A customer came into the bank yesterday and sat down in front of me. Forty pounds had been withdrawn from his account and he was far from happy.
His forehead was crinkled with years of worry lines, and as he flipped his card over in his hands, I could see the scars that seemed the result of years of manual work and no doubt a few fistfights thrown in.
His voice was deep, with an East End twang. “I haven’t taken more than £30 out of a bank since 1974,” he told me slowly and deliberately, raising his head so his eyes met mine, “and I served ten years for that.”
I gulped audibly.
“Which bank?” I asked, more to break the awkward silence than anything else.
“Barclays.” he replied, still staring at me.
I paused for a second. “Oh.” My eyes had darted away in the couple of seconds that had passed, but I brought my head up and met his gaze as I responded. “In that case, I’ll let you off.”
As the words sunk in, a smile spread across his face and he nodded. We were fine after that.