Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Year's Eve

I have never really been one for celebrating the change of the year.  To me it seems no more than switching from, say, May to June; not worth losing a lot of sleep for that either!  There was a time - granted, a good many years ago now - when I was never even certain that I would have finished work in time to see the New Year in.  As I say, it was a long time ago, half a century or more.

Back then I was working in a bank and 31st December was balance day.  Or, rather, it was Balance Day with capital letters!  Balance Day came round twice a year - 30th June and 31st December - but the December balance was arguably the more important as that was the end of the bank's financial year (as well as the end of the calendar year, but that scarcely rated on the bank's consciousness).

On New Year's Eve, after balancing each of the tills - to the penny - and everything else that had to be balanced daily, we would set to and post the day's work, a job which was usually left until the following morning.  Then that had to be balanced as well.  Then, and only then, could we set about doing the real Balance Day work.  This involved, inter alia, using large pre-printed sheets of paper and entering the name of every account and its balance.  By hand. In pen and ink.  And then adding them up - without using the clunking adding machines which was almost the full extent of mechanisation in those days, this being long before computers were in general use.  we were doing well if we left the bank before 10.00pm; later was the norm.  Far too late to bother going home, changing, and going out again.  We were too knackered anyway.

Now I'm just too old.  The Old bat and I will probably watch a film we've recorded.  I have recorded several over Christmas and still have two to watch, High Society and Cockleshell Heroes.  For once, The Sound of Music wasn't shown - nor The Bridge on the River Kwai; both were regulars for many years, along with The Great Escape!  I'm looking forward to High Society as I had quite a crush on Grace Kelly when I was a teenager.

Here are Bing and Frank, but unfortunately not Grace!  Enjoy.

1 comment:

joeh said...

I can almost relate. In the brokerage business many people thought they had to make trades for cash (same day settlement) for tax purposes. Those trades were the most difficult to execute and to process, plua there were always a few clowns who waited to have older trade issues fixed, also for tax purposes. The entire operations area was goofing off and having a drink or two by 11:00 and gone by 1:00 (early market close) and we were stuck until 5:00. I hated 12-31.

PS,tax purposes went by trade date, not settlement date so those cash trades were not necessary but salesmen would not listen to lowly clerks.