I had arranged to draw a largish sum from my Halifax Account in cash a week earlier.
Been with them 40 years, but still. 'We need to see your passport or other ID, when you collect?' was the conditional farewell. At this visit I also paid in a cheque.
When I mentioned I wanted the cash in 3 days, I was told
'You'll have to wait for another four days, until this cheque clears'
'Why'? I asked
'Because that's our rules', was the retort
'So are you saying I cannot access my own money'?
'What do you mean?'
'I have considerably more than the amount I wish to withdraw, already in cleared funds in that account'.
Clearly she hadn't seen my balance, but there was no apology.
Anyway, I went to collect it yesterday and was asked ...
'What was the cheque you paid in for, who was the issuer?'
'It was an unexpected pay out from 'Scottish Widows' on a life policy my late wife must have taken out'
'Can you provide written evidence?' was the the next invigilation! - followed by ...
Why do you want the money, what's it for'
Being the senior Economist for one of the World's largest companies until I retired, I attended many meetings with the Serious Crime Squad, Anti -Terrorism brigade' etc. etc. However this needless and impersonal line of questioning, to an almost life-time customer with established profile, demonstrates just how far we have let this kind of nedless inquisition develop. Also how separated and impersonal 'personal' banking has become.
Mindless, sop on TV adverts suggesting getting ' Xtra help' are benign and innocuous - crap in fact!
I didn't recall that great bastion and success story of British business 'Sir' Fred Goodwin being questioned too closely as he cleared off with his Ã‚Â£13k a week pension and squidzilla cash payout. But then he only broke HBOS, RBS and as a corollary Lloyds as collateral damage. In Russia they'd have shot him.
Anyway then to Tesco, to buy some discounted razor cartridges. Buying few items retail these days I use a plastic bag for convenience. I have a weekly home-drop from them anyway. However they are 'magically' prone to non-delivery on discounted items. Visit the store and well - there it is? Probably 'just in time' logistical dynamics, (cont page 96 etc) !! So I picked up six, paid and was leaving, when I was apprehended by a pair of morose 'Nicht Beauftragt' Security Stormtroopers.
Their line was I shouldn't use the plastic bag etc etc. I pointed out that essentially being one handed, a heavy wire basket was difficult and indeed sometimes painful to utilise. Empathy I discovered was not their strong suit, and they were evidently dismayed that I'd paid! It was somehow the malignant determination to make me feel guilty, I'd paid, why not say nothing - but oh no, I'm wearing a Pilot's shirt with blue epaulettes, so somehow, I need to confirm my stunted inadequacy, by expressing my ignorance.
Therefore within an hour, two ribald instances of degradation, tolerance and tunnel vision. I know, (and please hear this a a pre repsonse caveat), the ungodly are impressing their wretched ways upon us all, but somehow 24 hours on I still feel shaken.
One things for sure, I won't be going out in the future any more than I have too. Contact with UK 2010 enhances the risk of such friction!
Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do