Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bank Cards and Middle Names - A Study

I finally got my ATM card from La Caixa (my Spanish bank) this morning, three weeks after I was supposed to receive it! They promised to call me when it arrived, but I never received a call, so this morning I just decided to go over there first thing. The guy told me he had the card, but said I had to wait for a little while... I'm not really sure why.

Finally he came back with the magic box that I've seen so many times, full of ATM cards, none of them mine. This time I knew it would be different. He asked me my last name ("apellido") so I said, "Sadler, con S-A-D..." He went through the S's. Nothing. One more try, still no Sadler.

In a sudden (and none-too-soon) moment of clarity, I understood the confusion. I asked him to look under "Robins." And there it was. Maybe it had been there all along!?

My middle name has caused me trouble since I arrived. People don't know what to do with it. It's not part of my first name (many Spaniards have first names like Juan Carlos or Maria Isabel) and it doesn't look like a first name... But I tell them it's not my last name either, and I feel like sometimes I can see the smoke coming out of their ears as they try to figure out what to do with it. At IESE everyone thought my name was Noellerobins until I finally just had to ask them to change my name. Maybe I should've asked them to change it to the name of someone who is very good at math....

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