An ominous letter arrived from my bank today. I opened it, read it, and had absolutely no idea what it was about. It wasn’t trying to sell me anything, it wasn’t a statement, it wasn’t offering me great deals on a mortgage or a loan. No, it was just saying that they were trying to get hold of me and couldn’t do as my contact details weren’t correct. Er, yes they are. I’ve been at his address for five years, my email is one that I’ve used for years, and more to the point my mobile number is the same its always been!
So, somewhat bemused, I looked at the options available to me and at ringing them at 8pence a minute, decided the easiest option to was to get in the car and drive to my local branch four miles away. And yes, I know, that using petrol is far more expensive than using the phone, but it seemed the best option to find out what this mystery was about. So, on a whim, at 4pm, I drove to the bank. And amazingly was able to park outside …. that must be a first.
The bank had three women tellers on the counter, but only one who seemed to be working with the actual customers. The other two were busy doing non-making-eye-contact stuff…
I went over to the attractive blonde woman, who I hadn’t seen before in that branch, and explained about the letter and handed it over for her to read. She read it, and went into the bank computer to look at my details to ascertain what the letter might be about. Since someone tried to scam me a year ago I wondered if it was another one those again. No, she said when I mentioned it, it wasn’t that, it just seemed to be they wanted my contact details, and when she quoted the ones she had on record for me, I could see why. An old email address I’ve not used for 14 years or so, and my old landline number from five years ago, no mobile number, so I was more than happy to get them updated, and relieved that it wasn’t anything more than that.
As she looked at the computer, I looked at her, and noticed that she hadn’t got a name badge on, like the other staff normally do. As I was waiting, I looked at her, and wondered what her name was……………………… and all of a sudden said:
“Is your name Julie?”
She looked at me, and nodded… no doubt wondering how I would know that….
Then I said “Did you go to John Port ?” and she smiled and nodded yes as she tried to place me. And when I told her my maiden name, she knew me straight away! Of course, I am always ‘Jacqueline’ on forms, but everyone knows me as Jackie. And she smiled delightedly as she recognised me as Jackie and told me she still lives in the same village as the school we attended. She was astounded that I knew her as she never usually works in that branch and certainly wasn’t expecting to see anyone she knew that far from home. She asked if I went to any of the school reunions? “No, there’s no point, if I want to stay in touch with people from school, I don’t need to go to a reunion!” and she nodded in agreement and mentioned a couple of names from school that she is still in touch with and asked if I remembered them and I laughed and said “No, you’re talking about 40 years ago!”. She then went on to say that she doesn’t like the village she lives in, but it suits her as her son is in the sixth form of John Port school. But then she went on to say that she couldn’t wait to leave the area, she doesn’t like Derby as its a depressing city, and I nodded and said it always had been as far as I was concerned. I told her that at some point my man and I would move to a new area, somewhere that was “Ours” and she nodded in total understanding and said urgently “Near the sea?” and I nodded at her with an understanding smile, and said that that was the plan.
And that’s the thing about living where we do, its so inland that its far from the sea in any direction.
So, amazing to bump into someone from my past. Amazing as she doesn’t normally work in that branch, and I had only decided to go on a spur of the moment thing five minutes beforehand. And all the more amazing that we seem to share the same desire at this point in our lives. To move closer to the sea….