February 22nd, 2011

Illuminati

Interesting Links for 22-2-2011


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Illuminati

Funny Money

So, what with being off to Tenerife for a week, we needed some Euros.

The nearest bank to my work is an RBS at the top of the street, so I wandered along at lunchtime.

They have a system I've not seen before - you use a touch screen to tell a computer what it is you want, and it then gives you a ticket that puts you in the correct queue. You can then take a seat, and when someone is free who can deal with your issue then there's an announcement (vocal and on screens) telling you where to go. It seems to work pretty well.

Better than the actual process of getting some cash did, anyway. I don't bank with RBS, but I assumed that I'd be able to just use my Visa Debit card to pay them, and they'd then hand me some European wonga.

Sadly, this was not to be the case. It turns out that (a)accepting payment from a debit card is beyond the abilities of RBS, and (b) they only sell Euros (and presumably other currency) in presized bundles (€100, €250, etc.).

So rather than saying "£350 worth of your finest european currency please, here is my card." I had to go first get the cashier to do some maths to work out what the best fit was for £350 worth of euros, and then go and find a cash machine upstairs, take out £300 on my card (that being the maximum it allows per day), and £60 on our joint card (thank goodness for having a joint account!), take that cash downstairs, and hand it over so that she could hand me four envelopes (sealed, of course, and I didn't have the energy to open each of them and check - so I'll be very grumpy if they're wrong when I get home).

Presumably the cash will then be taken back upstairs and put back into the ATM so that someone else can do the same thing for _their_ holiday money.

Somehow, it doesn't feel quite as efficient as it could be.



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unintended consequences

Note to self

When doing something for the first time (like getting foreign money) ask for people's advice on DW/LJ _first_, not after you do it.

I suspect my problem here was that I was expecting there to be horrible charges, and awful exchange rates, if I just took out Euros while I was in Tenerife. I take it I'm still living in the second millenium?



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