19 Jun / Numbers and memory loss
This morning I brought up my internet banking on the screen and typed in my customer number and password. When I looked up at the screen only half of my customer number had gone into the box before the screen froze.
Muttering some joyful words under my breath I closed down the internet and opened it again. I brought up my online banking login page.
This time I froze.
What’s my customer number?
When it was assigned to me twenty or more years ago it was randomly assigned. Very safe. Unless you happened to open my mail by accident. Or on purpose.
That means that when I forget the number they provided two decades ago I have no source of reference to remind myself what it is.
It starts with a four. That much I’m sure of. It has six numbers total. Or seven. There’s a zero in there. A couple of even numbers, or odd numbers, and it ends with an eight or a six.
I typed in a few different combinations. None of them worked. I tried a few more on my phone in case they were counting and I was going to be locked out until I phoned up the bank on their 0800 number.
Phoning is my least favourite thing which is why I have internet banking instead. Except I didn’t.
After the sixth combination fail I started to wonder if, in all the excitement, I’d actually picked the correct customer number but was using the wrong password.
I felt confident that the password was correct. But then, I’d felt confident my customer number was too easy to ever forget and look where that had got me.
There was a chance that it was written down at home in the diary that I’d bought myself in 1998 because it looked like the type of diary an efficient office worker should own.
I’d kept it all these years because it definitely has some other codewords in there which I hardly ever need, but which if I forgot my life would ground to a halt until I grew the balls to phone someone.
Luckily, before I got to the point that I needed to check, I sat down at my home computer, opened up the online banking login page, and logged in with my automatic recall fingers.
Phew. Close call. I still don’t have any more money than I would have if I’d managed to check my accounts this morning, but for now just being able to check feels pretty good.