Sunday, 31 March 2013

A lot of balls

A new experience for me this weekend - I visited a pawnbrokers. 

That old-fashioned description wasn't what was over the door - but that's what it was.  It offers of course a very old-fashioned service, but one that - in my neck of the woods  anyway - is depressingly flourishing. In fact along with fried chicken shops and betting shops, places offering pay day loans at interest rates of over 1000% are just about the only enterprises that do prosper around here.

Thankfully I wasn't there for a loan - I wanted to collect a Western Union transfer from Greece.

I wanted to  - but I couldn't because I could not persuade them that the name on the paperwork from the sender - 'Chris' - was a universally acknowledged abbreviation of the name on my driving license 'Christopher'. Even my signature on the very same license  'Chris' was not enough to assuage their jobs-worthiness. Nor were my pleas that only the DVLA, the Passport office and my grandmother got away with calling me Christopher - and she's been dead for twelve years.

So I left empty handed. I am nor sure whether I should be relieved that bureaucratic bullshit seems to trump old-fashioned avarice. Or doubly depressed at a new corporate  take on old-fashioned parasitism.

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