A DIY Life

Once upon a time we had banks.  They were places that kept the money we deposited and held the mortgages over our houses. The bank buildings were ornate and difficult to heat, but they smelled of money and had a big safe somewhere out the back that was filled with the stuff. I know this because my husband helped a bank move once from the draughty ornate to the cosy modern and he said they had plastic buckets full of cash. Imagine one of those falling off the back of a lorry?  The point I am trying to make is that back then money was real. Now it’s all tap and go and a DIY work out online.  Today I wanted to deposit money in a term deposit at another bank. It had taken me 3/4 of an hour last week at the trim-line bank to set up the account which was for my mother. I have her Power of Attorney but there was a lot of ‘I’ dotting and ‘T’ crossing and I still had to get someone where she now lives, to say she looks like her out of date passport photo. All that was required today was to send the money. But lo! What do I find? I had to increase the limit of money I was “permitted” to send at any one time. Isn’t that odd when it’s my money? Well, Mum’s money that she’s allowing me to invest for her. That was a phone call and entering a code they sent to my phone,  which only compounded my feeling that I’m the one – not the employees at the bank,  doing all the work. I wonder what happens if you go to the bank with a plastic bucket full of bank notes these days? I bet they’d send you away. The same sort of thinking goes for this My IR. My IR my arse! It’s always going to be theirs and it doesn’t matter what they tell you, you cannot get through the entire process without a phone call and a series of stupid tests involving counting traffic lights and zebra crossings. Listening to Lorde didn’t help.  Filling out a tax return was a right of passage in my youth involving a workout for the brain and a thrill on the last page if you were due a refund. I don’t exactly long for the old days but I feel sad because there are a lot of people who don’t have internet skills or even mobile phones. Tomorrow’s world is here but thinking about who it will be helping this country out of it’s current economic depression, it won’t be the unemployed IT genius in his garage, it will be the combined might of the denegrated Baby Boomers (aka old people), with their fixed income and richness of assets. It will take a real genius to work out how to include everyone in their sparkling new technology and I suggest the first step is making it accessible. To everyone.


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