On finding oneself trapped inside The circle of DOOM
There are days when you find yourself in the presence of the kind of petty bureaucrat that knits their own packed lunch and spends their entire life never being wrong, ever.
They will spend their every waking hour ensuring that the regulations are followed to the letter, and damme your eyes – and your breeches too – should it be your misfortune to cross them.
And so, let us rewind to those happy, carefree days of March 2002, and your humble narrator saunters – looking rather too pleased with himself – into the local branch of the Nationwide Building Society.
A new start in a news town. OR SO HE THOUGHT.
Me: "I'd like to change the address on my account please"
Nationwide: "Not a problem sir. Our records show that we do not hold an up-to-date signature for your account. We need to do that before we can update your address record"
Me: "Oh-ho! We can kill two birds with one stone, then."
Nationwide: "In which case, could you show us an official document with your signature, please?"
Me: "Yes. Yes I can. Here's my driving licence."
Nationwide: "I'm sorry. We can't accept this - your address doesn't match the one we have on the system."
Me: "Bu... but... that's because I've moved house."
Nationwide: "You have? We can sort that for you. However, our records show that we do not hold an up-to-date signature for your account. We need to do that before we can update your address record"
Nationwide: "Could you show us an official document with your signature, please?"
* This message sent from the Weymouth branch of Nationwide where I have now resided for the last seven years, a queue going out the door, down the seafront and all the way to Poole.