It struck me as I waited in the queue at the Oyster card machine in Barking station. How many hours, nay days, have I wasted in this queue to top up my Oyster when I could simply contact my bank and ask for a contactless card? Oh how naïve I was! Little did I know that a simple request in order to save some of my precious time would in actual fact waste far more and lead me to the depths of madness and despair.
My first mistake was to request a new card online. Many of my friends and family have simply received contactless cards in the post without even asking for them so I assumed that upon asking for a new card I would automatically receive a contactless one. Alas, clearly, to assume is to make an ass out of u and me. For when I received my new card it was in fact another chip and pin card just like my former card.
No matter, thought I. I shall speak to my bank directly. I proceeded to visit the Barking NatWest. I found myself in a queue that seemed to go on for eons. “This reminds me of the queue for the Oyster card machine,” I thought to myself. After several years in the queue, I eventually spoke to a representative. I explained the situation and she, supposedly, requested a new contactless card for me and assured me that it would be on its way soon.
Each day I eagerly awaited the arrival of my new contactless card and each day I was disappointed. After several weeks and having received nothing in writing confirming my request, I decided to visit the Barking NatWest again. When I eventually reached another representative I practically wept when explaining my situation and threw myself on my hands and knees and begged for a contactless card. “Don’t you worry, much valued customer,” the representative assured me. “I apologise for the previous request not coming through and have requested it again, you will get your contactless card soon.”
I was much heartened to receive a message from NatWest confirming that the new card I requested was on its way. Finally, I sensed a light at the end of the tunnel. And yet, it was not to be. When the envelope in question arrived, I tore it open, manically laughing at the prospect of finally beholding a contactless card. But what I held in my hand was yet another chip and pin card.
What do I have to do to receive a contactless card NatWest? Does it involve some kind of a quest? Is there some kind of secret code that I should have uncovered and conveyed to your representatives? What am I supposed to do with the two totally redundant chip and pin cards you have sent me? Perhaps I could wear them as earrings? Perhaps I could keep on requesting a contactless card and build my own home out of all the chip and pin cards you will inevitably send me, it’s the only way I’ll be able to afford one.
NATWEST, I HAVE BEEN A CUSTOMER OF YOURS FOR MY ENTIRE, STUPID LIFE, BUT IF YOU DON’T SEND ME A CONTACTLESS CARD WITHIN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS, I WILL GO TO A BANK THAT DOES.
As you reach the end of my letter, please bear in mind that the time it has taken you to read it is a mere billionth of the time you have made me waste. So I would say thank you for your time but you should be thanking me for mine.
Yours sincerely, Rebecca Hussein