Techie wasn't being paid, until he taught HR a lesson

It's one thing to have a twin – quite another to have an EVIL twin

On Call Welcome once again to On Call, The Register's weekly column in which we recount readers' reactions to the drudgery of digital duties.

This week, meet a reader we'll Regomize as "John Smith" who once worked for a very large bank. No doubt you've never met anyone with such an unusual name.

John was lucky enough to be transferred from the US to the UK to work on a big new project.

"I was part of a newly recruited multi-disciplinary team, all employed to help plan future systems for a recently acquired subsidiary," John told On Call.

Crossing the pond can sometimes create cultural complications, but things mostly went swimmingly for John. His very young family kept him busy, his bank account was in fine condition, and his new colleagues didn't chafe.

"We soon gelled into a cohesive unit" he wrote. But John stood out for an odd reason: he wasn't getting paid.

"I queried the lack of funds with HR and was advised it would be fixed soonest," he told On Call. Then, between that fat bank account and all the attention an infant requires, he didn't check in with HR.

Until another month passed and he again went unpaid.

"I raised the issue again, and again HR promised to fix it."

But do you think they did? Of course not. This wouldn't be much of a story if they had.

So as payday rolled around for John's third month of life in Blighty, he was forced to go and do tech support for himself. He drove to the building in which dwelt the bank's HR team.

HR confirmed he’d not been paid, and tried to make an immediate funds transfer – which was rejected.

Further examination led to the discovery that John once had a doppelganger at the bank – and an evil one at that.

This chap, who shared John’s name – what are the odds? – had siphoned bank funds into his account and was of course fired for his trouble.

But for reasons that nobody could quite explain, when our John signed up his records inherited his evil twin's bank details.

And the bank had banned any transfers to that account.

"They hadn't been able to untangle everything he had done to perpetrate the heist, so they planted a 'tail-end' routine to physically stop any transfers." But that routine remained in place and left our John Smith – the good one, so far as we are aware – out of pocket.

"I'd been put on the naughty list just for being me," John lamented.

Have duplicate records, evil twins, or doppelgangers made your work life doubly difficult? If so, click here to email On Call and we'll consider your tale for a future Friday.

No story too silly – our mailbag is looking a little thin, so please don't be shy. Send stories. ®

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