At Least It's Friday

Owen Jones

At Least It’s Friday

My bank, Citibank, thought it was time to have a go at me today.

I received an email from them saying that they suspected fraudulent activity on my account because it had been accessed from Thailand.

On the face of it you might be thinking that my bank is being vigilant and acting in my best interests and if they had reported a transaction in Nairobi, I would agree with you, but the ATM I used was in a small town that I have been visiting for withdrawals for ten years.

The email, it was genuine, I checked, declared ‘If you are having trouble reading this email, contact the bank’. Isn’t that like sending someone a letter saying ‘if you don’t get this letter, let me know’?

Anyway, I filled in all the details they were asking for and returned it.

It stopped dead: ‘Missing data: STATE’.

There was a drop-down box full of American choices.

However, I have never even been to America, and am registered with them as living in the UK. There is no option for that – no ‘OTHER’ that brings up a blank field.

I tried it twice, but I knew I was wasting my time.

The footer contained a ‘CONTACT US’ button, so I clicked, but the JavaScript that it called up didn’t work either.
The result is that my account has been suspended until I phone them.

OK, I can use Skype, if I’m lucky and the Internet is fast enough that day, but otherwise its a long-distance call to the UK and for what?

I tried to reply to the email, but it informed m that the mailbox was not monitored by a human being.
Isn’t modern technology wonderful?

I think it is, until you put it into the hands of morons like the security service at Citibank.

***

I have always liked to play cards and chess, although I am very rusty at both. My father taught me to play chess before I went to infants’ school at six, and Willie Mills taught me to play Bridge ten years later. I didn’t play either after leaving school for thirteen years, because I had discovered more adult activities, but then computer games came along and I could play with myself, if you see what I mean. Somehow, that all stopped for me when I moved to Thailand, but I have discovered two free apps for my new Kindle that play the games very well.

In my depleted state, the Chess app used to beat me every time even on its lowest setting, but I am starting to win games now, but I’m not the player I was.

The Bridge app is good too, but in my version the bidding conventions are all American and I don’t know them – yet 🙂

As a matter of interest, gambling is illegal in Thailand, except on the state lottery, and if you are caught with cards, you are presumed guilty. Despite that, many people still play, but it seems to be a form of Whist using long, thin, Chinese cards that resemble bookmarkers. They play very fast, so I’m not allowed to join in, because they say I’m too slow.

All the best,

+Owen Jones

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