I have a secret I’m gonna share.
I’m intimidated by ATM Machines. If you haven’t fallen off your chair laughing, bear with me. It started years ago when my card was swallowed while I was trying to get some money out of my account. Several other incidents have occurred that prove ATM’s machines are not my friends. The last time I tried to lodge money after hours, I left defeated. And that time when I tried to make a deposit during banking hours to escape the line, I eventually had to go into the crowded banking hall and join what looked like 999 other people.
After today, I don’t think I’ll have the courage to face another ATM, or whatever the one I encountered today is called. After entering the bank, I wait at the information desk to see about an express line for what I wanted to do. The attendants take so long with the customers in front of me, that I give up and got in line. Fifteen minutes later, the roaming customer service person comes by and I ask her if there’s an express line for what I want. She points me to a line with one person in it and I hightail it to that section of the hall.
I get to the counter and the rep tells me she’s only accepting cash and that I should go to the machine by the door and make an ‘express deposit.’ My heart falls to my ankles, but I approach the area.
There’s a man shoving a deposit slip back and forth, I had no idea why at the time. I read the instructions over his shoulder and wonder what on earth he’s doing so long. Finally, a sound comes from the ‘thing’ like some gears inside are grinding together. He takes the slip out, looks at it and goes his merry way.
I get an envelope and a deposit slip, which I complete. Then, I read the instructions a second time. It clearly says to put the envelope in the ‘chute’, which I do. The security guard wanders over and says, “Did you just push the envelope in there?”
He points to a slot at the top of the box thingie. “I think this is where you’re supposed to put it.”
I look at the instructions again. It clearly says ‘chute’. I look at the two ‘holes’ in the machine, and where I stuck the envelope definitely is a chute, complete with a slanted metal frame inside.
All my combined fears about errand have materialized. (Yes, I’d been thinking about it since Friday, when I avoided going to the bank.) My money is someplace it probably shouldn’t be and I’m holding a piece of paper which the ATM won’t stamp, because as far as it’s concerned, I haven’t put anything in.
I go back to the customer service desk and I say to the person there, “I’ve done something really stupid. I think I’ve put my payment in the wrong slot.”
She calls someone on the phone and then comes out of her enclosure. She ascertains where I put the envelope and asks whether I’d put in one copy of the deposit slip. Said agent then fools the ATM by dropping in a blank envelope to get my deposit slip stamped. She explains that there’s only one landing area inside, so my deposit is safe. (I hope)
I thank her and all but run out of the bank, burning with embarrassment. However, I learned some lessons today. (1) Don’t take everything so literally and (2) avoid banking machines and (3) whatever you expect is exactly what you end up getting. Sigh.
On the writing front, I still haven’t tried any of the stuff in the book I mentioned last week, but I did read Toby Neal’s book, Building an Author Platform that can Launch Anything: A Social Media Minibook. The Minibook contains lots of practical advice and there’s one particular thing in there I’m gonna try.
Today has been a non-starter in the writing/editing department, but there’s always tomorrow. So, have you started the week at a crawl, trot or gallop?