The ATM experience

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Most people use them. They are a way of life in the modern world and I must be the only person I know who isn’t a regular at an ATM (automatic teller machine).
I had a bad experience when all I wanted was to take out some money for a trip. I have an SUV and it’s up a little higher than the machine, so it’s difficult to reach down and in retrospect I should’ve gotten out of the car for this procedure. This might be where my problems began.
I pulled up to the machine owned by my bank, searched for and obtained my card, deposited it in the proper slot and waited for directions on the computer screen since I didn’t see any posted on the outside of the machine.
First, the machine asked for my language, and of course I chose English, the only one I’m truly fluent in. Next it said I could withdraw money in five dollar increments. Since I needed much more than five dollars, I thought this was going to take a while. I tried to just punch in an amount to withdraw. That didn’t work. It just said five dollars again. So I began pushing the five on the keypad. Soon it registered $35. Now, if that’s all I needed, I sure wouldn’t have been at the cash machine. Just as I thought I was onto the routine, the screen said, “Your time is up.” What did that mean – my time is up? How could it shut off when I wasn’t done yet?
The worst was to come. The screen went blank and I wondered what happened to my card. After pushing every button on the pad, including cancel, I still had no card. It was locked in the machine. As my frustration continued, I noticed cars lined up behind me and they looked as impatient as I felt. I was afraid to leave the machine with my card in it. I tried all the buttons one more time and at the same time motioned to people behind me that there was a problem. One answered with a hand gesture. Some merely glared at me, while others drove away and gave me a honk, as if to say, “How dumb are you lady?”
I thought my cell phone was the answer. I called the bank and told them I was sitting outside their door, but I didn’t want to leave my card in the machine. After all, maybe someone could use it to make a purchase. The bank wasn’t too helpful at first. I think they were suspicious of me, but after some lengthy talking to the manager, she said she would eventually be able to retrieve it for me. Two hours later I was invited to come back to the bank to pick up my card.
This incident happened several years ago and I have been very leery of using an ATM to this day. Only if it’s a desperation time do I go there. These memories of my bad experience all came back to me when a friend sent me the following description of women and men and their differences in using an ATM.
I am a firm supporter of women and all our fantastic abilities, but I will have to say that some of these things rang true with me and some are just funny! See what you think.
Male procedure: Drive up to the cash machine. Put down your car window. Insert card into machine and enter PIN. Enter amount of cash required and withdraw. Retrieve card, cash and receipt. Put window up. Drive off.
Female procedure: Drive up to cash machine. Reverse and back up the required amount to align car window with machine. Put window down. Find handbag, remove all contents onto passenger seat to locate card. Tell person on cell phone you will call them back and hang up. Attempt to insert card into machine. Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from car. Insert card. Re-insert card the right way. Enter PIN. Enter amount of cash required. Check makeup in rear view mirror. Retrieve cash and receipt. Write debit amount in check register and place receipt in back of check book. Re-check makeup. Drive forward two feet. Reverse back to cash machine. Retrieve card. Give dirty look to irate male driver waiting behind you.
Obviously, this was written by a man, but still very funny. Now, in a new development, I recently learned that ATM cards may be out in the next few years. (This could be really good for me!) If you want cash from a machine, you set up an app on your mobile phone. Enter the amount you want to withdraw and what account you will withdraw it from. Do this before you get to the money machine. When you get there, look at the receptor and it scans your iris. When it knows it’s you, the cash comes out. There are alternate plans which use the fitness device on your arm or the fob used to start your car to grant access to your cash.
Just as we get one thing mastered, a new one comes along. Look for this new technology in the next few years.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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