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Beneficiaries of technology

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Now that my plumber is an official “beneficiary” I can pay him electronically any time I want.

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I THINK I have finally been dragged into the wonderful world of internet banking.

Note that I say “I think”. Under the supervision of a bank teller who appeared to be no older than 13 I have pressed a number of buttons on the ATM keypad in order to pay my plumbing bill.

I am told this means the plumber will receive payment in due course.

In the bad old days before computers ruled our lives, bill payment was a relatively simple matter. At the end of each month I’d sort all my bills, write a cheque to pay each one, put it in an envelope and post it. Job done.

Of course, in those days you could buy actual stamps from a post office and have a supply in the desk drawer. Postage was a simple matter. Today you need to go to the post office and have each letter franked in their machine.

Our post office ran out of stamps sometime in late 2016, I think. So last week I used the slick electronic method of paying the plumber. It’s simple really. First I have to queue for half an hour at the bank in order to get the plumber listed on my bank account as a “beneficiary”.

I also have to specify a limit, above which the bank will not pay the plumber. I can then go outside to the ATM and enter all the details of the transaction.

The machine then gives me a little slip of paper to say I have paid my plumber. I then have to take this payment slip home and scan it on my printer, after which I can send the scanned receipt to the plumber to inform him that his money is on its way into his account.

Now that my plumber is an official “beneficiary” I can pay him electronically any time I want.

The problem is that he’s an excellent plumber and when he plumbs a pipe it stays plumbed. I will probably not require his services for another five years, by which time the bank will have invented a brand new way to simplify the paying of my bills.

I noticed when going through the rigmarole of paying that there was already one other “beneficiary” listed on my bank account.

It was the surgeon who performed an operation on my hand back in 2016. It’s good to know that if I ever need surgery again, I won’t have to queue in the bank to pay the man.

Isn’t technology wonderful?

Last Laugh

Mary fell hopelessly in love with her dentist.

Every few weeks she’d make another appointment, simply as an excuse to be with the man of her dreams.

One day, after her treatment, the dentist said: “Mary, we’ve got to stop seeing each other like this. Your husband is sure to start getting suspicious.”

“Nonsense,” she said. “He’s so stupid he doesn’t suspect anything.”

“That may well be,” said the dentist, “but you’re down to one tooth.”