Following a long, tiring day of painting, we set off home on Saturday night with practically no fuel in the car. Feeling relieved at finding a petrol station which had a self-service machine, despite being practically in the middle of nowhere, we stopped to fill up. The pump didn't seem to be working properly, so with a trickle of diesel running down my arm, I put my wallet on top of the car and went to get some paper towels.
As we pulled out of the petrol station, I glanced in my rear-view mirror to see something lying in the middle of the road. My only thought at that point, animal-lover that I am, was that I hoped it wasn't a bird or a small woodland creature. Nope, it was my wallet - only I didn't realise until an hour later, once we had travelled 50 kilometers and were sitting at home with a glass of wine. Once the panic had subsided, I logged onto the web and started cancelling my credit cards. As I have come to expect, it took me a total of 5 minutes to cancel two UK cards, with the help of polite, helpful telephone operators, each of whom confirmed to me that my replacement cards would arrive at my UK address within 2 working days. “Can I help you with anything else at all? No? In that case, have a good evening and thanks for calling.”
Banca Intesa’s turn. I called the free-phone number advertised on the website, and was told by a recorded message that it was open from Monday to Friday. Very unfortunate if you happen to have your card lost or stolen on a Saturday night…. Refusing to believe that this was the best they could do, I searched some more and managed to stumble across the emergency number from overseas when I turned in desperation to the English version of the site. The operator at the other end confirmed my personal details, put me on hold for about 2 years, and came back with a ‘secret code’ which I have to take into my branch, after which I need to wait 10 WORKING DAYS for my new card to be issued. Surprised? Not really. So at lunchtime today I shall be skipping along to my branch (still awaiting word on my compensation claim for the Zerotondo fiasco) and withdrawing just about everything I have so that I can go furniture shopping. This really was a very bad time to have to cancel my credit cards!!!
There is a happy ending, however. When we went back to the house the next day, we stopped by the petrol station and found my rather sad, run-over wallet lying by the side of the road with its contents strewn, covered in dirt across a 50 metre area. I managed to recover all of the important documents, including my driving licence, and having had a nice wash with warm soapy water, they are now nestled snugly in my new purse. I have learnt my lesson.