Sunday, January 06, 2013

50 shades of disappointment

On Friday I found a £50-note. I was walking back to work at lunch-time and there it was on the ground outside Tower Hill. It was folded neatly with the '50' facing up. I shoved it into my pocket like a villain and walked on.

It was the first £50-note I'd seen, and I was very, very happy. I thought about all the poor financial choices I'd made in my life, and this note seemed to subtract £50 from the brunt of each one.

I was less happy when I arrived back at the lunchroom, where Eva, who years ago had worked in a pub, told me it looked fake. I did some online research and my mercenary heart started to break. My note was starting to look very unusual.

Sure, it had a watermark, but instead of looking like the Queen it more closely resembled a portrait by a talented 10-year-old of the Queen's weird cousin.

Anyway, we decided to drop into the bank on Saturday morning to see what they thought.

The girl there seemed more impressed that I'd found £50 than she was willing to offer expertise. She seemed genuinely happy for me, and said the note looked real (without really looking at it). I wanted to impress upon her that that was the genius of counterfeiting. She said maybe I should just pay it into the automatic deposit machine -- 'If it accepts it, then you've got £50 in your account', she said with a wide-eyed, sideways look. But then she thought better of it. 'Maybe I should show it to my colleague', she said, and disappeared into the back room. She returned a couple of minutes later and told us it was fake. But she said I should still pay it into the machine just to make sure. The machine also told us it was fake, and furthermore offered to hold onto it for us. Actually it just refused to give the note back.

And so I left without my £50, but with a refreshed memory of all my worst financial choices. Actually, I might as well add this one to the list.


gerrod said...

I like that the deposit slip was still polite enough to thank you for your custom.

Jules said...

Yeah, it might well have added, 'Come back any time'.