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Blog: Doctor Hubris

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As you may have detected, I recently completed my PhD and am now Officially Doctor Hibbett. I am by nature a humble soul rarely in search of the spotlight so I haven't really made a big thing about this, and so when people say to me things like "Have you changed your passport details yet?" I smild kindly and say that I haven't. Not least because it costs about SEVENTY FIVE QUID and requires new forms to be filled in and takes AGES. But mostly because I am so humble.

However, I did notice that my bank debit card was going to run out soon, so thought I might as well update THAT as they were going to give me a new card ANYWAY and not because it also meant that if anyone happened to see it I could say in a very casual way e.g. "Oh yes it DOES say Doctor Hibbett doesn't it shall I tell you about my thesis?" It would, I thought, be a simple process with no downsides.

This was INCORRECT. First of all it took AGES to get them to actually DO it, as you can't simply change your title on the bank app and have to go into an Actual Branch, then when you DO find a branch that is actually OPEN you have to a) negotiate BANK BOUNCERS who don't seem to want to let anybody in b) wait for AGES c) discover that the only person who can actually DO it is "out to lunch" at 4pm so d) you then have to try again the next day. This I did, and the second time it all went all right, at least once I'd talked my way in and waited twenty minutes until they'd remembered I was there. I'd been told that I needed to bring PROOF, but when I finally sat down to sort it out all they asked was "What sort of Doctor are you?" I stumbled a bit and said "Er... a doctor of philosophy? Not a medical doctor!" which seemed to be the right answer.

All, I thought, was well, and a few days later my card arrived with DR HIBBETT written on it which was all very exciting and fun... until I went out to USE it and the flipping thing DIDN'T WORK! I then spent AN ENTIRE HOUR going round and round on the bank's APP and PHONE LINES trying to speak to someone about it. I recited my date of birth and mother's maiden name to various ROBOTS so many times it became like an INCANTATION to summon up a Surprise Birthday Jumper. EVENTUALLY I got through to an actual HUMAN and began by saying "Just to let you know, I have spent an HOUR trying to get through and I know this isn't your fault, so sorry in advance if I am TERSE" (or words to those effect) which made me feel a lot better. It was weird talking to AN HUMAN after an hour of ROBOTS, so i had to remember not to Pronounce. Every. Word. Clearly. No, CLEARLY. CLEARLY! Right, date of birth is ... (and so on).

She worked out that my card was BROKEN so I had to have ANOTHER one ordered. I was a bit perturbed by this, as I needed to use it for spending MONEY (I live in Fancy East London where loads of places don't even CONSIDER taking CA$H) but she pointed out I could add the card to the APP on my phone, and could then be one of those people who casually wave their phones around in shops and GET stuff. This I did, and it has been... all right? It's nice when it works, but it's a MASSIVE pain in the wotsits when it forces you to LOG IN and then wait five minutes for the flipping APP to start work. Also, it doesn't say "DR HIBBETT" in big letters on my phone! Still, these I suppose are the REWARDS OF HUBRIS, and if nothing else makes me relieved that I DIDN'T try and change my passport!

posted 18/4/2022 by MJ Hibbett

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