Dear Annie: My father is starting to have trouble managing his banking. He has a decent fixed income, but somehow, he is now living from one check to the next and he's getting costly overdrawn notices. I have started to write out his bills, and I try to keep his checkbook balanced.
Last week, I went to the bank with him for the first time. He could not remember his account number. He knew nothing about how much was in his account and it was obvious that the tellers were aware of this. They called him by name, trying to help him.
When he finished his depositing a check, he tipped the teller $30. He said he tips them all the time because they help him. Annie, I know he makes withdrawals every Friday to "make it through the weekend," but I didn't realize he was tipping the tellers.
Is this permitted? I had no idea tellers could accept tips. My father doesn't have a great deal of money and my brother and I often help him out so he can balance his checkbook. How should we handle this? — Senior Banking Issues
Dear Banking: We don't know what bank your father patronizes, but every bank we checked said that tipping is absolutely not permitted. Your father obviously has some memory issues and unless the bank tellers are depositing those tips back into Dad's account, they are taking advantage of him. Complain to their supervisors. And if Dad is living check-to-check, it sounds as though it is time for someone else to manage his banking.
Discuss this with your brother, so there are no arguments, and then approach Dad, explaining that you want to be sure his money lasts. Make him a part of the process. It would be best if you could limit how often he goes to the bank, so have his checks deposited automatically and give him a weekly allowance in cash. We know it's extra work for you, but this is what responsible, caring children do for their parents. Dad should be evaluated by his physician for signs of dementia, and if he is living alone, you might start looking into retirement communities that will provide a safe environment, as well as companionship, conversation and community.
Dear Annie: I read the responses to "Expecting," who was asked thoughtless and intrusive questions about her pregnancy.
I once asked a friend something unintentionally rude and he responded to me by asking, "What did you say?" I repeated my question and he again asked, "What did you say?" It took a third time before I caught on that he wasn't hard of hearing. I actually appreciated the polite comeuppance and got a good laugh out of it. That kind of response would really pull a person up short if they asked something that was none of their business. — N.N.
Dear N.N.: Thanks for providing a polite but effective way to avoid answering personal, intrusive questions.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.