My Peeves, #1: ATMediocrity


When I started the blog, I thought this would be a great opportunity to elevate the internet conversation a bit by creating my “In Praise Of” series… it has been a while since I have found anything to praise.  I’m certain that says a whole hell of a lot more about me than anything else, but I was hoping to be positive and nice… instead, finding so little I would consider praiseworthy has probably helped spiral me into a funk more than anything else.

With the passing of Andy Rooney recently (and I feel horrible for not honoring him with a much deserved RIP), I realized there is a void, we have lost our national curmudgeon.  I may not be anywhere close to Rooney’s level of grump and cantankerousness, but dag-nabbit… time for me to give it a go.  I’m not talking about issues that truly anger me… nothing that would cause me to engage in a spirited bout of fisticuffs… I’m talking about those little needling things throughout everyone’s day that annoy us and cause our love for humanity to diminish bit by bit.  So, with that…

First on my list of peeves… people who seem mystified and perplexed by ATMs.  I’m don’t recall when the ATM became the de facto interface with our corporate financial overlords, but since then, the model has changed very little.  Sure, we may have to select from a list of languages and there are a few more options available now as opposed to 15 years ago… but most ATMs are quite standard.  Why in the fuck do some people feel the need to take ten minutes in order to complete their transactions?

Come on… I know you’ve seen what I’m talking about.  You are standing there, patiently waiting for “the next available teller”… and the person standing between you and the rest of your life is staring at the screen… reading each word… hovering their fingers over a number of different options… beep… new screen… staring, reading, hovering… beep… oops, mistake… cancel, retry… repeat, repeat, repeat…ARRRGHHHHH!  It’s not that hard!!

My solution… if you know you are going to take a fucking eon to check your balance, deposit 20 separate checks, get cash in multiple stages… just let other people go ahead of you.  Cancel what you are doing and politely let the person standing behind do their thing.  Pretend you need to fill out the deposit envelope… pretend you forgot something in your car… I don’t want to belittle or embarrass anyone, I just want to get on with my day, and standing behind someone making financial decisions with a machine is not my idea of time well spent.  Or better yet, try remembering the order in which the prompts appear.

In the same vein… do people realize that if you are in a grocery or department store… or frankly any place you purchase anything with a debit or credit card… the moment the first item is scanned, you can run your card through the machine and get the process rolling?  Seriously.  You can do everything you need to do with that POS machine before they are done scanning everything and you will be out the door that much faster.  I can’t imagine how often I have watched people ahead of me waiting (sometimes restlessly) while the clerk scans each item before starting the process of payment.  Like everything else, a smidgen of readiness and preparedness goes a long way.

That’s about it… I don’t expect any of these peeves to be too long… nor too important.  But damn, it feels good to get that off my chest.  Now I feel like the little tiny man shaking his fist at the heavens…

I miss Andy Rooney.

If you ever see me standing behind you in line, you best make it quick…
Cornelius J. Blahg

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