I pop to Barclays on my way back from the nurse who has just given me a polio booster.
"I always wanted to go abroad and a be a nurse in Africa or Asia but I got married and had kids and my life was over" she muttered. "Now I'll never do it."
I told he she could do it when the kids left home but she looked unconvinced.
Anyway, into High Street bank Barclays I pop and stride to the customer service desk.
Part of me feels like acting in a play "My good woman, do you have a branch of your establishment in Nairobi, Kenya?" but I don't of course.
Instead I say - "Would you be able to tell me if you have a Barclays in Nairobi."
She looks at me. She's not young, not old - maybe late twenties but with a somewhat gormless stare.
"Oh..um...I dunno. Where?"
Kenya I say again. Nairobi.
"Oh - I don't know how to find that out..." "She calls to someone else - do we 'ave a branch in ....where was it love...Nairobi? Nairobbery perhaps I intone. "Oh..we don't have a list of global branches."
For Christ sake I think.
I say - "Don't worry, I'll look it up myself on the net - can you not even give me a phone number to call..?"
Ah yes. I think two things at this point.
If the banking system is in a state of collapse, why are they employing people that can't apparently even think. Secondly, it reminded of an earlier argument I had with an employee at Abbey who wouldn't believe that Switzerland didn't have the Euro. They may be paying big bucks at the top but I suspect it's peanuts at the bottom.