15 May 2013


A recent senior moment had me sweating with confusion.

I had gone to pay a bill in our local House of Fraser store. A bill for stuff bought for by store card. Just before leaving the house Joe asked if I would clear his bill at the same time. No problem!

The only other business I had in that store was to buy a pair of tights but the layout has changed and I couldn’t find where to pay. After wandering round for a bit I spotted the sign PAY HERE and headed in that direction. Before reaching it, however, an assistant saw me carrying the tights and asked if I wanted to pay for them (since I had no basket she probably thought I was walking out without paying) so I settled for that. Well, it saved a bit on shoe leather walking to the pay counter.


It doesn’t matter which till you choose to pay bills and since I was buying something anyway it seemed appropriate to do it then. I’ve never had trouble before but there has usually only been one bill to pay.


The assistant’s name was Patricia and she worked on the Estée Lauder counter. As good a place as any to clear my debts! Her counter, however, was littered with leaflets and notebooks and there was little room for me to organise my business. Have you noticed that counters are not customer friendly these days? Seems to me they’re only there as a base for displays. If customers have to sign for something they have to search for a spot. And there’s absolutely nowhere to put a handbag! Mind you that applies in post places, building societies and banks especially. There is a mere hole through which to pass documents, money etc, and just a tiny ledge on which to sign things.

So, back to the episode in the store. This is what happened next:

After first paying for the tights, I tried to bulk the two bills together and pay with one debit card. Patricia said this wasn’t possible. I had to do them separately. Okay!

I paid Joe’s bill of a mere £3. It wasn’t an easy task. At first Patricia said I couldn’t pay with a debit card (since I wasn’t him).
She asked if I had his store card.
She said I should have brought HIS store card as well.
I asked if paying cash would be easier.
Not to worry, she could get his details from his bill.
There was a bit of a wait while the computer warmed up but eventually it was all technical systems go.
When I produced the debit card she said No, she had put it through as paying by cash.
Hmm an apparent a change of mind!

We backtracked to she said/I said, by which time I was thoroughly confused. I was surrounded by bills, till receipts, leaflets, notepads, and the pack of tights that had started the whole thing.

I paid my bill without a hitch, since it was MY bill and MY card.

Later, at home, Joe and I got to talking about our various cards, debit, credit, etc. And that was when I discovered my credit card was missing.



Where did I use it?

I had only been in two shops. I rang the first one; not there.
I rang House of Fraser and asked to be put through to the hosiery section, completely forgetting that section didn’t have a till.


Eventually I recalled that I couldn’t pay at the hosiery counter since there was no till and was on my way to the pay counter when I was stopped en route by Patricia. What I couldn’t remember was which counter she worked on.

Actually the girl on the phone was most helpful. Quite calmly she asked me to look on the receipts for the till number (it even gave the assistant’s name) and she immediately knew that my card had been handed in.

All it took was another trip to town and another £1.20 in the car park.

I didn’t go out again that day. I didn’t dare!

In view of the above I decided to post this poem.
It seems appropriate, somehow!

A Little Mixed Up

Just a line to say I'm living,
That I'm not among the dead.
Though I'm getting more forgetful,
And mixed up in my head.

I've got used to my arthritis,
To my dentures I'm resigned.
I can manage my bifocals,
But, oh my!! I miss my mind.

For sometimes I can't remember
When I stand at the foot of the stairs,
If I must go up for something
Or, I've just come down from there.

And before the refrigerator so often,
My poor mind is filled with doubt.
Have I just put food away, or
Have I come to take some out?

And there's times when it is dark,
With my nightcap on my head.
I don't know if I'm retiring,
Or just got out of bed.

So if it's my turn to write you,
There's no need of getting sore.
I may think that I have written
And don't want to be a bore.

So remember that I miss you,
And wish that you were near.
Now it's nearly mail time,
I must say good-bye, My dear.

Here I stand at the mailbox,
With face so very red,
Instead of mailing you my letter,
I have opened it instead!!

(Author Unknown)


  1. Ah, here's where internet banking comes in - I pay all my bills online, just transfer the funds from one account to another. :)

    Sounds like a stressful day Valerie. x

  2. Pearl, this post was scheduled for 25th May, unfortunately it went on line when it shouldn't. I'm still putting your comment on though ... for the due date.

  3. ha. nice verse...and yikes...glad you found your card...i must be aging as i have these moments every once in a while...smiles.

  4. Oh brother, this same thing has happened to me in the past, Valerie. There is nothing more terrifying that realizing you misplaced your credit card. And it's even more of a panic when it's your debt card because if it gets into the wrong hands, they wipe out your bank account in a few hours.

    "Have you noticed that counters are not customer friendly these days? Seems to me they’re only there as a base for displays."

    Thank you. And I totally agree! The store that work at makes it impossible to even find the cash register because there is so much clutter on the counter.


  5. I prefer to shop where I can take all my stuff to one cashier at the entrance. I bank at a place that has a clear counter, but in CA all the banks had BANDIT BARS and they take up the space where I use to conduct business, you are right about the holes to do business.

  6. All is well that ends well Val. When we get older, it's a senior moment, for younger folk, it's oh what the heck, I forgot etc... Don't take it personally, happens to everyone.

    I've never actually lost a cc or my purse thank goodness but I can imagine the panic if I did!

    Hugs, G

  7. Hi Brian, make sure you keep a tight hold of your card ... smiles.

    Good evening Ron, I daren't think of what might have happened if I hadn't realised straight away that I'd lost the card.

    Geraldine, it's a relief to know it happens to other people.

    BC, I prefer those shops too. Sadly they are few and far between nowadays.

  8. Jeez! That would have driven me crazy. It's almost as if the store doesn't want your money. What's up with that train of thought? I've never heard of a store making anybody jump though that many hoops just to pay a debt. Crazy!

  9. Those senior moments happen..
    customer service needs to improve
    for everyone.

  10. Hey Miss Valerie,

    I've been off writing a 7 book series...but now I'm back and making the rounds to say hi to old friends and introduce new ones...I'd love it if you'd drop by my blog today...I'm introducing a New young author who has a published book at amazon about angels and a battle between good and bad...(maybe Valance should read this book) ;-)

    Anyway...come on by for a visit and you've always got a sweet way with words...perhaps you could leave an encouraging comment for this sweet, young new author.


  11. Wow--it's like they didn't want you to pay the bill. Geeze, people happily take your money here. LOL Feel free to come pay some of mine? :-)

  12. You've got my synpathy, Val. Faced with a dilemma yesterday I did something I've never done before in my entire life... I put a coin in a slot to release a chained shopping trolley. Oh, the relief when it worked.

  13. Herman, that's a great expression; it did feel like jumping through hoops.

  14. Mr V, I get worried when I can't get the coin OUT... Grins.

  15. You are not alone Valerie. I do silly things like that too and more of late too it seems. At least you remembered your pin number!

  16. You are not alone. You must remember that.


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