February 27, 2011

In your best Andy Rooney voice

Or Andy Hardy, whatever.

Yesterday the family decided they wanted lunch out, so I was sent to Subway to pay way too much for a lunch meat sandwich. Sometimes it is best not to fight, since the alternative was to go to the store and buy food so we could make lunch. A lose/lose situation.

To top things off, I had to go to the bank, since not only did we not have lunch stuff in the house, we also did not have money in the various wallets. So I headed to the ATM, one of the true miracles of the modern age. One puts in a plastic card, types a series of numbers and voila (ta da for you non-French reading types) out comes good old US greenbacks, dollars, cash, the currency of the realm.

As I drove up the one-way street beside the bank I noticed there was a line at the drive-up cash machine. I moved into fourth place and realized "that guy" was at the ATM. You know him. He is completely befuddled by the contraption. He has to insert his card three times before he gets it stripe down and to the right. The picture next to the card slot is too confusing. Then real issues arise for our modern Guy Fawkes of the ATM. He reads every screen in complete detail, unsure of his next step. He mumbles to his mate "Hey Mable, do I want to deposit or withdraw money?" She just stares across his shoulder at the offensive screen. Her lipstick smeared cigarette makes her squint.  The confused ATM user turns down the radio as if that will make the whole process simpler.

Once he determines which screen lets him take out cash our intrepid ATM user then is faced with a tougher decision.  How much cash to take out. He and Mabel discuss their impending shopping trips. She opines she could just write a check at the grocery (another story altogether -- and I know I will somehow be in line behind her when the time comes). Finally our couple decides they will ask the magic machine for $90. Too bad the instructions indicate withdrawals must be in multiples of $20.

Slow ATM guy types 9-0. The machine beeps an error and says you must withdrawal in whole dollar amounts in multiples of $20. He turns to Mabel and laughs, "Heh, I just tried to take out ninety cents". I bang my head on the steering wheel. while cursing full throat at the asshole who had the temerity to sell this old fucker the Chevy Truck that allowed him to get to the ATM in the first place. Our man of the hour then types in 9-0-0-0. The machine again refuses to cooperate.

"The damned machine won't give me my money". He types 9-0-0-0 again. And again. He hits the keys harder this time, that will help. Again, no dice. He stares at the screen for about three minutes. "Oh, it has to be a multiple of $20". They then have a lengthy conversation to decide if $80 is enough, or if taking $100 is more than they need. They decide to take $80.

"We can always come back tomorrow and get more", she says. "This machine banking is so handy".

Finally our hero gets his cash.  I am no longer hungry.  I am numb. Lunch time has passed and I think about our supper plans. Ed and Mabel take another five minutes to count the money, examine the receipt, and put everything away in the wallet before slowly, and I mean slowly, driving away from the machine.

The next driver pulls up. She puts in her plastic card and is completely confused. "What is a PIN Number?" she asks her companion...

7 comments:

DaddyBear said...

I feel your pain. I've been behind the dastardly snail people more times than I can count. There should be two lines at any commerce location: Clueful and Not-Clueful. Would speed up the process immensely.

Ted Amadeus said...

Did "Mr. & Mrs. Doddler" have grey hair and ears like The Zero? Was that Chevy a'71 Impala? Yeah, I know them birds.

Jean said...

Wouldn't it be easier to use your debit card at Subway?

Joe said...

Jean -- That is wha tmy wife said whe nI came home complaining.

But you are a killjoy -- if I had skipped the bank there would be no story.

Fredwina said...

This post made me laugh last night. And I really needed a laugh last night. So, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, Obama sticker on the bumper?







JOG

Ed Bonderenka said...

You had my wife laughing out her nose.
She's done that.
And she's not Mabel, but she's married to Ed.

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