Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm a big flake, and I hate the new ATMs

Yes, I know, back in February I said I'd come back and write about my own personal love story, but then I stayed away for four months. What can I say, I'm a big flake. I'm sorry. I am now trying to be more consistent, so hopefully it won't be four months before I'm back again.

Today, my focus is on the new ATMs my Bank has installed. When they first put them in some months ago, I thought, "Hey, these are great, no envelopes to cause litter and waste paper, and I can get a little miniature scanned copy of the checks I'm depositing - nifty!" I think I even told my husband how happy I was about this, because it meant I could take my business checks straight to the ATM to deposit and didn't need to scan them in at my home office first. Then yesterday happened.

On Sunday, the 28th, my dear husband was obviously stressed about how low our checking account was, since he had automatic billpay set up to come out of the account on the 30th. I told him I probably had a check sitting in my P.O. Box that I could pick up and deposit on Monday morning, and another check already in hand. He instructed me that it needed to be done right away.

On Monday afternoon, at about 4:30 and on the other side of town, I remembered this needed to be done. I made it across town, picked up my mail at the Post Office, and made it to the ATM at 5 minutes to 5pm. I thought that I had to get the deposit in before 5pm in order for it to count that business day.

Superbly pleased with myself for my speed and efficiency, I inserted my ATM card in the machine and pushed the required buttons. Then, the slot popped open and the machine asked for my check. I carefully slipped the edge of the first check in, and it grabbed it from my hand and sucked it inside the machine. Then it spit it back out. So I tried again, with the same result. "OK," I thought, "maybe it doesn't like that check because it had been folded in half and had a crease in it I couldn't get rid of. At least it's the smaller check, so I'll try the other one that's so nice and flat."

I again pressed the demanded buttons, the machine grabbed my check out of my hand, and then try to spit it out without the slot fully opening. The check jammed up against the "lips" on the slot, and as I tried to reach in and grab it, the machine continued to suck it in, spit it out, suck in, spit out, and so on, making the jam worse, but slowly getting enough of a corner to stick out so I could finally grab it and pull it out. At this point, the check was torn and crumpled, and there was no way I was going to try that check again.

"Well, maybe it's just this particular ATM." So I tried the one next to it. No luck. At that point, the branches were closed, so I couldn't walk in to make the deposit, and since the ATM change, we no longer even have the option of using an envelope. Poop. I was just so pissed that after all I did to try to get the deposit it on time, the stupid machine wouldn't let me. So, I called my husband and told him about my adventure and apologized for not being able to get it deposited, and could we reschedule the payments so that we aren't overdrawn. Then he tells me we aren't going to be overdrawn, just low on cash. Great. Thanks for clarifying that before I had a freaking stroke!

I think I can reliably say that I will not be using the ATMs for my deposits any longer. Add to these problems the fact that there are no longer any mirrors for me to be able to watch the scary person who is wandering around behind me, and I doubt I will be using the ATMs at all. Hey, maybe I can help keep a human being employed. Silver lining!