After returning from lunch I found a call-back note on my desk: “Decorator is looking for a solution about a fundamental issue!”, providing her bank account- and phone number.

So I logged on to my computer and entered her account number. The notifications on my screen indicated that our client ran a small business with a low number of contracts: The latest monthly statements only showed a few banking mutations. I dialled her number and after our mutual introduction I began our conversation: “I was asked to return your call about a fundamental issue…” It appeared to be the kick off of a detailed discussion:

“You can say that again, Mr Wijngaarden! I have to pay a considerable amount of money for all your banking services, but where I have to go through now, is too crazy for words!”

“What has happened, madam?”

“I run just a small desk, so I have to be really skimpy about the expenses and now your bank sends me a daily statement with nothing on it.”

“What do you mean, madam, with nothing on it?”

“Usually I get a statement, showing the amounts I paid. And which and how much clients paid me.”

“Including the opening- and final balance, so that you exactly know…”

“That’s the very heart of the matter! On this statement there is no difference in -how did you just mention that?”

“Opening- and final balance.”

“Exactly! So in between: No credits, no debits, but only a commercial message of your bank that is not of any use to me! But I have to pay for the stamp to you!”

“What if you would start internet banking, madam? That is not only much cheaper, but  then you will receive no daily statements by mail anymore!”

“Internet Banking? No, sir! You need a computer for that, don’t you? I don’t have one and I don’t want one.”

“In my screen it shows that we -at least if there are any banking mutations- send you your statements every day. But it is also possible to sent these once a month. That safes quite a bit on your costs, madam!”

“Once a month? No, I don’t want that either. I want to know as soon as possible which client paid me. And I want the postal charges of that odd statement back!”

“I will refund them to you madam. Only…when I do so, you will get a statement with a crediting of 44 Euro cents, but that daily statement will cost you postal charges for another stamp, so…”

“Sir”, she said, while a deep sign escaped her, “leave it like it is!” and she disconnected the line.


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