If you live in the laudable and notable commercial and bustling centre of excellence like me, tendencies are that your financial life just might be revolving around your ATM debit card. Today’s tale has my very own infamous bank card under the spotlight.
Stepping outside your door at anytime of the day is more or less an adventure in this part of the world. You never know what it is that you’re going to encounter; what tales, sordid or ecstatic, you might be telling at the conclusion of your outing. So begins my tale…
It all started with a very important and unavoidable trip to the fascinating and jungle groomed outdoors of Lagos. I barely had enough physical cash on me for the trips I had to imperatively make but ‘hey’ I had my ATM card so, I was good…so I thought.
After hitting the spots my available cash allowed, I was down to the last financial note on me, and I thought to myself, do I use the ATM or get to the final place with this one…decisions…decisions. The cash would be enough to get me there but not back home. Then a silent nudge from an unseen force and voila! An ATM in all it’s relief-goodness…it was a sign from heaven. I got there, no queue whatsoever, just me and this baby in the blazing hot and humid afternoon. I asked the gentleman on the other machine the customary Lagos-at-the-ATM question “is it paying.” He replied politely that his wasn’t but I could try the one in front of me.
I still payed no heed to the voice in my head telling me to finish my trip with my ‘last cash.’ I slipped my card into the machine and let it suck it out of my fingers…then the horror of ATM relationships unfolded before my very eyes. The advert display didn’t change to request for my PIN like it ought to instead it kept playing …
…was this a dream, is this machine playing me April fool in August ni??
I had entered MFM prayer mode in my head as I maintained my unruffled disposition on the outside. My people, five whole minutes later, this thing finally asked for my PIN! You’d think I’d cancel, get my card and bolt! But nah, I was determined to see where this toxic relationship with this ATM was gonna end.
I put in my PIN o.
This how the next season of keeping up with the ATM horror show started. My brain finally checked back in and I started tapping the “Cancel” button.
The Machine had vowed to teach me a lesson that afternoon, passersby and others who wanted to use the ATM as well threw concerned glances my way, as I had been there for a little over thirty minutes. It felt like my whole life flashed before me, what if this machine now seized my card, who will I go to? I didn’t have enough cash to take me to my nearest bank branch nor did I have the time, as I had a pending engagement I had to get to.
So many questions, as my mind played and replayed the scenarios of the eventuality of an ATM cardless day. I began to reject it and kept pressing the cancel button. Eventually, the heavens opened and my prayers gained access as the ATM proceeded to return my card to me. I grabbed it with such speed, that I’m sure even the ATM would have been surprised. I staggered back and turned to my heels as I warned those waiting in line of the impending doom that would befall those seeking to transact with that particular machine sent from the abyss.
With that, I jumped on the next bus to my destination to meet up with my appointment.
I dodged a bullet with that ATM. Did I still get cash? Of course I did! I used a more reasonable ATM that had onsite testimonials of delivery.
Well…it wasn’t a bad day after all.