Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bad News From The Bank

I don't like banks.  I approach all bank related activities with a sense of dread.  I assume, when I finally work my way up to a teller, that I will be told the bank is out of money or my meager funds have been allocated without my consent to a more worthy cause.  I fear ATMs for the same reason.  Perhaps it was that Sandra Bullock movie but I expect that either my card will be flung from the machine into my face or my account will indicate that in moments of compromised impulse control I spent all of my money.
Imagine, then, the degree and intensity of my fear this morning when I opened the letter from my bank.  Imagine further my fear when the opening paragraph of the letter read something along the lines of 'we regret to inform you'.  I immediately imagined myself in prison serving a sentence for some financial crime I neither committed nor knew about.
I almost threw the letter away without finishing it.  Come to find out it wasn't about me at all.  It did, though, contain some disturbing news.
The Albertsons' grocery store in Pomona at the corner of Garey Avenue and Foothill is closing.  The bank was letting me know about this because inside that store is a little branch of the very big bank with which I do business.  I often stop at that grocery store, get some money from the ATM, and buy whatever it is I need because the store is huge and has just about anything anyone would ever need.
It's always sad when a favorite business establishment closes.  The closure of this store isn't just about my being inconvenienced or feeling sad.  When that store goes the corner of Garey and Foothill in Pomona will house a big, empty area and that's not good.  Certainly it's not good for the economy of Pomona.  The city will have few if any major stores left in it.  It's also not good for safety.  Pomona hosts a great many homeless men and women and many of those many homeless folk suffer from severe mental illnesses.  Big, empty buildings are wonderful places to hide and live.  I'm all for the homeless having more places to live.  They shouldn't, however, have to hide in empty buildings.  But that's what will happen.
So, yeah, I'm bummed that I have to find another safe place to do my dreaded banking.
The bigger issue is, though, that poor little Pomona can't afford to lose a major chain market.  Of course, the building will probably eventually house a swap meet of some kind.  Swap meets, though, just don't sell a city as well as does a name anything.  Anything,  this is, except more homeless and a higher crime rate.

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