It was raining. It was a Monday. I was running late. I had to go out of my way and pick up coffee and pastries before I got in to the office. Needless to say, I was not in a very good mood. I got up to the counter, holding my company credit card, and the barrista (Is it barristo for a guy?) said, “Oh, we only take cash and check, but we have an ATM over there.” I gritted my teeth into a smile and muttered that I would be right back. My bank was in the same shopping area, so I ran out into the rain to use their ATM to avoid that pesky surcharge.
Upon obtaining the cash, shivering in line, and then paying for bagfuls of muffins, croissants, and the like, I noticed that the slot where my ATM card usually goes in my wallet was strangely vacant. I panicked.
This would be something I would do, like forgetting my Styrofoam box of leftovers at the restaurant or the address when I need to ship a package! What if someone took it? I have to call the bank and make sure no one is debit-ing up a storm!
I grabbed the food, ran through the rain to the car, and frantically clawed through my whole wallet and purse – no ATM card. I ran back to the machine, only to find a beneficent green light blinking under the words, Insert Card Here. I took a deep breath.
The bank wasn’t open at the time, so I went to my office, trying not to overreact. I talked it over with a co-worker, who was almost positive that the ATM has a security measure to suck the card back inside the machine after maybe 30 seconds, so I followed his recommendation to call the branch itself, and lo and behold! They had my card! I walked over to pick it up -
Me: Hi, I called earlier because I left my ATM card in the machine out front.
Teller: Oh, are you RA?
Me: Yes, I am. (goes to pull out license)
Teller: Okay, I’ll be right back. (leaves, returns with card) Here’s your card and have a nice day!
Close observers will note that not only did I not have to show my photo ID to verify that I was the holder of the card, I didn’t even have to state my own name. Any random girl could have walked in and ended up with the same result! And maybe I’m just paranoid and maybe it’s just that I have a shifty bank, but honestly. What did I learn? Don’t leave the ATM card in the machine.
But that’s probably common sense already. Or something like that.