Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Getting those bills out

I’ve been having mixed results with my bills lately. I went in to 7-Eleven a few days ago and spent one of my singles. The guy at the register thought it wasn’t real at first. He eventually took it, but put it in the drop safe. There’s a bill that I probably won’t be hearing from any time soon.

In better news, I went to the Post Office yesterday to buy a roll of postcard stamps. When the lady at the register saw all of the singles, she said that she needed them, so I offered 50 more. She gladly accepted and gave me two twenties and two fives. I thus got 50 singles into circulation without having to buy anything.

I don’t know why the Post Office always needs singles. They take credit cards like most other businesses and I would assume that they get the same mix of large and small bills. It’s possible that there’s some restriction on how often or even if they can get change from the bank. Either that or their volume is so high that they can rarely spare someone to go over.

I once thought of going around to Post Offices to break large bills, but it wouldn’t be worth it. I’d probably spend so much money on gas that I’d go broke quickly. Add to that the fact that I don’t even have a car and I still need to work. I’ll just have to limit myself to offering when I have to go.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cash and carry

I think I very nearly met a Secret Service agent today. (I exaggerate, but not by much.) I was planning on visiting the casino to circulate some bills, then seeing The Number 23 with Jim Carrey. Along the way, I stopped by a store that shall remain nameless to get some jelly beans. I was hoping this would be an uneventful trip, but I just had to test out a new Where’s George stamp that I got yesterday.

It’s circular and goes around the Federal Reserve seal or any similarly sized round thing on the bill. The idea was to get noticed, and that it did. The cashier took one look at my bills and walked away. When she came back, she didn’t have the bills. She had been followed by a man (presumably the manager) who walked into an office.

He emerged a few seconds later and walked over to the register. He asked me if the bills were mine and if I had marked the bills, to which I answered yes. He then asked why I did it. I told him that it was to track the bills. He told the cashier to accept the bills, but that they would go to the bank and that the bank would deal with it.

I told them that if it was going to be a problem, that I’d use debit. Normally, I don’t mind getting bills into circulation, but if I know they’re going to the bank, then there’s no point. I took the bills back and spent some of them at the theater.

Fortunately, I wasn’t late for it, but I think if I had dared this guy to call the Secret Service on me, I would have missed the movie altogether. He wasn’t rude or anything, but he had a tone like I was doing something wrong. I think that if I had argued much with him, he might have banned me from the store.

My manager and other coworkers have told me that they’ve had problems with customers getting my bills, but this is the first time that I’ve ever had a problem with someone. I sincerely hope that someone from the store I went to goes to the bank to get change and all the bank has is marked singles.

It’s not that I’m trying to be sadistic or anything. I’d just like to see what happens when he has to deal with it. All I know is that he’s not getting any of my bills directly from me. I think I’ll spend my money elsewhere

In other bill-marking news, I got a bill marked “Ruth” and what appears to be an extension number. At first, I didn’t know what the letters and numbers were, but when I showed it around the Where’s George chat room, someone suggested an extension number.

It makes sense if someone was calling their office (or some other familiar number) and tried to reach this Ruth person. They got one extension, which was wrong and subsequently scratched out. When they called the operator back, they either got the correct extension or gave up.

It kind of makes you wonder who Ruth is. Look at how far her name and extension went. It’s too bad that the full phone number isn’t on the bill. I could give her a call and ask who it was that wrote her extension on the bill in the first place. Granted, that would be a little much, but it’s kind of why I signed up for Where’s George. I want to know where the bill has been.

As for this one, my only theory is that Gonzo had a sex change. Is Gonza really a name? AltaVista’s Babel Fish doesn’t seem to translate it from French, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian. It’s possible that I’ll meet Gonza one day and find out that it’s a common name, but the Gonza on the bill is really her.

I remember marking my bills once to see if they ever came back to me, but bills have such wide circulation that they never did. I only did ten or twenty of them, but even after entering more than 10,000 bills, only one or two bills have come back to me. A lot of them end up in other states, and rather quickly.

That’s all for now. I’ll post again if anyone else gets angry with me.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I’ve been getting a lot of new singles lately. I’m not even talking about having to have a fifty or a hundred broken. When I do, I get the brand new 2003A bills, which I find kind of annoying. I think the past four times I’ve asked for change, three times I’ve gotten new bills.

I don’t remember where the first one was, but I only got part of the change in new bills, which was really annoying. When I get a pack that’s all new bills, they’re usually sequential, which makes entering the bills into Where’s George easy. There’s even a trick that makes it easier to change the last one or two digits.

However, when I get a stack of singles that’s partially circulated, I have to separate the new bills, sort them and hope that I get enough sequential bills to make it worth it to enter them. If not, then I still have to separate them and spend them separately. (In case you’re wondering, I do this because I don’t like to be the one to have to ruin them.)

I did get $150 in sequential bills, though. (I got them on two separate occasions.) I was planning on going to the casino today to spend them there, but I was able to get rid of most of the bills. Of the 200+ bills I originally got, I have only 64 left. (I’ll usually go to the casino about once a week, so I’ll probably end up there anyway.)

I had to order a new stamp because my old one broke. Instead of "Track this bill at…," it just says " ack this bill at…," which isn’t good. I can still mark the bills, since the URL is still intact, but I’d rather have the whole thing.

I ordered another one of the same stamp, but I also ordered a new stamp. This one is for stamping around the FRB or Treasury seal. (You can see the stamp here.) I’ll probably keep the stamp I have now as an alternate for when I have to travel or something.

I know there’s something else that I want to put in. I’ll probably think of it later.

Monday, March 05, 2007

More writings of other people

I’ve got some more writing on bills to post, and it looks like someone has some explaining to do. I don’t know who this Linnsey is, but someone is very sorry about something that they did to them. I have this whole story imagined in my head where someone did something terrible to Linnsey, Linnsey walked out and this mystery person never got the chance to apologize to them, so they had to write their apology to Linnsey on as many bills as they could get, hoping that the message would get through.

I actually got the bill at the bank. When I pointed out to the teller, she offered to take it back, but I told her that I wanted to keep it. I told her that I’d be posting it here. The only thing is that I now have to spend it. I can be pretty certain that the slot machines at the casino won’t take it, as it’s so written on. (It might work if I put the bill in upside down.)

Speaking of names on bills, I found this one. I don’t know who L. Katie B. is, but she must think she’s #1 or a 1 with a circle around it or something. I have to wonder what the L and B stand for. I’m assuming that Katie is a middle name and that L and B are the first and last initials, respectively.

Maybe the full name is something strange like Leopold Kathryn Bartholomew or something and she never liked going by the other two names, as it often caused confusion. It could also be that L and B stand for some attributes that she thinks she has, like Lovely and Beautiful or something. Maybe she is and maybe she isn’t. I don’t know either way.

This one is pretty straightforward. It’s just “RABBI”. Now, is the person who did this a rabbi? Do they know one? Are they trying to catch the attention of a rabbi so that they might seek council or something? If so, how does the rabbi get in contact with the person?

I know, it’s a bit of a stretch, but I’m trying to make the text here long enough to go down below the picture. I haven’t yet figured out how to format the entries so that it’s done automatically. Either way, I’m curious what the person was trying to accomplish with this. It might just be a case of someone using a bill for scrap paper.

This is definitely a case of scrap paper. You have to wonder what would make someone think of reaching for currency to use as scrap. I mean, are you really that short on paper? Can’t you go out and use the bill to get a pad or something?

I’ve always wondered about the thought process involved in actually seeing money and making the connection with using it as scrap. It’s not even a matter of legality or anything. What makes someone think that the rest of the world wants to look at their random words, numbers and squiggles?

I don’t know, but I’ll keep posting them here.