Bluebottle has spent too much of his working life telling people that where he works isn't where they think he works.
I currently work for Southampton Solent University in Southampton, a small university that gained university status in 20051. It is a completely different university than the other university in Southampton, which is called the University of Southampton2. Despite being a younger university Southampton Solent University is the older educational establishment, originating in a School of Art that opened in 1856, whereas the University of Southampton began as the Hartley Institution in 1862 and only became a full university in 1952. For 150 years these have been two different educational establishments but most people, including the majority of the population of Southampton, are determined to think that they're one and the same organisation.
Similarly, my previous job was working at the Bank of Scotland (established 1695), and most of the customers who came into the bank actually were customers of the Royal Bank of Scotland (established 1727), a completely different bank with a similar name.
The big question remains why is everyone so confused between the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Bank of Scotland and Southampton Solent University and the University of Southampton? The simple answer is "because of the name", but that is too simple, and doesn't take into account the fact that most customers should be used to paying no attention to shop and bank names at all. "British Airways", "British Gas" and "British Telecom" have similar names, yet as far as I am aware no-one gets confused between them. HMV sounds similar to H&M, yet as far as I am aware, the two do not perplex people.
When you think of it, none of the shops on the high street sell what their names would suggest. Boots isn't a shoe shop. Currys isn't an Indian takeaway, and they do not sell fridges at Selfridges. M&S does not retail S&M bondage gear (or, at least, not that I noticed the last time I was in there). The Post Office doesn't sell thick sticks nor can you get David Lynch inspired stillsuits and ornithopters from Dune. You cannot purchase planetary fragments from Comet, nor does Waterstones sell wet rocks. Alas, Burtons does not market merchandise from Helena Bonham Carter's boyfriend's films. Food outlets are the same. Wetherspoons does not sell cutlery for castrated sheep, Subway isn't an underground train line, Starbucks fails to stock Battlestar Galactica merchandise and how many chickens eaten at KFC had, before their deaths, actually been to Kentucky?
Banks, as a general rule, aren't any better. Does the Co-Operative Bank sell a pint of milk and loaf of bread? Can you confess your sins to a priest at the Abbey? Can you get the autograph of the actress who starred in The Other Boleyn Girl, the Star Wars prequels and Leon at the Portman Building Society? Does Halifax sell merchandise of the Halifax Bomber, Britain's second most successful Heavy Bomber of the
Second World War? Just to add to the uncertainty, there is even a fashion shop called Bank.
So, now we have identified the problem, what is the solution? When I worked for the Bank of Scotland I had a brilliant idea. The simple one of renaming the Bank of Scotland. A new name for the 21st Century, a name that reflects the Bank's established history, and its Scottish origin. My suggestion was naming it "The Bank of Macbeth", after the famous 11th Century Scottish king. This name will be sufficiently different from the Royal Bank of Scotland to avoid any confusion. The only downside is that, as any actor will tell you, saying "Macbeth" is extremely unlucky. The only way to prevent this is to follow in the actor's footsteps of refusing to actually say "Bank Of Macbeth", and say "The Scottish Bank", or more properly, "Bank of Scotland" instead.
Sadly, however, the world economy collapsed and before my suggestion could be implemented, that bank suffered from the financial crisis and was taken over by Lloyds TSB (not to be confused with Lloyd's of London)...