A trip to the bank to meet with a ‘Business Relationships Manager’ so that I might get my shabby and ill-maintained accounts in order.
The manager struck me as a nice bloke but he had a distractingly effeminate voice. Despite the fact that I had known in advance that I’d be meeting with someone called Samuel, I had still concluded from our telephone arrangements that I would be meeting a woman. The existence of a woman with a man’s name seemed far more plausible than the existence of a man with a voice so effeminate. That’s how effeminate it was.
For this reason alone, he would never make it onto Team Wringham. We could do some business together but I wouldn’t want him to come and play snooker with me afterward. I am shallow and callus.
Sam’s effeminate voice is not, however, the object of this post. The opening passages were red herrings but perhaps now you will now appreciate how distracting his voice was now that you have knowledge of it.
Part way through the session, Samuel disappeared into the next room so that he might photocopy some of the documentation I had brought along.
About thirty seconds had elapsed when I heard a polite knocking coming from somewhere nearby.
I assumed the knocking had come from the door between our office and the public part of the bank and that someone must have been wanting to speak to the manager. I ignored it at first, thinking that since this was a bank and I was just a client without the authority to go letting people in to the back offices.
A few more seconds elapsed and I heard someone pressing at the door code buttons and then knocking again. Again, I ignored it as it seemed like the proper thing to do.
Soon, a third knocking came from the door. Thinking it churlish to ignore three knocks (what if the person eventually got in only to see me sitting there innocently – they would wonder why I had ignored their percussive pleas) I stuck my head out into the corridor with the intention of answering the door.
But alas there were three doors out there and due to my poor sense of direction, I couldn’t remember which one we had come through. I didn’t want to open the wrong door only to be confronted with piles of other people’s cash and for an alarm to begin its irrational screaming. My life is composed entirely of such events so I can detect them when they are looming.
So I ignored the knocking for a third time.
A fouth knock. Slightly more desperate. This time, a clerk emerged from the main section of the bank (so it was that door!) and said “Who’s knocking?”
“I thought it was someone on your side,” I explained, “and didn’t feel responsible enough to let them in”.
If you’ve not worked it out yet, dear reader, the knocking had been coming from Sam – the bank manager.
He’d locked himself in the basement.