A Pay-in in the Arse

In which The Author engages in battle with the machines yet again

Last night I had a cheque to pay into the bank. I decided not to leave it until they were open, as I can’t stand going into the bank in Aberdare. It takes ages to queue, and something always seems to go wrong when I’m just about to get served.
So I thought I’d try paying it in using the ATM instead. I wasn’t even sure if that option was available, so I put my card in and looked at the menu. Sure enough, there was a ‘deposit’ option. So far, so good.
I keyed in the amount of the cheque, and took an envelope from the dispenser. I was about to place the cheque in the envelope when I noticed the following message on the front:
Please write your account number clearly on the back of all cheques.
Fortunately, I always have a pen with me, so that wasn’t an issue. However, I don’t know how many people have their bank account numbers committed to memory. I’m certainly not one of them. And therein lies the rub. The only available record of my account number was on my card – which was in the machine at the time.
So I had to cancel the transaction, remove my card, copy the account number onto the back of the cheque, and start the whole process again. At some point the machine issued me with another envelope. I didn’t really need it, but I stuck it in my pocket anyway. I put the cheque in the envelope, fed it back into the machine, and got a receipt.
Now I’ve got a spare paying-in envelope sitting in the drawer, waiting for the next time I receive a cheque, probably in about five years’ time, by which I’ll be lucky if my bank still exists in its present form. In the meantime, at least I’ve solved the mystery of why the Halifax cashpoint around the corner always has a trail of unused deposit envelopes leading from it on a Sunday morning.
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