Conversation with a Bankomat

The time I spend in front of an ATM is usually quite short – CHECKING CARD DETAILS – LANGUAGE – CHECKING AGAIN (why it checks twice I don’t know) – ENTER PIN – CASH – AMOUNT – NO RECEIPT – END.

Very occasionally those last few steps are – CASH – AMOUNT – “YOU’VE GOT TO BE JOKING, RIGHT?” – SMALLER AMOUNT – “GETTING WARMER” – ANNOYINGLY SMALL AMOUNT – NO RECEIPT – END.

However, I’m obviously quite unusual in this respect as most of the people I find in front of me in the queue take three times longer and many don’t leave with any cash, which I thought was the whole idea! I’m starting to wonder if people have the same difficulties with ATMs as they have with lifts?

ATM: Welcome, can I interest you in tickets for this excellent movie.

PERSON: Yes

ATM: Excellent! How many tickets would you like?

PERSON: What tickets?

ATM: For the movie! No, I’m only joking it was just an advert. I don’t do cinema tickets.

PERSON: Oh, okay. What do we do now?

ATM: CHECKING CARD DETAILS

PERSON: ?

ATM: LANGUAGE

PERSON: Chinese

ATM: Are you sure about this?

PERSON: Yes

ATM: 中國哲學書電子化計劃

PERSON: WTF?!

ATM: 書電子化計劃

PERSON: BACK

PERSON: BACK

ATM: LANGUAGE

PERSON: Polski

ATM: PIN?

PERSON: Wrong PIN

ATM: Would you like another go at that?

PERSON: (fumbles in handbag or with smartfon) Correct PIN

ATM: SERVICE?

PERSON: Bank statement for the last 17 years

ATM: This might take some time, are you sure?

PERSON: Yes!

[10 minutes later]

ATM: Here you go. Scroll with arrows.

PERSON: WTF?!

PERSON: BACK, BACK…

ATM: Maybe you’d like some cash?

PERSON: Yes

ATM: Fast cash or slower cash?

PERSON: I don’t care, just give me some money!

ATM: FAST CASH – AMOUNT?

PERSON: 250 PLN

ATM: INSUFFICIENT FUNDS

PERSON: 200 PLN

ATM: INSUFFICIENT FUNDS

PERSON: 150 PLN

ATM: Perhaps if I give you a clue we can save some time here. The number you are looking for is somewhere between nothing and twenty.

PERSON: 140 PLN

ATM: How about 10?

PERSON: How am I supposed to buy a refill for my e-cigarette with only 10 zloty?

ATM: Not my problem mate!

PERSON: BACK, BACK…how do I find my other account?

ATM: Don’t even bother, the other account has nothing in it.

PERSON: Are you sure?

ATM: Yes. You’re wife was here yesterday.

PERSON: BACK, BACK, BACK, CANCEL.

ATM: Have a nice day!

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2 thoughts on “Conversation with a Bankomat

  1. I also often wonder what others in front of me are doing that takes so long.

    It seems like I spend maaaybe 90 seconds in front of the cash point, perhaps as little as 60 from the “wait for the avert to appear after the last person used the machine thus signifying it is ready to actually take my card” to “three millimeters of the card have been slowly pushed out of the machine, I will yank it out the rest of the way …and cash, great, shove it in a pocket …and done.”

  2. There’s an additional subroutine that could explain people leaving with no cash or otherwise pausing in shock.

    ATM: I see you have a foreign card. The only way I’m going to give you cash is if you agree to a 7% punishment.
    PERSON:
    PEOPLE BEHIND: What the hell is taking so long? Must be an American.

    I only encountered this at Pekao in the Rynek in Kraków and nearby, and at KRK. Since I was staying south of town, I just got my money closer to home from then on, and never encountered it again. I also did not run into this in Warsaw.

    I’ve not encountered this in Europe before. Is it just Poland? Or is it more widespread but new for 2013 (I didn’t see it in Turkey or Georgia.)

    Really a shame to see this in the airport. They put the effort in to clean up the taxi mafia, now this rather unpleasant gotcha upon arrival. And surprise, surprise: the amounts the ATM offers works in reverse if you agree (I had zero złoty when I got there so I was stuck) offering amounts in the thousands, and you must step down if you only want a few hundred or less. And no Kantor? Sweet deal for somebody….

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