My salad dressing days

Monetary madness
October 13, 2006, 1:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We’re preparing to buy a house which means that truly insane amounts of money are hurtling through cyberspace as I type.

I mean, it’s just a matter of days before the Dow Jones plummets into oblivion owing to the climate of uncertainty created by the movement of the sum of our life’s savings. So, SELL NOW, people. If nothing else, this gives you the opportunity to bark ‘sell! sell!’ into your mobile Gordon Gekko style.

[Somewhat tangentially, I recently had the experience of selling a few measly, employer-donated shares and it was a disappointingly far-from-cinematic moment. Me: I’d like to sell my shares! Bank: OK. Right, well I’m going to need your account and PIN numbers. Me: Oh. Bank: And if you could confirm your full address. Me: Right…]


This fact sees me obsessively checking my online bank accounts every, ooh, hour to make sure the money is still there. Because You Just Can’t Be Too Careful. Although now, knowing what you can see from Statcounter, I am worrying that the security people at my bank are starting to clock the unusual level of interest in my hitherto dormant savings account:

Security man #1: [leans back on swivel chair and turns screen to facilitate a better view for colleague] Get a load of this, Bert. Hasn’t logged on once since April 2004 and now she’s clicked on ‘statement request’ seventeen times already today. Strike you as suspicious at all?

Security man #2: [taking a large slurp of his grande mocha before exhaling pointedly] See what you’re saying there, Jimbo. Tell you what, I’ll put a tag on this account and we’ll keep an eye on it, yeah?

But really, this is one time when they can’t suggest ENOUGH security questions. When I’ve woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, I have begun to wonder whether it would be appropriate to call them to ask how their iris recognition technology is coming along.

Bank: So, you’d like to transfer [An Insane Amount Of Money] into your other account?

Me: That’s right.

Bank: OK, I need to run through some security questions with you. Can you give me letters three and four from your password? Your mother’s maiden name? Memorable place/date/haircut? That’s fine. Now, given as you are transferring [An Insane Amount Of Money], I do need to ring you back on the phone number we have on file. Sorry about that, but it is [An Insane Amount Of Money] and those are our rules.

Me: Oh no, that’s totally fine!

Bank: And I’m afraid I’ll need to go through the security questions again.

Me: Really, don’t worry!

I mean, there’s a lot more secret stuff I could tell my bank. Stuff I really wouldn’t want to share with another human being but that I’d be more than happy to impart to the people who lovingly look after my hard-earned cash. I mean, what’s an individual’s loss of privacy when it’s in the name of improved security?

**scratches chin and ponders occasions when that argument has been used before in recent times**

That said, I’d be a lot happier if I could just stash the cash in used fivers under my mattress.


10 Comments so far
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I’m loving the idea of a memorable haircut as a security question.

– And can you confirm the haircut you had in 1992?

– OK, I would have been a surly teenager so I’m going to say long, mousey, split ends and a heavy fringe to hide my acne.

– I’m sorry that’s not what we have here…

– Corkscrew perm?

Comment by Kellycat

so excited for you at the purchas of a new home.

as for security questions, just be grateful the guy at the bridge from Monty Python and The Holy Grail was not on your security team. Cash flying through the air would be the least of your worries!

Comment by Kyahgirl

I don’t remember having that much hassle selling my employer-donated bank shares. But I did sweat over whether I should tell the tax department because I didn’t know that the profits wouldn’t be taxed.

Happy house-buying.

Comment by Violet

I’ve never been in a position to sell employer-donated shares so I can’t comment.

The one question I can never answer is, ‘And how much money do you currently have on this account? Approximately?’ Not a clue, usually, and I have to abort the call.

Good luck with the house hunting! 🙂

Comment by Bela

That picture at the top, of Michael Douglas – at first I thought it was from Disclosure, some of which I had the misfortune to catch on Five the other night. Then I realised Mike doesn’t have a mullet and the phone’s too big. Now I realise I’m a stupid fool and it must be from Wall Street because that’s about a lot of money too, right?

Comment by Wyndham

good writing…

and good luck with the house!

Comment by Old Mule

I’ve never known anyone buy their house with cash before. How stylish. Strike back at the mortgage mafia. Well done!

So – where’s the new gaff? Bet it’s not Leith.

Comment by Peter

Houses? Argh. Still not convinced we shouldn’t have gone for the trailer home.
I’m very impressed you can remember your security details. I tend to forget mine. Even the easy ones.
Bank: And your name is?
Me: Oh, the pressure. My mind’s gone blank…

Comment by Stef the engineer

it would indeed be very stylish to pay cash for one’s house

sadly, some of the dosh swirling around t’internet belongs to a major financial institution

and no, it’s not in leith…although it’s not so very far from the east village, as i read it described in the weekend papers

(btw i regularly pass by the regent – one day will summon up the nerve and pop in to say hello!)

Comment by Urban Chick

Hi UC ♥
just passing through…

Comment by Kyahgirl

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