… of being “locked” in at an ATM. But first, the clarification. I’ve always abhorred plastic money and had so far steered clear away from it. In fact, until today 5:30 PM, I didn’t own a Credit/Debit/ATM card, although I’ve been operating my own accounts for nearly the last 13 years. In fact, in all of my 31 years I had never actually even once stepped inside an ATM… go figure!
I have recently opened a new account and I was entitled to a Debit-cum-ATM card. Since Debit card is still actual money in my account, I decided its high time I got one, especially given my frequent travelling these days.
I went to the bank at 5:30 PM, picked up the card and was adviced by the on-duty staff to try out the card at the ATM just outside the bank. I walked up to it, found the door unlocked and simply went in. My Debit Card account was still flagged off, so all I could do was to print a receipt says “Transaction Declined” when I tried to withdraw some money. Bah!!!
I decided to come back later and tried opening the door. Boy! It was locked! Now, in past I have actually implemented solutions that required access control gates operated by the more common mag-stripe cards or even contact less cards of the MiFare kind. I tried looking for a slot to swipe or place my card to open the door. But no-go!!! The slot was only on the outside.
I looked around for any instructions that may tell me what to do. Not a word anywhere! I’m now beginning to get worried. The helpful bank employee had patiently explained to me while handing over the card that “there are bugs in the software” and that “things get flagged wrongly at times, especially if there is a connectivity failure“. He had added “You are an IT person, you’ll definitely understand all these” and had told me not to worry if funny stuff happened.
At a complete loss now, I called up Najmun who happened to be upstairs, if she had her ATM card on her (she has her salary account at the bank). She said “yes” and asked me what’s wrong. I tell her, “Please come to the ATM immediately with your card, I’m locked in!”
She comes down immediately and I quickly explain her my predicament. She excitedly asks me if I have pressed the switch besides the ATM door. I shrugged and told her “No! I didn’t, I’ve just kept trying the handle and looking for a card slot“. She nearly bends over laughing. I push the switch, which looks just like an ordinary light switch and Bingo! the door unlocks. She still can’t stop laughing.
We go back to the library. Everyone there’s enquiring “Indra-da wasn’t the switch working???”… I shoot a murderous, warning look at Najmun, implying she should keep her mouth firmly shut. I managed to get away by saying there was some problem and it was not working from the inside!
Wow! I still can’t get over it that I’ve finally learnt how to use an ATM