Next Memory

The New Cheque Service

by Norman Worwood


On entering Sheldon Branch I discovered that the previous manager had been doubtful about his customers' ability to manage our new cheques and had actively discouraged them from opening such accounts. There were indeed very few and as I knew that nearby Kitts Green Branch, managed by Philip Baulcombe, had already accumulated almost 100, I decided that we had a bit of catching up to do. On the other hand, I did appreciate that many of our potential current account holders would be unsure of how to write out cheques properly, so I spent most of the following Sunday at home carefully drawing on a sheet of cartridge paper three Bank cheques --- one blank, one filled in correctly, and one incorrectly. These were individually painted using water colours in the exact shades of real cheques and being normally a duffer at art, I felt quite proud of the result. Came the day when my first applicants for a cheque account were accorded a welcome instead of being sent packing. I opened several accounts myself, showing the chart and demonstrating how easy it all was. Then I delegated the task to the other staff and sat back to enjoy the acclaim. Within an hour or two, however, the chart had disappeared! Customers will steal anything: ash-trays, pens, now my chart, I thought. The customers were innocent this time. A certain cashier, male, but not very bright I fear, had thought that each customer would receive a complimentary illustration, courtesy of the manager's ever-continuing Sunday artistry. My remarks were unprintable. I jumped into the car, tore around to the customer's address and rescued my chart, somewhat the worse for wear for having been folded (the chart, that is, not me). Come to think of it, today I could have run off a few hundred on my computer printer --- but that's today.