ATM Blues

I was always a big advocate for using ATMs. I started using an ATM primarily since 2003, when I worked for Aspinwall and they gave us salary accounts (zero balance) with HDFC. Since then I have always used it and rarely ever been inside a band unless I absolutely had to and if there was not option to do it from an ATM. The past year, since I changed my primary cell phone number to prepaid, I was also using the ATM to recharge my connection. My former company had a tie-up with HDFC and hence any of the customer’s using my former company’s connection could recharge via an ATM (of selected banks). This was one of the coolest aspects of using the ATM as well. And practical! Since moving to Kacheripady I would often get down, late at night, near the ATM and do my recharges before coming back home. And since two ATMs were less than 5 minutes away, there was a certain comfort level in it. I could use it in an emergency or even otherwise like if there was a total bandh or a hartal or a bus strike! Yes people, if you live in Kerala these kind of thoughts are very, very normal everyday thoughts. You’ll know once u settle down here for a few weeks or so. Hell, people not from here, notice that during their first few days in and talk about it a lot.

But I have been having some problems lately. About a week ago, I was at the ATM near Padma, to get some cash before I go shopping. I tried to take Rs.1200 out. Just as I keyed in the amount, I got a phone call from Jalpa. I took out my cell and was trying to juggled the ATM, my wallet, my phone & it’s pouch. So I tried keeping the pouch and my wallet on the table next to the ATM, so I could pull my card out. It must have taken just 5 seconds or so, but some asshole swooped in and pressed some button on the ATM machine by then. I was a little pissed but I told him that I wasn’t through so to wait his turn like a normal being. What he did I don’t know but somehow, I didn’t get the entire money out – after I took my card & the money out, I noticed that I only got a Rs.500 note and two Rs.100 notes. A Rs.500 was missing. The asshole told me then (??) that he saw a Rs.500 note stuck in the slot that the money comes out of. I was so fucking angry that I almost slugged him. But I waited until he was over then tried again. No luck! So I had to sign a complaint and they called me and got the money back in my account in a couple of days.

And yesterday another thing – I normally never have any issues when I recharge via the ATM. But yesterday I tried recharging Rs.100 for my sim and I got a printout to that effect. But no go; it didn’t get recharged. And I threw away the printout with the transaction number so now I can’t lodge a complaint either. That is money down the drain. I am so pissed off right now.

Song for the day – “Money Talks” – AC/DC

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