When you know all trust has gone from society


It’s my day off. The vicar’s wife and I popped over to Walsall for a look around, where else? We hadn’t been before. After a browse at the Walsall museum, we strolled into town and I passed a branch of my bank and decided to deposit my expenses cheque but, for the first time ever, I was told I couldn’t.  The staff didn’t trust me.  I was told I was potential fraudster despite lots of evidence to the contrary.

The reason I was not allowed to deposit my cheque was because it was made payable to “Rev N Robbie” but my bank account is in the name “Mr James N Robbie”.  Was the different title the problem?  No, it was the use of my middle initial on the cheque.  My parents gave me the name “Neil” but made it a middle name. Scots do this a lot. The bank has never had a problem with it in the past.  I’ve deposited cheques for two years made payable to “Rev N Robbie”.

When the cashier refused to accept the cheque I asked why, “fraud prevention, sir, the check could be for “Norman Robbie.”” So I gave her other ID. My photographic driving licence and my credit card from another bank, which has the title “Rev”.  How many Rev Robbies can there be?

The cashier called her supervisor over. She checked my additional ID and said “Sorry, sir, we can’t accept this cheque. It could be fraud.”

“You can check the signatory”, I said, “it’s from Holy Trinity Church and I signed it, look my signature on the cheque is the same as the one on my bank card.” “Yes sir, I can see it is your signature, but we need the counter-signature to agree that you are “N Robbie”. Can you ask your treasurer to add “J” and you can both sign the correction, then represent it?”

“That’s ridiculous.” Which it was. “You know I am Neil Robbie, you have photo ID, you know I work for the church and that I signed the cheque that I am paying in. What else to you need to trust me?”

“It’s against our policy sir, I’m only protecting my job. I’m sorry, I can’t help you today.”

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