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Updated: May 15, 2011 11:28 IST

ATMs: the continuing story

Hariprasad R. C.
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KIND ATTN. MR.G.ANANTHAKRISHNAN, CITY EDITOR,CHENNAI. FOR LAW &ORDER , COIMBATORE OCT 30 : An ATM cardholder transacting business at one of the ATM centres in the City. -Photo:K_Ananthan (Digital image) (kind attn. Mr.N.Sridharan, photo taken by fuji S-2 Pro Camera)
THE HINDU
KIND ATTN. MR.G.ANANTHAKRISHNAN, CITY EDITOR,CHENNAI. FOR LAW &ORDER , COIMBATORE OCT 30 : An ATM cardholder transacting business at one of the ATM centres in the City. -Photo:K_Ananthan (Digital image) (kind attn. Mr.N.Sridharan, photo taken by fuji S-2 Pro Camera)

Philip Joshua's article ‘ATM shows the man you are' (The Hindu, Open Page, April 17) made a humorous read. I second his observations on the different kinds of people we come across at the ATM. The article also evoked some funny memories from my own experience at different times.

The funniest experience so far happened in Delhi. I was on my way to a dinner along with my friends. One of my friends wanted to use the ATM and headed towards one. The rest of us waited outside deciding on the restaurant for the evening. But our friend did not come out of the ATM even after five minutes and we saw him talking to others who were waiting for their turn. Sensing that something must have gone wrong, we rushed to him. He looked completely perplexed and worried. Going by our own mistakes in the past, we asked him whether the ATM card got stuck in the machine or if there was some problem with the notes issued from it.

He shook his head and explained the situation. He entered the amount and the machine did give out the notes along with the receipt. Now, my friend pays keen attention to details. He took out the receipt and was examining whether the amount deducted and the balance were correct. Meanwhile, he failed to notice the ‘beep' sound and by the time he laid his hands on the cash the machine withdrew the notes!

Not just that, upon inserting the ATM card again he found that the amount was deducted from his account as well! We tried our best to hide our laughter listening to this unusual story from our friend who is so attentive to details. Since it was a Sunday evening, the helpline number given in the ATM did not respond. But luckily, the story ended happily and the issue was resolved when he rushed to the bank on Monday.

Another type of person who frequents the ATM is the one who takes revenge for a faulty machine on others who are waiting behind him in the queue. He neither leaves the ATM premises nor informs others of the problem with the machine. He rather chooses to enjoy the show.

In one such instance, this person came out of the ATM and the one standing in front of me in the queue entered the ATM. Now, the person who had just come out showed us an ATM receipt and started talking about how unfair it is for the banks to charge a fee for transactions from the ATMs of other banks after a certain limit. Some kept nodding and he offered the receipt to be checked by others to convince them about his argument. The twist came when the person inside the ATM came out saying the machine is not working. Everyone was stumped and looked at the person who was ranting all this while. He smiled at us and said, “I wanted to check if this ATM also charged the same fee like the other ATM over there. But this one does not work!”

These are instances when one truly believes that laughing at misfortune is the best way to move forward in life. And in this case to move towards the next ATM before a long queue builds up there as well!

(The writer's email is hariom247@gmail.com)

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