that there glass paint for The Conversion Van Of Wonders to display my dissatisfaction with PNC Bank. I cleaned ALL the exterior windows and started to apply the message. Photos to follow.
I chose a site that would give me the angle I needed to include the PNC logo as well as the side windows in the shot. Since this IS the Internet, after all, I covered my rear licence plate so not to put it out online.
Figured I was being prudent. Later on that would prove to be a mistake.
I get out of the van and shot maybe 10 pics, then grab a different cam to do some video. Satisfied with what I had done, I settled into the driver's seat to listen to some Rush Limbaugh and let the words on the windows speak for themselves.
I notice in the side view mirror, a police car pulling up behind me. I get out, smile on my face and approach the officer.
Probably not the best move.
Seems the police had gotten a call from the bank about some bearded guy taking pictures of the bank and shooting some video. To top it off, the patrolman saw my licence plate was covered by a paper towel. I was told to assume the position against the vehicle and was summarily "frisked". After finding no WMD's on or around me, he asked what was what.
I explained about my issues with PNC Bank and that today was the 1st day of the Conversion Van Of Wonders being adorned with my message, visiting different branches through out PNC's territory.
The folks inside were neither amused or inclined to ignore me. It's a bank, after all. Fair enough.
After asking my name, the officer recognized me (my currently homeless guy appearance throws some folks) and the air was considerably less thick. You all, if interested, have read pretty much everything I had to share with him. While this was going on, 3 other patrolmen appear, including one I know from before.
The first officer goes inside the bank to explain things, while the other three and I are chatting about what's up with me, am I really homeless and living in The Conversion Van Of Wonders with Bob The Van Eating Dog. Stuff like that.
Patrolman #1 comes back outside and says the manager of this branch wanted to talk with me to see what she could do. I told him, that HQ in Pittsburgh let me know THEY were the final word on stuff, and to stop wasting my time. He again suggested I go have a chat with said manager, and I figured..OK. If nothing else, I could get some coffee.
SIDETRACK: One of the items I painted onto the windows was the link to this blog. I stepped away from the 'puter I am using to check on Bob and have a quick smoke, when a fellow came up to me and asked me if I was The Homeless Advisor. I said yes, thinking he had read the blog. However, he is recently displaced from shelter and thought I could help him out.
Former Navy, living in his Jeep parked outside his old apartment where most of his stuff still is. Everything I suggested to him, he knew about and was trying to make some headway in finding a place to live.
I felt kind of useless, wishing I could offer up more for him not just because he is without housing, but he is former military. I have a van, a mansion compared to the front part of a Jeep. I am just lucky that way. I wish him well. His name is Michael.
Inside the bank, the tellers view me with more than a bit of curiosity. I mean, here is this guy with the pronouncement of a hunger strike aimed at rattling the cage of their employer, taking pictures of their workplace.
(The patrolman said I was accused of being belligerent, loud, and cussing up a storm! A time like that is why I am grateful God allowed us to invent video. My time there is captured for the record. No obnoxious behavior from this boy to be found! I'd like to know who made that accusation and why!)
I am greeted mid-lobby by the aforementioned manager and led into her office. I share my tale of frustration and woe, leading to being stonewalled by the contact I had at corporate. She digs into the record...sees what's what...considers the situation...and VOILA! She makes it good...handled...done!
I must say her manor was more than pleasant, quite personable. and warm. She listened..that was important to me. And she got it!
15 some minutes later, all seems well with the world. My account fixed and I am sent home with some swag, to boot.
Mugs and cocoa. A box-O-pens. A Snuggie kinda thing. Some chocolates, a road hazard emergency kit...way cool stuff!
My issues solved and a bonus! Is this a great country or what????? This young woman should be promoted to P'Burgh and put in charge of all things, PNC! Kudos to her!
And that first patrolman? He should be made head of any crisis/hostage negociating unit. He put the meeting 'twixt said manage and I together. Kudos to you, as well!
So, I got to eat. Went to B.K. and had 2 Whopper Jr.'s with cheese and onion rings. Paid for using my PNC Visa card.
I am giving myself some time off from being an activist, channeling Gandhi and just hang for a bit, refocusing on getting out of Jersey. The weather has been MUCH milder these last few days, and that helps a great deal.
I still feel that the the fees are too high and that they as well as newly imposed hours of operation and service charges are problematic to a fair portion of PNC's customer base. Perhaps I'll pick up that mantle again soon, but for now, I am in survival mode.
To my readers, thanks for following and for your support. In the video I shot today, I was going to ask y'all to send the address of other PNC branches I could park in front of. That's moot at this point. Since I do have a fair amount of glass paint left, I will be adorning the side and rear windows with the link to this blog. If you see me some where, please introduce yourself and say hello to me and Bob The Van Eating Dog.
Until Next Time...