Penny Whys, Pound Sterling Foolish

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Working | April 24, 2013

(I’m about to go to the UK on holiday. I go to my bank to get British Pound Sterling.)

Me: “Hello, do you have any British Pound Sterling?”

Teller #1: “Um, let me see.” *checks* “The computer says we have £70. Is that okay?”

Me: “Sure, I’ll take it. Do know if you have a way of checking if another branch as any pounds?”

Teller #1: “Sure, just let me finish your first request.”

(Teller #1 goes to Teller #2 for keys. Teller #2 looks at me with a sad and frustrated look and comes over.)

Teller #2: “Are you sure you want the pound?”

Me: “Yes, why? I’m going to the UK.”

Teller #2: “Well, the pounds we have can not be used in the UK. Do you want the Euro instead? We can get you the Euro.”

Me: “Um, no. I’m going to England; I needed the pound. They use the pound, so the euro would not work. What is wrong with the pounds you have?”

Teller #2: “The pounds we have look different than the ones we’ve had before, so they can’t be used in England. Besides, the Euro is accepted there.”

Me: “The UK uses the pound; it’s 1000 years old. They are not giving it up for the Euro. It’s a very British thing. I don’t want the Euro. I’ll take my chances with what you have.”

Teller #2: “We can give you the money, but don’t come complaining to us when you want to return the pound when you get back we’re no longer accepting the currency.”

Me: “Can I please just have my money and I’ll worry about the currency when I’m in the UK? Thank you.”

(Teller #2 scoffs at me and leaves to get the money. Teller #1 returns to hand it to me.)

Teller #1: “Here is your £70 and a list of the banks that have the pound in our area, but it doesn’t look like a lot. If you need anymore, will give you the Euro.”

Me: “Again, I’ll take my chances. I know there is nothing wrong with the pound. Thanks.”

Teller #1: *patronizing tone* “If you say so… good luck on your trip.”

(I go to other branches to collect more pounds, and am met by more disgruntled behaviour and tellers pushing me to use the Euro. The pounds that “would not be accepted” were from Northern Ireland and all accepted. Long live the Pound!)

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