I get a call from a withheld number. I am terribly excited. I think about all the people who might be calling me secretly. ‘Hello?’ I say politely. ‘Hello. This is HSBC.’ I refuse to abandon my earlier hopes. Perhaps HSBC is calling to let me know that they have randomly selected me to win a great deal of money, in a 2011 version of Charlie’s golden ticket.
I instantly upgrade my planned sandwich. Today will be a ‘finest’ day, let me tell you that for free. (I’m sorry, but I think that’s all I’m going to give away for free. Us rich have to stay rich). I wonder if I should throw caution to the wind and pop to Marks and Spencer. And let me tell you, I will not be following the ‘meal deal’. No siree, I will profligately pile things I actually want to eat into my basket. I might buy two puddings. ‘Hello, are you there?’ the HSBC man asks. It seems I have not said anything for some time. I don’t want to make the HSBC man jealous of my newfound lunch possibilities, so I keep my recent thoughts to myself. ‘You have an account with HSBC,’ he tells me. ‘That’s good!’ I say cheerily, ‘Got to be in it to win it!’ ‘Um, yes. The problem is, you haven’t put any money into the account since 2010.’ ‘Well,’ I say gleefully, ‘I’m guessing that won’t be a problem any more!’ ‘Um. No, it is.’ I presume the HSBC man has been watching too many game shows, and is trying to increase tension by pretending I haven’t won. I play along. ‘Oh, really?’ I say. ‘Would it be possible to transfer some money into this account today?’ the HSBC man asks. ‘Ooh, I don’t know,’ I say cunningly. ‘I suppose that depends on what happens today.’ ‘Um, it is important that you transfer money into this account as soon as possible.’ ‘I see,’ I say, playing along. ‘As soon as possible. Yes, I understand.’ I imagine HSBC are going to do an instant bank transfer. This is great, because I am pretty wed to the idea of my enormously expensive lunch.
‘Are you there?’ the HSBC man asks. ‘Of course!’ ‘So, do you have another account you could transfer funds from today?’ ‘Seriously?’ I ask. The HSBC man is silent. Perhaps I have misread this situation. I see my lunch reduced to the Boots Meal Deal as we speak. ‘Is that your final answer?’ I ask the HSBC man, just to check. ‘Um, yes,’ the HSBC man replies, baffled. ‘Please transfer money today.’ ‘OK,’ I say grumpily, ‘but let me tell you this- Marks and Spencer are very disappointed.’ ‘Do you have an account with Marks and Spencer?’ the HSBC man asks eagerly. ‘Not any more,’ I reply. ‘I think you know why not.’ There is a pause, while the HSBC man considers his actions. ‘I’ll call you tomorrow to confirm we’ve received the transfer,’ the HSBC man says finally. ‘And I’ll call if I receive the golden ticket,’ I tell him crossly. ‘I’m sorry?’ the HSBC man asks. ‘Oh, nothing,‘ I reply. ‘Excuse me, I think I have another call. Maybe this one will be Willy Wonka. I hope HSBC have learnt not to raise people’s hopes with their deceiving withheld numbers.’ I presume from the HSBC man’s silence that he is suitably chastened. Let me tell you, I will not be picking up when I see his number flashing across my phone. Oh, wait…
2 responses to “In which I am disappointed”
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