A bank in Bank? How confusing

Don’t you just love those calls you get from the bank, to tell you that whilst they believe that some of their data has been ‘compromised’ and that your details are included, they are being extra helpful by stopping your card just in case and issuing you with a new one?

Am I just unlucky or do other people get those calls too?

Then they check your recent ‘suspect’ transactions, all of which are legitimate, but they’ve already stopped your card anyway, so you’ll need to update any transactions that use your old card details and wait for your new card to arrive, in the next 7-10 working days.

Great, thanks for that!

10 days later, no card. I call HSBC. They decide the safest thing to do is to stop the new card, and issue a new new card. And this time I should collect it from my local branch. That’s in Putney, yes? Yes, but I don’t want to collect it from there, as I’m in the city during the day. Can I collect it from a branch in the city please? Yes madam. Which branch? The one at Bank. We have lots of banks madam, which one do you want to collect it from? The one at Bank – Bank is a place in London, where you have a branch. I’ll look on my system madam. I can see your postcode is SW15… No that’s my home postcode, but I’ll be at work, so I need a branch near work, hence why I want one in the city. What’s the postcode of the one in the city madam? I don’t know, it’s your branch! Can’t you find it on your system? I’ll have a look for you madam, where is it? It’s at Bank…

I tell you what, I’ll Google it…



The annual Christmas shopping trip

For the past three or four years, my cousin has descended upon York with the sole purpose of fulfilling his Christmas shopping requirements. The flow of events has been pretty simple and consistent: Tom comes to stay, my large sofa becomes his home for two days until day three (before heading home) when he remembers the shopping he came to do. We take a leisurely stroll into York and start the proceedings at the Guy Fawkes Inn (a traditional York establishment, with an authentic dark wooden décor, lots of candles, good beer and fine wine – ideal for a winter’s day out). We consume a beverage whilst constructing a detailed plan, to avoid all other shoppers, spend as little as possible on presents, and take in the sights. Once the plan is agreed, we realise that staying exactly where we are actually fulfils all our objectives. We congratulate each other and order another beverage. A pang of guilt then hits, as we realise we really ought to purchase at least one Christmas present, to justify this being a Christmas shopping excursion. In any problem solving situation, understanding the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ needs careful planning. We order a beverage and have a think. Once we’ve decided on the lucky recipient and considered a suitably appropriate gift, we realise that HMV closes in 10 minutes and ANOTHER Disney DVD is perfect for Amy. So we run round to Coney Street, squeeze past the bouncer on the door (who’s clearly more interested in the 13 year old girl trying desperately to peel off the security sticker from the latest 1 Direction CD) and emerge 3 minutes later, Snow White in hand. We congratulate ourselves on a successful outing, and head back to the Guy Fawkes to reward ourselves with a beverage…

This sequence of events has become tradition. Even though Tom and I both now live in London, we still make the pilgrimage to the Guy Fawkes in December each year, to plan our Christmas shopping. So when I contact Tom to let him know I’ll be arriving in York on 12th December, his response is appropriately focused – “meet you in the Guy Fawkes then, yes?”