This week I have been beset with happenings that have brought out my inner Grumpy Old Woman.
My laptop, I have to admit, is at least four years old, which I'm told is pretty old as laptops go. So it's really no surprise that it's starting to drool down its cardigan and tell everybody that things aren't what they used to be. And I do have a spare, being a belt and braces sort: a notebook small enough to carry round without stretching my arms down to my knees. Admittedly it did run on Windows 8, but never mind, I get the free upgrade to Windows 10. No problem. It has deleted half of my files during the upgrade,, but I'm sure I can reconstruct them.
And we've just changed our bank. Bank X was always very fair with us, we had no complaints, but Bank Y made us an offer we couldn't refuse. No hard feelings.
What could possibly go wrong?
The first thing was that the transfer was due to go ahead on the same day that we were due to pay our credit card bill. Quite a large one, in fact, as it included the new kitchen units we had bought for our French house. (I'll get back to the convoluted story of the French house next time.) I did try to change the date online; living in the GWBA* you thank heaven on bended knees every day for the internet. Sadly, my name had to be taken off the joint account for technical reasons, so I no longer had access to it on line. Not to worry, we could go into the bank the next working day and sort it out.
Except that the account had gone into changeover purdah by then. Nothing could be altered, but if we went in on the day of the changeover they could confirm that the payment had actually been made. Problem sorted, and indeed when we checked up, everything was fine.
So we came back home, and a day or so later I thought I would go online and check out our balances on line. We were already registered with Bank Y for internet banking, there should be no problem.
Except that by this time I am using backup laptop, all set up in my library/office with external keyboard, speakers and a tangle of peripheral USB devices. And Bank Y doesn't recognise backup laptop and decides I am an evil hacker trying to get access to our accounts. I must tell them my mother's cat's maiden name, do I recognise this picture, and enter random letters and numbers from security numbers and passwords.
I get right through to the last part, and Bank Y's computer doesn't recognise the numbers I enter. I try again. The numbers are incorrect. If I try too many times my accounts will be frozen in deepest Antarctica, never to be accessed again. I am too scared to try again. Oh well, I didn't really need to look at our bank balance. I'm sure everything is just fine.
I go off to my daughter's, to wait for a grocery delivery between the hours of twelve and one. It doesn't come. On phoning the store, I am told that, in spite of delivering to daughter every week for the last year, the man couldn't find the house. He has been phoning the number on our account. We are not answering. Because we are at my daughter's waiting for a non-arriving grocery delivery. Did he not try the other numbers? In spite of the shop refusing to accept my order unless I gave them two other alternative numbers, they do not have any alternative numbers. Would the hours of four to five be acceptable. Well, it will have to be, won't it? The groceries finally arrive. All has been worked out. They give me a bunch of flowers as apology.
But that very evening Rod the Electrician phones from France. Everything is coming along swimmingly, well apart from the fact that they gave him the wrong size cupboard door, they have no more cupboard doors the right size, he's taken a set of drawers instead, but the top drawer won't work because it clashes with the sink ... But not to worry, everything is fine, and could he have some money sent directly to his French bank account because he's meeting his bank manager on Tuesday.
Today is Thursday.
I go to the computer - yes I even have internet banking with French Bank. "Click here to set up new recipient". I click. "We have to have your mobile phone number before we will do anything whatsoever". I search for my mobile phone because that is the one number I can never remember. Back at the computer: "Enter mobile phone number in the box". Except that there isn't a box. I click everywhere on the page without finding any spot to enter the number. I give up with French Bank.
Now I could use our new main bank account with Bank Y, in fact that is what I would prefer to do. Except that Bank Y doesn't believe I am who I say I am, remember?
So I go back to Bank X. We still have a couple of accounts with them, and by combining the balances I can just about make the amount Rod the Electrician needs. The money will not go until the next working day, of course, but providing I've got all the numbers names and etceteras right, and the pigeon carrying the message isn't blown off course over the weekend, the money may just about get there in time. I hope.
I was going to post this blog on my Blogger website. But when I tried to log in, Blogger decided I was not who I said I was, because I wasn't on the computer it was used to.
Here we go again.
* Great Welsh Bugger All
Doreen lives in the empty bit in the middle of Wales, where since her retirement she has taken up writing. She says it's better than working any day.
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