Banking and financial transactions are a daily occurrence for most people, and for me it is no different. Most often I use one of the automatic machines to make deposits of cheques and to extract cash, which comes out in twenty dollar bills. I've been doing that ever since automated teller machines came into being. They really are quite convenient.
However, the other day I wanted a bunch of smaller bills and rather than extract the cash from the ATM and then asking a cashier to break them down into the denominations I wanted, I decided to do the whole things with a cashier. There was only one other customer in the bank at that time, being served by one of the three tellers, so I was served immediately by one of the others. All three were young, (compared to me), women.
I handed the young lady my bank card and told her of my requirements. She started inputting into her terminal... and then there was a long pause. She was staring at the computer screen, and she looked very puzzled.
I should explain. Although it is relatively easy to get a credit card in a secondary name like "Samantha", it can't be done with a bank card, especially one with a security chip in it. I had forgotten that fact when I approached the cashier. The card I was using was one issued in my real, male, name.
"There seems to be a problem," she said. "It says 'mister'!"
"Yes, that's correct," I replied.
"No, you don't understand. It says 'mister'", she emphasized.
And with that she turned the screen towards me and pointed to the name at the top which began with "Mr."
"Yes," I repeated, "That's correct. That's me."
She looked at me with more than a little exasperation in her voice and again repeated, "No, you don't understand. It says 'mister'," emphasizing her point by poking at the 'Mr.' on the screen.
"Would you like some identification?" I queried. "That definitely is me."
By this time the other two ladies behind the counter had come over to see what the problem was. At this point there was no one else waiting to be served. I was the only customer in the place.
"I can assure you that what is on the screen is definitely me, and I can provide you with whatever documentation you need to prove it."
Needless to say, by this time you will have surmised I was at the bank as Samantha. I am so passable that I even fooled my gynecologist's nurse at our first meeting. (But that's another story for another time.)
I offered my driver's licence as photo ID, along with the comment, "I'm remodelling at present."
There was a pause while she mulled things over and then, with a look of surprise on her face exclaimed, "Oh, I get it!' And the puzzled expression was replaced with a broad smile of recognition.
I got my money, and as I was leaving I could see the three of them huddled together, giggling.