“Using the ATM” 101

(If you do not know how to use an Automatic Teller Machine or ATM, I suggest you shoot yourself in the head. Just kidding! Picture source: http://www.ecu.edu.au)

Sooner or later, I know I need to do up this post. So as usual, let me start with a scenario:-

Its pay day and someone wanted to borrow from you RM300 urgently. You looked into your wallet and noticed that it contains a pitiful RM10. “Not a problem” you say to yourself, “I will just go down and withdraw the cash from the ATM”. You have an appointment that evening and you need to rush back home. “It won’t take long” you remind yourself as you walking down towards the ATM.

The queue at the ATM was long but calculating that it will only take about 30 seconds to do cash withdrawal, you gather that you will probably spend no more than couple of minutes queuing.

After couple of minutes later, you noticed that the queue has not moved. You look up and noticed 2 college girls inside the ATM area, trying their card several times and looking lost at the ATM screen. Despite noticing the rather agitated queue, the girls continued “trying out” their ATM card. To add “salt to the wound”, they casually chit chat as if there is no one else wanting to use the ATM.

Have you come across such scenario? Did you feel like barging in, grab hold of the 2 idiots by their necks and throwing them out so that the rest of us can use the ATM peacefully? Ya, I feel like doing so on many occasions. Perhaps the bank should place a large notice near the ATM which states “ATM is only for smart people, dumb people please stay far, far away”. They should.

There is only one ATM at my workplace and the queue can be very long especially just after pay day. Despite that, I would say the lonely ATM is very reliable – it has cash most of the time and does not break down that often. Connection is fast too. I don’t think I need to reiterate on how to use an ATM for cash withdrawals and other transactions. “On screen” instructions are clear and easy to follow and you can always get the bank staff to assist you when you “doing it” for the first time.

But for this post, I would rather like to classify the various “odd” ATM users that I have come across over the past years. Perhaps you are one of them…who knows.

1. Balance Information Non Believer – A very flashy title indeed but it is nothing more than a person who doesn’t trust the ATM. When you have withdrawn cash from the ATM, the machine normally prints out a small slip which contains the amount and the balance after withdrawal. Some idiots though do not believe the balance stated in the slip, so what they do next? They enter the ATM card and navigate to check on the screen to compare the balance. Some do it several times to double or triple check the balance (in case it changes when they are not looking).

2. Missing ATM Card – Normally the ATM is kept in the pockets or the wallet so that it can be quickly retrieved when doing an ATM transaction. Not the case for one idiot who I encountered last week. After queuing for couple of minutes, this idiot walks into the ATM area and start looking for his card in his briefcase. Only after taking out his documents, tidbits and stationeries, he managed to locate his ATM card and then do the transaction. He later walked out with a “nothing had happened” face.

3. Paying Bills – I pay my bills via Internet Banking and the ATM is only used for cash withdrawals. Not some idiots who I encounter right after pay day – they will hold a large stack of bills to be paid via ATM. Don’t these idiots know how to use the internet banking or the regular post office for these kinds of transactions? They had to monopolize the ATM for themselves to do such transactions. If the queue was long, they should at least stop and allow the others to use first before queuing to do the rest of the payments. But being a typical selfish Malaysians, they don’t – they rather complete all task in one go no matter how long it takes.

4. Chatting room – Some ATMs like the one at my work place has this glass room when one enters to use the ATM. Now using it is one fast task – as I calculated not more than 30 seconds for cash withdrawals (unless the machine has connection problem). Now if you include 2 people who are busy chit chatting away in the ATM like the one I experienced recently, it is going to add time to complete the transactions. Some take it to the extreme by “discussing” loudly on how they are going to spend the money that their parents had just transmitted the hard earned cash to their account.

5. Foreign Workers – This is the worse that I have come across and more than often it is the “Banglas” who are making my ATM usage miserable. Foreign workers do not read and understand English or Bahasa Malaysia so whatever they see on the ATM screen is alien language to them. So, they will be left staring at the ATM screen, waiting for some “divine intervention” to help them out. Sometimes it is not one person but rather a whole bunch of them. Often such help comes in form of fellow workers who are also confused as they are or sometimes from disgruntled ATM users who have been queuing patiently.

Anymore?

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