Tuesday, April 08, 2008

the living planet

You know, hole yourself up for long enough, and you re-emerge into a world of incompetence.

There's a world of incompetence out there I actually almost forgot about.

Went to Rosebank the other night. And I go to the bank (noticing wearily that Nino's is all plastic and sparkly now – seems it has got a facelift in the past few weeks), and I stand in the queue at the ATMS.

Firstly, out of the three ATMS, one isn't working. Fine, that happens. Then the dude in front of me proceeds to break the other one. How do you break an ATM? Don't answer that, there are many ways to fuck up an ATM, but he did it I assume, accidentally, and fairly unobtrusively. He then doesn't tell me he'd broken it, neither does the security guard whose hanging around, and I push my card in. Only it doesn't come out, and neither does my R200.

Ten minutes of whirrs go by. So I say to El Security Guardo: “Dude, my card's stuck. Did you know this machine is broken?”

Yes. He did know. He just didn't feel like telling me.
OK then. Is there a number I can call for Standard Bank so that I can cancel my swallowed card?


“You sure? This is a potentially hot heist area, no emergency numbers you can point me towards?”

No. Doesn't know.

“It'll come out......eh...maybe eventually,” he says.

Oh awesome. So what I'll do is just stand here and wait for that to maybe happen? The queue behind me is getting longer.

Wow have I missed this outside world. Good to know some things never change. Better even to know that when the world seems like a dangerous and unfamiliar place – there is a certain....safe familiarity in that incompetence is still very much all around. Reminding you - quickly - that all is going on as normal in the real world.

Luckily, the card spits itself out somehow. Except now, the last remaining machine is taken up by two women who are having I-didn't-take-my-Ritalin-this-morning-or-like-something trouble. They're giggling and fannying about and not really attending to the money-withdrawel process. Oh wait, the card comes out....and gets pushed right back in. Then a few buttons are pressed, then a statement, then a confused debate with our hero the security guard. By now, I've left a mate waiting for 30 minutes at a restaurant. And still no money in hand.

I haven't really missed that if I'm gonna be honest.


Nessers said...

oooh I am first today grin. Well having just decided to go into seclusion for a while there is nothing about malls that I will miss - people irritate me beyond belief and are all morons so it is just safer that way - besides I have books to read

Sometimes you just have to let life suck and mine is at the moment

Peas on Toast said...

Nessers -shame my dear, it sounds like you're going through a hard time! I hope it rides itself out soon? Yes seclusion has worked well for me, just to get my head around stuff etc etc, and I also hate malls...and books have saved my life! :)

Hope it gets better, and big hugs. xxx

happy snapper said...

Wow, I know what you mean. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people can be...and often, without even trying. Im not a big fan of malls either...lots of slow walking people.

Sheena Gates said...

...ATM's kill me. I swipe wherever I go. Cash is soooo last year.

MsBehavn said...

Every time I use an atm I'm shit-scared that the damn thing will swallow my card in one of those scam things everyone warns you about. Where all of my bank accounts will be cleaned out by an unscrupulous thief.

Then I remember that my bank accounts are pretty much empty anyway.


Peas on Toast said...

happy snapper - the slow walking people KILL me. I hear you babe, I hear you!

Sheena - I tend to swipe all the time too. (That sounds dodge, but you know what I mean). That is until I have to pay parking or something like that.

MsBehavn - sigh indeed! You're in good company :) I also get nervous when the machine seems a little funny - like the slot place is weird and then I reckon, "This is a set up! Someone's going to steal my R133.74!"

leez said...

Theres a reason they created plastic. Its meant to rid us of that scourge called cash.

thats the reason I'm an expert swiper. just make sure they bring you one of those portable machine thingies where they bring it to your table. had a nasty experience in News one evening.

oh, and avoid internet banking. you see debits that were made which you know you didnt spend. I mean who would be caught dead in that partcular debited item? ...

thats my two cents for the day, no charge this time...

Peas on Toast said...

Hi leez

Thanks for your free advice! :)

I use internet banking a lot, a lot. And yes there are always those funny little service charges and management fees and really what the fuck were they for anyway? They seem to pop out of nowhere, and not just after I draw cash - just somma. So a good point.

But as much as we live in a cashless society now, we still need a bit for those places or times where we can swipe. Paying for parking, the carguard, the newspaper, restaurants like Espresso that don't take cards...that sort of stuff. But I agree, usually I don't carry a lot of cash at all. I just end up spending it. * sigh *

nick plowman said...

Rosebank, gross.

I am beginning to hate its incompetence and bad smell. That is just me though.

Peas on Toast said...

Nick - hahaha :)

Any better suggestions? And please don't say Sandton City :)