Had an interesting morning. recently we’ve been getting calls from various companies to say that they haven’t been paid. After about the fifth call of this type (bit slow on the uptake, I know) we began to think that something was wrong. So, I rang my bank, which is Smile (such irony!) the online bank. “Oh yes” said the lady who finally answered, “all of your direct debits and standing orders have been terminated because of the mismanagement of your account” she says. “Riggghhhhttttt” I say, “but we’ve had two salaries deposited, and a lump sum from an endowment, so I’m better off than I’ve been for ages”, “but this was at the beginning of October” she says “have you not received a secure online message?”. Errrrrrrr,maybe, I’m a bit hopeless at checking those out, I admit. ” Can you please reinstate the orders and debits now please?” I ask, “no, I will put you through to the money management department” she says. Once again I am on hold listening to two interchangeable equally moronic tunes…….. for eight minutes. Then I get Mark from the ‘I will tell you how crap you are with money’ dept, and he proceeds to tell me that I do spend a lot and how much goes in and how much goes out, and he is about 15 and I am squirming on the sofa! Then, a moment of clarity, actually, I think, we have been trying very hard to not go overdrawn, and if we have it has been by about £30 at the most….. and it doesnt help that the bank gave us an overdraft then took it away without telling us. I am very mad. ” Listen Mark” I say, “I think you’ll find……….” and said all the stuff that I’d just thought out, followed by ” I really don’t appreciate a lecture about how to manage MY money, what would be helpful is if you could put the debits and stuff back in place so that we don’t get people ringing us up for money, can you do that?”. ” No, sorry” says Mark, “I’ll have to put you back on hold and look into it with the chief money managing person”. Five more minutes of moronic melodies follows, then he’s back ” I’ve checked and we will reinstate all the orders and debits as the account is in good order and has basically been in good order all along and you’ve only gone a little bit overdrawn” (words to that effect), Heard that somewhere before I’m thinking….. oh yes, from me earlier on. “Don’t bother” I say, “we are going to close the account and will be removing the badly managed money and will figure out who needs paying etc ourselves. While I had been on hold, Richard had opened a new account elsewhere and ordered cards, and the whole caboodle!