It’s Tuesday, and— Okay, wait a minute, it’s not really Tuesday, not now anyway, but this happened Tuesday, and since I haven’t written anything since Sunday, I get to tell you what happened Tuesday. Besides, for the purposes of this story, it doesn’t really matter what day it is. It might as well be Tuesday.
So it’s Tuesday (let’s say), and I’m standing at the ATM depositing last week’s paycheck. I’m depositing last week’s paycheck because this week’s paycheck hasn’t been written yet. Why? I hear you ask, somewhat indistinctly. (Speak up, please). Because Monday was a holiday and I didn’t get the time cards until Tuesday afternoon, so how could I have written the paychecks by Tuesday morning? I mean, come on. Pay attention here.
So it’s Tuesday and I’m standing at the ATM depositing a paycheck (which just happens, for no relevant reason, to be last week’s). This is at the supermarket, where there are two ATMs side-by-side, and in front of the ATM next to mine is a woman who is having trouble. It might be the first time she’s ever used an ATM, or maybe it’s just the first time in a long time, or the first time she’s used this particular machine. She politely asks me if I know where to find the envelopes to put her check in so she can deposit it.
When I explain to her that you don’t need an envelope, because you just slide the check into the little blinking slot, she gets a bit exasperated trying to figure out how that complicated operation works, so I leave my ATM (keeping as much of my body as I can in front of it, while leaning heavily sideways) and show her how to stick the check in the slot. Meanwhile, my machine starts blinking and beeping madly, as do the people in the line behind us.
The woman is still having trouble. Can’t find the slot. She sees where the blinking light is, and she sees the arrow, but she’s trying to stick the check through the solid metal, instead of looking for the opening. Or maybe she’s looking for the opening and can’t see it. I’ve been there. I know how it is when you know how something is supposed to work, but you don’t know enough to make it actually work. So I lean over and stick her check in the slot for her.
This really pisses off my ATM (even more than it pisses off the people in line behind me). “It seems you need a little more time,” reads the message on the screen. “Just let us know when you’re ready,” it says (or words to that effect). So I push buttons frantically, deposit my check, get my cash back, and hightail it out the door before I’m called on to perform any more good deeds. One a day is enough for this moderately good Samaritan.