Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Off the hook? No chance

So, the position on New Years Day was, one of the staff suspended. presumably because of money in one way or another, again presumably 168 grand, and I was next to the boss in seniority, and surrounded by Inspectors. I did the Chief Clerks job well, although I say so myself. Bryn always had a terribly untidy desk, papers in piles everywhere, but I liked to be on top of it and anything, any problem, that arose, as they did all the time, I did everything possible to sort them out straight away, and have an empty desk at the end of the day. Indirectly, this soon put paid to my being in charge. I had about three of the more junior staff all came at me at the same time with work problems, and I was literally jumping from one to the other with instructions. I saw the boss looking at me rather strangly, and I heard him go to his phone. I think he thought I was panicking, but--I was'ent, and was more likely showing off a bit at how fast I could decide things. A few days later the Manager of Colwyn Bay branch came on the phone, and the call was passed to me. He said L.H.O. had been on to him and they wanted his second man to get to Rhyl quickly to take over the C.C's job. He, the Manager, said to me "Whats going on in Rhyl? Wheres Bryn?" I answered noncommitantly. A few days later this man arrived, and, I think, he was replaced again by someone from Mold, I may be wrong but I think that is what happened. And, of course, I was back on my own securities desk. Another day or two, and yet another question time with the Inspectors, really this was an ongoing process every day to every one, but me more than anyone. This time it was all questions about something that happened the previous September!!! At that time, Bryn was on holiday, and, as normal, I had moved up to be Chief Clerk. There is a rule in the Bank that when you are on holiday---you are on holiday. You cannot say "Oh I'll work today, never mind the pay." The reason for the rule is nothing to do with pay, it is that, over the years, banks have found out that if someone on the staff is on a fiddle, they will be in and out all the time to try to keep the guilty facts from coming out. I was constantly asked "Did Bryn come in a lot during this week or two he was off?" I said sometimes, but nothing much. But, and its a big but, while he was away I had a petty problem with a Boy Scout's account, there was some confusion about some payment out, it only involved about five pounds in 1964 money, and I cannot remember, nor does it matter, what the complicated bookkeeping problem was. But there was no way of my being sure what had happened without balancing the particular ledger. We did this to every ledger every two weeks, but there was a young lad on the staff who was underemployed, so I grabbed him and said "here take this ledger and balance it." During the next couple of days, whenever I saw him, I asked "Have you balanced that ledger yet?" His reply was, "No, its 6.000 pounds out." Well, I was'ent interestwd it that, I was looking for something like five pounds, 23 pence. That amount wasent showing up, so, as far as I was concerned, the 6,000 was just an adding mistake or something. On the Monday Bryn came back, when I was handing over his desk I told him of this ledger which did'nt balance, and then promptly forgot all about it. As far as I was concerned it was'ent my problem now Bryn was back. Oh, said the Inspectors --- long stern faces. A bit at a time it came out --- Bryn was suspended because 6,000 pounds was missing, and had been missing since his time at Denbigh. We had ten ledgers. By a ten to one shot I needed to balance that particular ledger. The young lad who I had told to balance it said that Bryn appeared very annoyed and said "I don't know what Mike (me) is doing messing around like this, it doesent need to be balanced until a week next Wednesday." No wonder he was annoyed, I had been witrhin a whisker of throwing the whole thing open. But, of course, because I did nothing in the end, it looked bad for me. The assumption amongst the Inspectors, reading between the lines, is that I had found out, and---I had, for my own reasons, decided to keep quiet about it. Oh dear, yet again

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