Now it takes a lot for me to lose my temper. I am generally a fairly calm sort of cat. I don't bite or scratch. I rarely growl or lash out.
But yesterday I came close to having a serious altercation with the Senior Cat's bank. It was only by reminding myself that the "policy" had not been set up by the teller that I managed to keep my cool.
I am however still very angry.
"I could take that card away from you but I won't," the teller told me.
I looked at her absolutely startled. It is the Senior Cat's card. I have the authority to use it. There is both a Power of Attorney and an "Authority to Act" at the bank. I have been using the card to transact his business for a long time.
"You have to have your own card," the teller told me.
"I don't have a card. I don't bank here," I told her.
"You have to have your own card. You could be anyone. You are obviously not "Mr...."."
I explained as patiently as I could about the PoA and the AtoA. It made no difference.
"We can't accept those things any more."
I tried another patient explanation, a PoA is a legal document. It allows the person who has been granted the power to do anything that the person who has granted the power can legally do unless a restriction (such as the sale of real estate) has been put on it.
The teller shook her head.
"No, he shouldn't have given you the card. I should take it away. I won't because you have been in here before."
Now I don't want a card with this bank. I don't actually like dealing with this bank. The Senior Cat has stayed there simply because it is in a convenient geographical location for him. I bank elsewhere and I do it for a very good reason.
I offered photographic ID. No, that won't do either because I might be stealing the identity of someone else.
At that point I suggested I could bring my passport in. No. That won't do either. It was at that moment I really wanted to lose my temper. A passport is difficult to get. It costs a lot of money. I haven't been out of the country for years but I use my passport quite often. It is a form of ID related to my work. I sometimes have to be a co-signatory to documents which involve other people spending a great deal of money - and I mean a great deal of money. When I sign one of those documents I have to present my passport as proof of who I am. There's a photograph of me and my paw print in it.
But no, they expect me to have a card instead. A moment's thought would tell them that this is actually much less safe. It is another card I need to keep and another PIN I need to memorise. The banking I did yesterday could have gone into anyone's account and it would have been untraceable. (No, I won't explain why.)
I know there are other things that will now happen. There will be pressure on me to use the teller machine outside the bank. It is not in a very safe location - something there have been complaints about. They have tried to get the Senior Cat to do the same. He has difficulty in standing and the slope means that, even with the brake on, his walker could roll away. He won't use it. The bank will also try to put pressure on me to transfer my banking to them...the teller admitted as much, indeed asked me whether I wanted to. I know she had to do it but my BP rose a little higher.
The teller next to the one dealing with me was telling a very elderly woman that no, she could not have a new passbook. She had to have a card now. They don't have passbooks any more. I could see the woman was confused - and frightened. She has almost certainly had a passbook all her life but the teller was telling her that "someone will give you a PIN and show you how to use the machine outside". I very much doubt that she will be able to learn to use the teller machine.
This is the bank that made a "record profit" last year. Obviously they cannot afford to have tellers for elderly customers. Obviously they cannot be bound by the laws that the rest of us need to accept. I came home and I wrote a letter. I have slept on it. I read it through a moment ago. I have been polite but I have growled. I am now going to print it off and sign it. I will deliver it to the bank this morning. It is a gentle reminder that "security" is not just the customer's responsibility and that "safety" is also important.