After having had it all arranged with the bank, I turned up to be told I couldnt have it as I hadn’t signed a piece of paper.
I remained calm, knowing that my ferries were booked, the insurance was paid and the hotels in the UK were also paid, and explained to them that whilst I understood they were my bankers, it was in fact my money they banked. As a customer, I wanted my money and I wanted it right now. I explained as well as I could that I had called the nice Mathieu on Tuesday to explain that I wanted my money, and he assured me that he would arrange it. To be fair to the boss lady she did explain that she’d forgotten to get the money out of the safe, but she was very sorry but I couldnt have it.
Why not? A reasonable question I thought, after all, it was only my cash they were refusing to give me, not the banks.
Ah well monsieur, you should come into the bank and sign a form at least a week in advance. Hang on, you want me to fly back from Africa to sign a form, fly back, and then come back again a week later to collect my money? I repeat, MY money.
At this stage I’m still calm, I’m thinking a deal is going to be brokered here. The Cypriots seem to have been bailed out quite well, surely it cant be too much to get my own cash?
I am then told that I can sign a form now and come back and collect my money first thing Saturday morning, no problems.
Er yes, big problem, I’m on the ferry to Engerlandshire tonight. I’ve got a solution for you, I’m going to sit here until you give me money. You are the bank that look after MY money. I repeat once again its MY money. I called you Tuesday to inform you I was coming to collect, I’m here, I want to collect. I shall sit here, on this chair (pointing to the posh waiting room seats just in front of the branch managers office) and will leave once you give me my money.
I sat down on said comfy chairs and waited. Nothing happened until the time approached 12:10. The shutters started to come down, so they could close for lunch. I didnt move. The manager came to see me, and told me that although he understood, he couldnt give me my money. The entire sad sorry story was related to the manager, and I asked him my killer supplementary question. “If I have a large sum of cash to pay in, do I have to inform you a week in advance?”
Silence, silence followed by “wait there Monsieur, for this one occasion we can make an exception and open the safe for you.”
5 minutes later 7000 euro was in my hand and with a cheery smile and a “happy Easter weekend to you all” I left.
Credit Agricole bank, you shall be very shortly operating without my salary going into your bank every month. Useless.