Tag Archives: bank machines

Tuesday Morning Press #5: Voicemail, Debit Cards, Gratitude 100


I am a little late today, with my Tuesday morning press.

I have been assaulted by a meddlesome but not outright stomach bug. I chose my bed instead of yoga today, which bothers me because I love that class.

I don’t plan to spend much time here, I prefer a total recline to my current posture. But I will still adhere: less than one hour.

Suffice it to say, however that I am glad to be here complaining about it. The past few days I’ve written a little more than I’d planned. I disclosed my personal experience with PMDD when I wrote about women’s health and re-discovered yesterday that I had a great uncle, whom I’m sure I would have known if he had not died in Normandy in 1944. So I’m already ahead, if there were such a thing in a situation where no one but me is barely keeping score.

Before I felt blech this morning, I posted on my facebook wall this:

NnnnNnnn. Why can’t all voicemail systems be alike? Why can’t 3 be delete in all systems? It’s like those stupid debit card machines asking you 60 questions before you sign out. I sound ancient. Get off my lawn.

Resist urge to write about this.

Knowing me, as I do and as I suspect you’re getting to, I am now succumbing to the urge to write about this and my feelings of get-off-my-lawn ancientism (I made that up) regarding voicemail and debit card machines. My grandparents didn’t have such woes. My parents didn’t have such woes. Hell, up until about 10 years ago I didn’t have such woes.

On my landline at home (yes, I still have one of those) “3” deletes a message and “1” plays it again. It sorta makes sense as “3” is also the corresponding number for the letter D (delete) or E (erase) or F (I won’t go there). “1” makes sense because “1” initiates everything.

Let’s not talk about (ok, let’s do) how I was trained by the almighty Verizon (who also manages my mobile account, but it would be foolish of me to suggest that the same company use the same @)!$)(%@! protocols on its other service, identical in every possible way, save for the !)(&$@(%$ codes to keep, forward, delete, repeat and deconstruct messages.

On my cell phone, I have 47 saved messages because I can’t remember how to delete them. I also have 5 that I’ve already listened to, but don’t want to press the wrong button — I don’t want 52 saved messages. So, they sit there.

I am becoming one of those people. I am becoming my brother. His voicemail cache is never able to take incoming messages.

One day I will muster the enthusiasm required to sift through all those messages and delete them to kingdom come. I know, the next time I’m in carpool. Waiting to die.

So if it’s not my phone, the other “get off my lawn” moment comes when I am shopping. I don’t carry cash, or at least more than $20 on me. I use the debit card. When I go to Safeway, I am presented with a litany of questions about the transaction from the machine; the button to “cancel” is different there than it is at Giant (or Stop and Shop) or Wegman’s. When I’m there, at the different stores, I literally feel like an IDIOT when I’ve pushed the green button. When most of us would think that green means “go” mean on one machine, on another, it means “cancel” and I have to do the whole bloody thing again.

Da. Dew nyut laff. Awl yewr munny ees is komink frum dis wun baynk in Rrrussia.

To avoid all the questions, sometimes I press “credit” but then when I think I’m done, I’m not. I have to press “cancel” because the machine will think it’s a debit experience and well, it’s not equipped or programmed to think outside its own parameters. This, my friends, is where the humans will win. We can pick up the machine and stomp on it.

Of all the hideous retail debit card experiences, my vote for most insecure machine is Target’s. You suffer through the questions and it asks you toward the end the following (my sequence might be off):

  • Total: $600,425.98
  • Please confirm / Change
  • Do you want it all on the card?
  • Yes / No
  • Any cash back?
  • $20    $40    $60    No

and then this one:

  • Are you sure?
  • Yes / No

At this point, I want to transform into the Incredible Shopping Hulk and smash the machine. Kill the machine. Kill it with fire and leave it crying.

  • No cash back. Please confirm total.

But the machine isn’t left crying, I am because I feel codependent now. I feel that if I leave this machine, I won’t be giving it a job. It’s job is to take care of me and to offer me money, even though it might not be what’s best for our relationship, and my job is to be there, to let the machine give me the money.

But there are people waiting behind me, eager for their chance with the machine. I go on my way, sadly, to my car on the tarmac.

~  ~  ~

The deadline approaches! My post “Gratitude in 100” has received a modicum of responses and I am thankful for that. If you’re waiting until the bitter end to send me your thoughts, just how you express gratitude in 100 words or less (see the link above for details), I am ready for you! I am not having huge expectations because this is a wee blog with a wee following, but I love you guys and I appreciate your checking in.

The deadline is next Tuesday! Hurry!

Thank you.