Woking, this is Woking

So initially this started out as a journey to deposit a cheque, 1.5 hours and £4.99 later I return with a brand new hatred for a town I didn’t even care about before midday.

I’ll admit I don’t go to the bank that often, most of my stuff is done online but today I took payment for something in the form of a cheque. I’ve done it before but I will think twice after today. I tried to scan the cheque into my bank app but apparently there is a limit on the amount so I have to go to my local bank, that’s not a problem, there is one really close.

I placed the cheque in my pocket and decided to drive to my local bank to deposit it. 8 mins later I’m in my free local car park, 2 mins after that I’m stood outside what used to be the bank with a WTF look on my face. It’s closed, and I mean closed, closed. Not closed for refurb, not closed early because it’s a Wednesday, closed for actual EVER.

I take a picture of the sign which gives me top tips on how to find my nearest branch and head back to the car. After some research apparently Woking is my nearest branch now and it’s only 15 mins away, off we go….

As I arrive to the outskirts of the town centre I am greeted by roadworks and traffic lights as far as the eye can see, each one wanting me to stop and admire its red light display. It also gave me time to admire the delights of the architecture this town has to offer. The bland grey and red tower blocks that house the worker ants, the overcomplicated one way circuits that make being behind a bus an absolute joy and the absolute lack of parking spots unless you have a blue badge.

Eventually I discover the holy grail of parking spaces, one right beside a meter and only a short 5 min walk from my destination. I park up easily, completing my parallel manoeuvre in one easy move that leave me feeling pretty smug. It’s now 5pm and that was the last time a smile broke out on my face.

So I get out of the car to discover this place does not do pay parking apps or pay by card meters, apparently it’s the 90’s and I have to find some change or go to a random shop for a special ticket.

It’s like the gods are on my side though, straight opposite there is a cash point, that will do, I thought. I punch my pin in, to be alerted that I will be charged £1.50 for this financial transaction. I don’t have much of a choice, so I click ok. The transaction goes through and I am then greeted with a notice to tell me it’s actually £3.99. I’m sorry what? At least dick Turpin wore a mask, you robbing bastards!

I have little choice and collect my cash but now I need change. There is a fried food shop close by, I take a chance and ask them for some change. No joy here, they must be fed up with people asking, but he did signpost me to a slot machine place down the road.

I’m not exactly dressed to impress but as I walk in to the dodgy slot machine place I do look like a fish out of water. As I walk by machine after machine with a look of desperation on my face I’m half expecting someone to say “this is a local shop, for local people”. Eventually I cave in and ask, once there I pop my £10 note in and win myself 10 £1 coins back. Back at the parking slot machine I am slightly less successful, it’s 80p for 30 mins or £1.20 for 1 hour, either way I’m not going to win on this machine.

I head off to the bank, speed marching my way past people that clearly have no parking timer to worry about.

I arrive at the bank and there is a long queue, it’s ok though, I can pop it in the automated deposit machine, there are two of them. As I go to walk towards them a man barges by and jumps in front of me. The machine he was using didn’t work, it’s ok how long can it take……

It seemed like an actual lifetime because he was actually putting in £1000 worth of notes which were folded up in his pocket, I only found this out later as he was moving around like a cat on a hot tin roof and I got a look at the screen. On the back of his jacket he had cross hatch, black label, forward thinking but this guy was anything but forward thinking.

The screen was telling me that £300 worth of his notes had been rejected, it spat out his receipt and off he went. He wasn’t even remotely bothered that the machine had taken £300 from him, he didn’t go to see the cashier, just walked away like he’d been expected to get mugged by the machine. All seemed very dodgy but I’m not sorry, I think it was karma for him taking so long!

When it was my turn, no problem at all, took less then 2 minutes!

Back to the car to navigate the cones and lights again, Woking doesn’t look any nicer on the way out either. If I can help it, I won’t be coming here again, to deposit a cheque or anything else!

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