I know I shouldn't despair after a single interaction with a staff member from my bank, however when you join the dots it's all starting to look a bit grim.

I wandered in today to change over the leftover Swedish currency I had in my wallet from the weekend. After establishing that I do in fact have an account with the bank, the teller asked me if I had Francs or Kronor. I hesitantly replied that they were Kronor, and handed them over. He looked at them for a minute, paused, and then asked – presumably because I'd know, having visibly been there – what the difference was between Swedish Francs and Kronor. I replied that I hadn't seen any Francs. He said they definitely have them, because a lady came in before and exchanged some.

Now I don't know much, but having had a brother who was interested during his junior years in coin collecting, I knew that I had never heard of a Swedish Franc, and by extrapolating the possibility of there having been such a thing before I knew about it I was still sure that a lady wouldn't have come in a couple of days hence to cash them in for pounds over the counter at a bank.

I suggested that France used to have Francs but now used the Euro, and also I was pretty sure there were Swiss Francs. His eyes lit up and he said “Yes ! That's them !”. So far, so good.

He then continued, “So, what's the difference ?”.

I carefully explained that Swiss Francs are from Switzerland, and Swedish Kronor are from Sweden. The explanation was accompanied by a coda of giggles from the tellers either side of our hero.

I know geography isn't a prerequisite for working with money, but still.

2005-07-01 : Shower me in confidence and inspiration, o great institute of banking.
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