Added on Wednesday 23 Jan 2013
"You broke the bank! You broke the b***** bank!"
(based on a line of Alan Rickman's in Galaxy Quest)
There is a bank in Abington, the outside walls washed in white and window frames laced in black. It is solid and cheery and old, an image of stability and source of continuity.
People with autism like such stability and continuity and the routine it engenders, and if you think about it, that isn't such a bad thing. I didn't know I was autistic when I opened my account there, but all I asked of them was that they kept my money safe and let me bank for free while I was in credit.
But it's a neuro-typical world, and such safe and boring stereotypes seem easy prey to Ronald Searle's robot ant boys who, desperate to curry favour at board meetings, show the world their fixed grins and make changes for the sake of change, submerged that world, shattered Steagall's Glass, let Fred Goodwin tread and shred with gay abandon, and drove the bank into debt and merger via Dutch and toxic waste.
The biggest annual loss in UK corporate history (pound;24.1 billion).
84% owned by the taxpayer or they'd be bust.
Then, not long after, my bank asked me how I (the customer) could regain their trust? At the same time it knocked the bank at Abington's hours down from full-time to three mornings a week.
I decided I'd take them literally. Act more like an Asperger than I'd normally do.
Okay, I said. Open two more mornings a week and I'll forgive you.
Did they do so? Did they hell!
They no more listen to me now than they did before, but stagger on into Libor rate-rigging scandals and systems failures by the score.
We've bailed them out, we'll fine their ass, but their behaviour is, in toto, crass.
To a neuro-typical obsessed with change, the safe and boring stereotype I bought into might seem deranged.
If this to you is sanity it's mad I'd rather be. At least my money might have been safe if the Royal Bank of Scotland had had a routine-minded Asperger at the helm instead of one of thee...
You broke your b***** bank, there's no more cheer for me. That stable facade's a false veneer.
And the loss of trust? That will cost you, cost you dear.