Archive for October 13th, 2009

My Pin Number? XXXX

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009


You just can’t think too much if you don’t want to go crazy on this planet. Every time I use my ATM card, the machine asks for my pin number.  When I type in the four digits, it shows “XXXX” and then asks “Is this your pin number?” Two choices: Yes or No.

Well of course XXXX isn’t my pin number but if I press “no” I’ve got to reinsert the card and start all over again. And I must keep inserting my card until I answer “Yes”.  In other words, I’ve got to lie to the ATM  to get my own money on which the machine will charge me a hefty fee which might be exceeded by the additional fee my bank will charge me because I didn’t use their ATM.

Once I overdrew my ATM account and knew I had to pay the overdraft fee of $35.00 plus the $3.75 the bank kicked in to prove to my retailer that I wasn’t just a disgusting slug who couldn’t pay his bill.

I went to the bank to pay my penalty.

“That will be $73.75,” chirped the young ditz who “manned” the window.

“I beg your pardon?” I asked.

“$73.75 to satisfy your account,” she said. “That’s a $3.75 overdraft plus 2 penalty charges of $35.00.”

“I only made one transaction,” I said.

“Well, to our bank, it’s two transactions.  $35.00 for the overdraft and another $35.00 because you overdrew your account again with the ATM transaction fee.”

I didn’t say anything.  I just glared and seethed silently. I’ve found glaring and seething coupled with heavy breathing and silence is an effective reaction in situations like these.  In any case, I doubted if  I could hoist myself over the counter with the bulletproof glass and beat the lady until the police came anyway.

She seemed to sense I wasn’t a satisfied customer.  She went to the manager and he lifted the 2nd $35.00 with few words.  Ms. Teller seemed relieved to be able to tell me this.

I paid the reduced penalty and walked outside the bank with an idea.  I walked up to their ATM and inserted my card.  When it asked for my pin number,  I typed “XXXX”.  The friggin’ machine shot out my card so fast I thought it would hit the ground.

Maybe next time I’ll use an old retailer card – with Crazy Glue.