I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Waiting in the ATM Line

I was running a few minutes behind schedule yesterday afternoon when I pulled into the ATM line at my bank. A man in a van pulled in just ahead of me, so I was second in line. I thought he might be filling out a deposit slip while sitting at the machine (which is a pet peeve of mine) because it took him so long to insert his debit card, but looking back, I have no idea what took him several minutes to get the process started. But it gets worse.

After two to three minutes of sitting there, he finally inserted his card and punched in a PIN number. Then he touched a few buttons on the screen and I thought it would all be over soon. A guy in a truck pulled in behind me. The guy at the machine hit more buttons on the key pad. It looked like he hit enough numbers to dial China. A few more punches of the buttons on the screen...and then he went back to the key pad. Finally, he appeared to give up, removed his card, and then he put it back in again and he repeated the process twice more. He probably sat there for ten minutes while the line behind him grew longer and longer.

I'm probably about average when it comes to patience in a situation like this, but even the average person would begin to get upset if he had been in my shoes. The guy probably had never used an ATM before or he was low on funds and was trying to figure out how much he had in his account, but common courtesy would prompt most people to see the line forming behind him and maybe pull around to the back of the line so everyone else could get their banking done.

After he finally drove off, I wondered if I should have offered to help him rather than get frustrated. It's probably not smart to approach someone at an ATM machine though. Maybe I should have had more compassion, but where do you draw the line between compassion and his lack of respect for everyone else's time?


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