Archive for February, 2007

I can’t sleep

February 27, 2007

I can’t sleep. Is it because of my date with the bank tomorrow? Honestly what am I going to wear? Or is it because I can hear absolutely everything that is going on outside my house? I can hear what people are listen to on the radio IN their cars. I can sing a long with them! I can hear the conversations of people passing by clearly. Its like I’m sleeping on the street. Its like I’m sleeping rough* but in the comfort of my own bed and house.

I know why they have funny sizes on the pillows in this county, its so you can both have your head on it and at the same time over your head to try to obstruct the sound.
FYI I have four pillows in my bed.

Good night.


Washing up

February 25, 2007

This morning:

Boyfriend: save some water for my shower.
Me: I’m washing up!

We can’t have a shower and wash up at the same time. Or you can if you want but then it will be a rather unpleasant experience for the person in the shower. It will be a cold experience and a very hot experience for the person in the kitchen washing up.

We added one extra hour on the timer to the boiler because if it’s not a lot of hot water in the tank there will be no pressure in the shower. And we don’t have a lot of pressure to start of with. You can’t win!

Washing up is another thing they do differently here. Since there is only on sink in kitchen they don’t rinse the dishes. The English way of washing up is to put the dishes in the rack covered in washing up liquid. Yummy!

Next time you have your dinner try and spice it up with some washing up liquid! Well it’s the same as eating on plates where the washing up liquid hasn’t been rinsed off.

It’s a date!

February 20, 2007

Next week on Wednesday I’m having a date with my hot bank. We are going to talk dirty about my pension savings. And what a date it will be: Mr Bank, my finance manager and me. It will be great fun. I really look forward to it.

I wonder what I’m going to wear…


February 19, 2007

Here we go again…

Back in October 2006 I called my bank because I wanted to set up a pension with them. I had some saved pension money with my old employer in account which I couldn’t add money to since I left the company so I wanted to move this money to a new account that my current employer could contribute too. I wanted to have all pension money in one place, rather then small sums all over the place.

Sound easy? Well you would have thought so. Set up accounts, move money is something I thought banks did 24/7.

Last Friday 3,5 month since I first asked the bank to set this up for me they wrote to me saying that they have moved my “old saved pension” money to my new account they set up for me.

I called the bank this morning as I didn’t have an account number to this new pension account. I spoke to young Håkan (clearly that isn’t his name). Håkan was very helpful but didn’t know anything and had to ask his supervisor for everything. He said that he didn’t know how to help me. This is very common over here, they say they either can’t or don’t know how to help you and expect you to accept that and hung up. Not me, I’m Swedish.

Anyway it turns out that they have set up the wrong account for me. The account they have set up is an account which you can’t add any money. Why would you want to have a pension account that you can’t contribute to? That’s the whole point with having any savings account.

They admitted they made a mistake but the way to sort it out is hilarious when I think about the amount of time they are wasting.

Just to remind you I have only asked them to set up an account, move some money to this account and to have my employer making a monthly contribution to this account. Very simple.

This is what is going to happen:
Someone from the local bank branch needs to have a meeting with the Finance Manager were I work. I can’t believe it. It’s so strange. It’s my money we are talking about and I’m earning nothing so its not like my employer are going to put in thousands of pounds every month.

Honestly I don’t even know what to say as it so weird but funny in a way. Do they really have time to visit all their customers’ employers when they want to set up a pension?

This must be the reason they don’t do IT at banks over here: they are wasting their time on pointless meetings rather then improving their services.

Maybe if I say that a friend of mine from Sweden want to put in some money to my pension will the bank then fly to Sweden and set up a meeting?

I just think it’s mad and can’t stop laughing. Why is this a problem? Why doesn’t my bank want to have my money? Is it because I’m Swedish?

Money, money, money

February 15, 2007

I was 25 when I received my first chequebook. WOW my very own chequebook!

I’m from a country where chequebooks died out a very very long time ago. I don’t even think my mum used cheques. I’m 29 by the way.

Lets say Steve owes me money:
1. Steve writes a cheque and posts it to me
2. Steve needs to find an envelope at home and go to the corner shop and buy a stamp
3. Steve post the cheque to me
4. I receive the cheque about 2 days later (or never, depends on the mood of Royal Mail)
5. I then have to go to the bank but don’t have the time to go straight away
6. Eventually I go to the bank I have to queue for my entire lunch hour (as everyone else goes to the bank on their lunch too). I give the cheque to the bank, they stamp it and then it takes THREE days before the money is in my account. THREE DAYS!

Where are the money under those three days when they left Steve’s account but not yet landed in mine? Are they in a drawer in the bank?
What if Steve owed me £1000000? Think about the interest I could earn during those three days?

Göran owes me some money:
1. Göran goes to his computer, he log in to his Internet bank transfer money in to my account and the very same second he press enter the money is in my account.

Not three days, not even three seconds! Isn’t that fantastic?! Is like magic isn’t it?

And if Göran doesn’t have Internet he will go to the bank and the bank will transfer the money, right in front of Göran that very second. Marvellous!

I can transfer money from my Swedish bank account to my English bank account over Internet all by myself. Its almost like if I was working for the bank. When I asked my English bank how I could do it over here they gave me a pile of paper to fill in and asked for £20 and told me it was going to take 10 working days before the money was in Sweden. COME ON!

And what’s this weird thing that you need to bring a gas bill to open a bank account? I had to have a letter from my university saying which course I took, a bill, my passport, my family photo album, something old, something blue etc. I just wanted to set up a bank account. Is that so bad?
For all the banks out there: you want to have customers, it’s a good thing. Don’t scare them away asking them for weird things. And please realise cheques is a waste of paper and our time.

I will let you know when IT comes to this country.