Yesterday morning I was obliged to go to the bank and sort out a ATM issue that happens from time to time. The one where the ATM pretends to give you money, then decides not to, but charges you anyway.
It’s honestly very common, especially when flirting with the maximum allowances.
It’s easily fixed without my involvement, once the withdrawal ledgers are checked against the ATMs remaining balance, but- I like to confirm things.
Before I could enter the bank I’m gingerly frisked by one of two armed security guards in sun bleached camouflage fatigues. They don’t like my water bottle, I have to leave it. I tell them if anyone takes it to shoot them, they laugh and agree.
The bank is packed! There are rows upon rows of people seemingly waiting for their number to get called? I don’t know how that works, I don’t have time to analyze too deeply because I’m greeted right away by a suited man looking out at the floor from behind the dirty plexiglass partition.
He lets me explain my entire issue with painstaking attention to detail before telling me slowly and solemnly to “Seek the ATM officer on level 2“.
Once upstairs I can look into all the offices. On the floor to ceiling glass walls there are paper titles taped, branch manager, operations manager and loans manager. I poke my head into the office with the most people and say “sorry to interrupt, I’m seeking the ATM manager.” One of the three takes the question, he’s well dressed, young and sitting behind a large vintage off white computer from the 90’s.
I explain the problem, every so often checking in that I have short jean shorts on, and not to cross my legs.
Soon all three men are on my problem checking their computers, verifying my credit card number, inferring what this supremely wealth baby was really saying.
At last it ended with the well dressed man calling the 1-800 number via land line on my behalf. Occasionally looking at me while chewing his lower lip in annoyance.
While I was sitting there, among the cacophony of vintage printers and telephone rings both familiar and new, I admit, I was mentally architecting a grand bank heist, it would be so easy. No cameras. All hard currency. I just needed to figure out a way to get that rectangular hard drive being passed around from office to office.
“You will see changes to your account in 3 days, if not come back to the bank” the well dressed man said. Putting an end to my African heist fantasy – for now.
When I was sorted I made it a point to pop my head into every office on the way out to say “Thank you” -“Ykeh-Neh-Lay“.
The banks manager looked up from the windows 95′ spreadsheet he was no doubt navigating, raised both hands to wave me goodbye- or get out, but I think, goodbye.
Once outside I was horrified to see hundreds of dead bodies piled 3 meters high around my orange water bottle, a blood soaked guard chewing a toothpick offering me a tired but accomplished wink.
Here you go he said, never return.