Pauline and the ATM

She was late…she hated being late, but there was nothing she could do about it. She didn’t have adequate cash on her and so she had to stop at the ATM. This wasn’t the first time this had happened and she knew she was in good company with thousands of other Lagosians.

Pauline checked for any messages that the others had already arrived and when she didn’t see any she heaved a sigh of relief! The girls were notorious for offering last minute reasons for being late, not excuses mind you, but reasons as to why they weren’t at the agreed venue yet. This was a good time to take full advantage of this trait and thus eat her cake and have it all at the same time.
Hopefully despite the slight hitch…she may still beat them to it!

Thankfully the bank premise wasn’t crowded and a machine was available. Taking out her card she slotted it in and did all the necessary things to retrieve money. Nothing happened. The security guard had mentioned that her bank wasn’t being serviced but there was no harm in trying. Now she had to travel all the way to another part of town, to use the card within the branch premises of her home bank. Her day wasn’t turning out quite as she had planned.

Traffic was light and other road users fairly sane, thus making her journey a speedy one. Sending up a heartfelt prayer that the bank’s system would work (she had learned there were no guarantees!) she inserted the card. The message, ‘your transaction is being processed’ brought a smile to her lips and slowed down her racing heart. She had been prepared for the worst, although she had also hoped for the best. She wasn’t prepared to return home and stare at the walls for entertainment. The absolute boredom would have been unbearable. Once again her outing was on course and she’d be having some fun shortly.

Pauline recalled another instance when she ‘quickly’ dashed to an ATM and ended up visiting three in the neighbourhood, all to no avail. It took a while before she discovered that her bank was at fault and not the automated teller machines. That fateful day, she refused to be discouraged or frustrated. Eventually she had to call it a day and borrow the said amount when she realised that it was a major problem that her bank had to resolve.

As a result of hitches like this Pauline always ensured she had reasonable cash for petty transactions and other contingencies. Technology was great, but when a hitch occurred you had to have a fail-proof back-up plan. Handy cash was the only solution and the trick was learning how to juggle the amount on hand with everything else. With advancement in technology, she knew that a day would come when this habit could become redundant, but until then she had a personal system that worked just fine…in spite of her.

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