A Signature Of Not Knowing What They’re Doing

, , , | Working | December 6, 2019

(When I am a kid in the 70s, my mum sets me up with a Post Office Savings Account with her as a trustee. Just after I turn sixteen, my mum and I go in to switch it into my name only. My mum is asked to sign something, and then it is my turn. My full name is quite long; let’s say it’s Elizabeth Suzanne MacKenzie.)

Cashier: “I need you to sign this signature card to put in your Savings Book.”

Me: “Okay.” *signs card*

Cashier: “No, I need you to sign your name.”

Me: “I did.”

Cashier: *sighs* “You signed ‘E MacKenzie.’ The name on the account is ‘Elizabeth Suzanne MacKenzie.’ That’s what you need to sign.”

Me: “But…” *pointing* “…that there is my signature. Do you want me to just write my name?”

Cashier: “You need to do your signature, but with your full name.”

Me: “But… my signature, that I use all the time, is that: it’s just my initial and surname. My signature doesn’t have my full name in it.”

Cashier: “Well, we need you to sign your full name.”

Me: “I can write my full name, or I can do a signature, but they’re completely different things. What one do you want?”

Cashier: “You need to sign your full name.”

Me: *totally fed up at this point* “Okay, fine.”

(And that’s why, until I got married ten years later and changed my name, I held an account where my signature was just my name, entirely printed in bold capitals. Yes, apparently that was perfectly acceptable as a “signature.”)

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