Daily Phil
Friday 28th July 2000

Me: Hi. I paid a cheque in pounds sterling into my account at the end of May and after speaking to someone on the ServiceLine last night I found that it still isn’t “available” to me.

Chase Bank of Texas Customer Service Representative: Well it can take some time sir. When you paid the check in you should have been given a white receipt…

Me: I can’t remember, but the amount appeared on my statement at the end of May and as far as I’m concerned what’s on my statement is mine to spend.

CBTCSR: That means we’ve credited your account against the value of the check but it doesn’t mean the money’s been made available. We have to physically send the check to the other bank.

Me: But I don’t understand how this could take two months. I’ve paid American cheques into my British bank and it only takes a few days.

CBTCSR: It could be that the bank in the Britain had no clearing bank in America so we had to send the check over there.

Me: Even so, it’s not going to take two months. I get mail from the UK in less than a week. I don’t see how it could take two months unless you’re sending it overland on a… a… donkey!

[At this point I realise I am turning into some colonial-era emigrant as played by a less dashing version of bumbling Hugh Grant. I close proceedings as swiftly as possible and exit the premises, inaudibly cursing the natives.]