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Out of order

Bas and I had planned on going to Utrecht to some old-timer exchange today so I went out to get some cash from an ATM last night. Those cash machines are more common every day but you never know if a hall like that has one so to be sure it’s good to carry some cash around.

After the usual procedure of entering the code, choosing the amount and way you want receive it from the machine, the bank card comes out and you wait until that thing has counted the money after which it hands it to you. Or so it should.

This time around it did all the usual things right up to the part where it was supposed to hand me the money. ‘There has been an error’ it said on the screen, ‘please contact your bank and note down the ATM number’. Ah, just my luck. You would think I have had my fair share of hardware failures over the past period but no, wrong again, there’s always room for one more …

So I called the bank, which answered in a record three rings so that was good, and explained the situation:

Oh‘, said the friendly voice on the other side, ‘it happens from time to time. You have nothing to worry about though sir, the machine can tell it hasn’t given the money out and it will be refunded to your account before you get home.’

So can I try again just now?’ I asked a bit reluctant.

That shouldn’t be a problem, unless the screen still has an error message on it.’

Ok, I’ll give it a try then. Thanks.’

This may not be the best of times to ask you this sir, but I see that we’re not having you listed for having travel insurance. Did you ever consider having it with us?

I was a bit astonished. I phoned them to tell about my ATM problem and now they wanted to use my phone minutes to ask me about insurance? What’s the world coming to I wonder …

Well to tell you the truth miss, I haven’t even considered travel insurance at all since I’m lucky to even get out of this state from time to time, let alone leave the entire country. But should the opportunity present itself I promise you you’ll be among the first I’ll call.’

Thank you sir, I appreciate that.’

No problem, good night.’

After I hung up I tried that ATM again and just like the lady had predicted it worked nicely and handed me my money. When I got home I checked my account directly and, again like she had told me, the refund was there already, it had been booked mere seconds after the withdrawal had taken place.

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