Not the First or Second Date…the Third Tells the Tale

The bank has an updated ATM…a miracle of space-age wizardry. With technical prowess like this, how can we fear for American pre-eminence? No more deposit slips. All that needs be done is to place checks in a slot and watch them be sucked into the machine and hear them being whisked through the digital whirring inside. Have you more checks?, the machine asks…shall I continue? It adds the checks, photographs them in miniature and triumphantly renders a receipt with pictures of the checks, the addition and my new balance.

I used it twice, whistling in appreciation and awe each time.

The third time…one ATM took the checks, but wouldn’t let me continue to the acceptance stage and sent the checks back. A second ATM blinked a blue screen, begging off the job with crossed screw driver and wrench…I cannot help you at this time, it said conversationally. A third ATM took the checks, let me continue, asking if I’d like to add more checks to the $7200 it had tallied so far. Since I only deposited $550, I decided the machinery needed some tweaking and asked for the checks back. Had I said, yes, I could only imagine the machine flashing, Gotcha, taking my photo and fingerprints and alerting the FBI. Obviously, no guilty conscience here.

Someone else, wanting cash, was told by a blue screen…sorry I cannot give you cash at this time. Evidently, the recession has created a new set of bank rules.

Maybe I was premature, prattling on about American pre-eminence.