It’s an ATM not a Nintendo game boy


Do I seem to always be queueing at an ATM with someone who seems to be playing a game on the console? Just put the card in and take out the money! Maybe people miss the interaction with a bank teller? For all I know they could be typing in ‘Good morning, how are your kids/cats/bunions?’ All I see is cards go in, lots of typing, staring at the screen, then reading slips of paper… only to repeat the whole process all over again with another card. The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Maybe I am the mad one expecting people just to extract money from an ATM rather than a prolonged electronic dialogue.

...and another thing

Electronic parking meters. I challenge anyone to sign on smoothly without a hitch. I was given a parking ticket in London once despite being on the phone trying to log in and pay for the parking bay. The Warden or Parking Enforcement Officer or whatever we have to call them now, just shrugged and said the car was in a bay and with no payment! We exchanged pleasantries with me suggesting she go forth and multiply (or a shortened Anglo Saxon phrase to that effect).

...and another thing

Electronic Supermarket check outs. Can any reader say they have self checked out without one of the Orwellian supervisors needing to come over and reset the recalcitrant machine? Here in Malta they constantly bleep telling me I have not scanned something, or have a phantom product on the out tray I have failed to scan or best of all try and charge me for my own bag! I howled with laughter this week when someone put a toddler on the ‘out tray’ and set off all sorts of alarm bells when she retrieved the kid to carry him out of the shop. Maybe she should simply stick a bar code on the kid’s butt?

...and another thing

The above is just an ‘amuse-bouche’ of the digital treats that are meant to smooth our path through our three score years and ten but in fact induce a new condition ‘digi-rage’

 You can add to this list trying to digitally check in a suitcase at the airport (bang goes security unless you think someone will type in they have a bomb in their baggage) which still manages to send your suit shirt and underpants to Rio while you are on the way to New York.

Paying for road traffic fines or congestion charges in those cities that levy them is another challenge… the challenge being not to shoot your computer screen as you yell at it. I honestly believe these are made as tortuous to navigate as the Minotaur’s dungeon, in the hope you do it wrong and get another fine for late payment!

Finally, I thought money was legal tender. Yet, there are limits so you cannot pay a £1,000 bill with penny pieces (much as I would enjoy making the Power suppliers spend hours counting), but how can shops now say they only take credit cards?

I need to face facts that I am getting old so am the picture frame of our times rather than the picture. Still, I would love to pay for something in one step. Why can’t we use PayPal for my tax bill!

Keep safe.

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