Posted by: Winslie Gomez | 02/05/2007

How to write a nasty letter. 98 year old woman (allegedly) wrote this to her bank. (Allegedly), the

bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.

(sorry don’t have dates)

Have you ever written a letter or email that really caused a stir.  Got you sacked, reprimanded and everyone, well, just about or at least seems like that, anyway they all think, you’re a nutter.

If you have, then this little example of how to deal with difficult issue is thoroughly apt.

It might just be possible you’ve seen it already but a friend sent it to me and I found it seriously amusing.


Photo credited to Alex Guerra and thanks Alex I do like your talented shots.


Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavoured to
pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three ‘nanoseconds’ must
have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account
of the funds needed to honour it. I refer, of course, to the automatic
monthly deposit of my Social Security check, an arrangement which, I
admit, has been in place for only eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and
also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience
caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused
me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally
attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am
confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity
which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood
person. My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no
longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by check, addressed
personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must
nominate. Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other
person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your
chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in
order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me,
there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be
countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her
financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be
accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she
must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than
28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses
required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As
they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press
buttons as follows:

1– To make an appointment to see me.
2– To query a missing payment.
3– To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4– To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5– To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6– To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7– To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is
required. A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the
Authorized Contact.)
8– To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
9– To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put on
hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait uplifting music will
play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an
establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement and may I
wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client



  1. I hadn’t seen it before, I’m glad you decided to make it a post 😀 very amusing indeed!

  2. Thanks Anapires,
    I learnt a really valuable lesson in not stating the obvious but try to look at it with a different perspective.

  3. I don’t think it was written by a 98 year-old Woman. Methinks it was a comedian.

  4. Ha Ha JTD
    I can quite agree with you. Still great though!
    Thanks for the comment

  5. Their just deserts, isn’t it?

  6. Jose
    Absolutely! Wish I had as much patience to compose a letter like that.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  7. […] to write a nasty letter. 98 year old woman allegedly wrote this to her bank. Allegedly, the??? ……THE NEW REPUBLIC ServicesOnline edition of journal of politics and culture, with selected articles […]

  8. Nasty Letters
    You made me think, so I went back and edited my presentation, as this was written nearly a year ago.

  9. Great letter, about 3-4 years ago, an article in the Washington Post ran a story on a woman in the Northern Virginia area who, for a fee, would compose a “nasty” letter for you. Anyone out there remember her name?

  10. Isabel
    Thank you for the comment.
    I’m afraid I have no knowledge of your woman from N. Virginia as the letter was passed on to me by email from a friend and I am from UK.
    Will ask around, on your behalf!

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