Having a go by Barbara Nadel

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Yesterday I discovered a deeply suspect part of my personality. I’ve always known it was there, but yesterday it came forth in full, ghastly gleefulness.

Basically I had an issue with a bank I have dealings with. The details are irrelevant beyond the fact that I had inadvertently missed one payment to them and they had fined me, frozen my account and told various credit rating agencies that I was now a bad risk. When I got their bill I paid it immediately but I did so with the full intention of calling them to ‘discuss’ what I felt was their gross over-reaction to one late payment.

Fortunately for me (their bill) they rang me first. Or rather some poor woman in a call centre rang me on their behalf. Now I should just mention in my own defence that I did say I was not in any way angry with this woman per se on several occasions. I was angry with the bank, which, like most banks in this country right now is a fairly discredited and despised institution. But my God did I go on!

How dare they freeze my account and tell the credit agencies I was a ‘bad risk’ after just one late payment! I’ve been a customer of theirs for over ten years and I’ve always broken my back to pay them on time in the past. They know I’m working, know I always pay my bills, who the hell do they think they are! I was so angry I was never going to use their services again unless they writhed on the ground before me in a frenzy of self abasement.

The poor woman at the other end tried to keep to her script. She wanted to enter my phone call as a ‘complaint’ and I, for my part, kept on saying that wasn’t good enough. I told her what I wanted was an official apology, from a person as opposed to a computer, signed by a human being. It took her a while to work out what that actually was but she did get it in the end and even asked for my address so that the letter I had requested could be sent to me.

Will I get such a letter? I doubt it. But what I don’t doubt is that if I don’t receive such a missive, they can forget about making any money out of me. And if I’m ever turned down by anyone for having a bad credit rating (which can only be down to them) then may God help them.

Although discovering that all high level banking in this country was basically corrupt over the past few years, has been a shock, it has also been quite freeing for ordinary people like me. Banks who have gambled with my money without my permission, have artificially and illegally fixed interest rates and have been proven to have been in business with some very dodgy people indeed, don’t deserve anybody’s respect. Nobody gives me a damn great bonus if I really screw up my job and so why should I bow and scrape to people who are feted in this ridiculous manner.

More and more people in this country are, like me, having a go and not taking their crap anymore. If I get turned down for a loan because of them I will scream and scream until they do what I want. After all if someone like the odious Sir Fred Goodwin, once head of the Royal Bank of Scotland – which he brought to its knees – can get a whole heap of money for being a shit I am quite entitled to a loan I will pay back with interest when I kick off like a crazy woman.

When I’d finished my call to the bank I punched the air in both celebration and with elation. I’d stuck it to them, which I had but I’d also made a poor call centre person confused and probably quite miserable too. At the time I didn’t care. That was the suspect part of my personality I’ve always known exists coming up. But today I have mellowed. I am sorry to her for my ranting and raving but I’m even more sorry that she has to work for such a devalued institution as a bank. Unless they really do something dramatic soon, our banks will be discredited for generations to come. And they will only have themselves to blame for that.

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