|ATM (Photo credit: Modern Relics)|
I can only say the intervening forty years have intensified that youthful trait, although I do try and preserve some form of occasional blind optimism, just so I can prove I would have been better off sticking to expecting the worst from those around me.
This is rarely more so the case than in my dealings with the bank that has managed to in some way fail in the provision of every banking service I have ever required of it. I'm serious. You name something a bank might do for you and I can recount a tale of how they have at least once goofed it up for me in the past two decades they have been enlivening my life.
So you can only imagine the look of dark suspicion I gave the new sparkly red card that landed on my doorstep some months ago. It has a chip thingy embedded in it and the comforting words HSBC Advance Platinum Debit Visa Paywave printed on its front. This card replaces my ATM card and also acts as a debit card - and will support 'touchless' transactions. You just wave the card at a terminal like a modern Gandalf and smiling retailers are recompensed for the good or service they are providing you.
I refused to use it. Something's bound to be wrong with it. I just didn't want the inevitable headlong descent into The Call Centre after some transaction had debited the Chilean national debt from my account or given all my money to an oran utan sanctuary in Sarawak. I carried on with my battered old 'analogue' ATM card.
And then comes a missive from the bank. The old ATM cards are on the way out, mate, you'll have to use your new HSBC Advance Platinum Debit Visa Paywave card. They've got an 800 number to change or reset your PIN and so I called it (fear and loathing in my black heart) only to find the process easy, seamless and brilliantly managed.
Then I went to an ATM and used the card. And it worked. Perfectly. First time. I was in a state of shock, I kid you not. A lady had to ask me to move aside as I had frozen in situ and was gibbering softly to myself.
And then I realised. The new card only gives me access to one of the three accounts I hold with them. The old card gave me access to all three accounts. So I now have a new sparkly chip and PIN HSBC Advance Platinum Debit Visa Paywave card that is 33% as functional as the old one in the main purpose I hold an ATM card for - accessing my accounts using an ATM.
That discovering this provoked in me a feeling of grim satisfaction is itself something of a worry...