June 19, 2003

Brain Farts While Banking

Yesterday, I realized that I needed some cash, because cash is an exchange medium by which I can gain access to goods and services. I needed to eat, and food is considered a good, so I required cash to access the food. This is the crazy world in which we live. Can't we just go back to the tried and true bartering system, where three sheep, a cow, 20 chickens and 80 jars of preserved prunes could purchase a child bearing daughter who works well in the field? Those were the good old days. Okay, not really.

So, anyway, I go downstairs to the on-site ATM machine, insert my IBM credit Union debit card, enter my pin number, and. . . the machine spits out the card without giving me any of the exchange medium known as cash. Huh. Interesting. So, I repeat the process with the same result. Well, I just assume that the stupid ATM is malfunctioning; perhaps it was illegally downloading music and Orrin Hatch came along and frizzled the machine. I decided to give up my quest for cash and come back to the ATM later in the day, hopefully after a technician came by and reset the ATM innards.

A few hours later, I again trekked downstairs, inserted my card, entered my pin number, and. . . the ATM made a funny little sound, the machine reset itself, and it did not give me back my card. WTF? What's going on? Why did the ATM just eat my card? Now I don't have a card any more, and my access to cash is now considerably hampered, and OH MY GOD I'm so fucking hungry, and that girl who just walked by is just totally knock out hot, easily worth at least eight sheep, two cows, 40 chickens and 120 jars of preserved prunes. At LEAST.

Befuddled and cardless, I returned to my office and call the credit union to explain my plight, without mentioning the hot girl, of course. The woman who helped me was very nice and polite, and we tried to work through the problem together, but I got annoyed when she kept asking me if I was sure I entered the correct pin number. Of COURSE it was correct. I've been entering that same pin number for over two years, so I'm pretty freakin' sure it was correct. She tells me that the credit union will retrieve my card and send it back to me in the mail. In the meantime, my card will be deactivated so no one else can use it. Thus satisfied, I hung up and daydreamed of the coming days when my card would arrive in the mail, I'd have access to cash, and all would be right with the world.

About an hour later, my friend Marc called me. He likes to call me at work just to remind me that he gets off work each day at 3 p.m. It amuses him that I have to work until 5 p.m. For my part, it amuses me that I make over $3 an hour more than he does, but I don't call him every day to remind him.

"Hey, I was just wondering how your IBM card is working today," said Marc, and I found it interesting that he would bring that up after all the card drama I endured that day.

"Well, now that you mention it, not all that fucking well," I answered.

"That's because you have my card and I have yours,'" said Marc.

Ohhhhhhh. On Sunday, Marc and I went out for food and drink at Buffalo Wild Wings and we paid separately with our own IBM credit cards. Obviously, we got them mixed up. Marc sounded a little bit upset with me when I told him that the ATM had eaten his card and that he would have to call the credit union to rectify the situation. Thankfully, Marc noticed he had the wrong card before an ATM could eat it, so he still had mine, which meant he could give it back to me and I would have access to cash and all would be right with the world way ahead of schedule. This made me deeply happy.

I met up with Marc at 7 p.m., and we decided to go grab a bite to eat at the local Rochesterfest celebration, which isn't so much a celebration as it is a bunch of greasy food stands lined up for two blocks. I told Marc that we would have to stop at an ATM so I could get some of the exchange medium known as cash, which I would use to purchase said greasy food.

Marc drove to an ATM, where I inserted my newly retrieved card, entered my pin number, and. . .

You should recall here that, earlier in the day, I called the credit union and they told me they deactivated my card. I did not recall that. Well, that's not true. I recalled it almost immediately after the ATM, for the second time that day, ate my card. Once again, there I was, cardless and cashless, all because of an amazing bout of stupidity on my part.

However, I think some of the blame should fall on our modern culture and our dependence on convenient banking. If I just had some sheep and chickens handy, none of this would have happened.

Posted by Ryan at June 19, 2003 11:33 AM
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