USING AN ATM

September 21, 2007

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ATM’s are a ‘traveler’s” friend. I feel bad saying that though; they aren’t human, and you can’t form meaningful relationships with them. And they don’t give lollipops—a big drawback in my estimation. But they sure help when you are feeling overwhelmed and in need of a machine that won’t look at you funny when you make a mistake.

Your bank’s ATM can do most of the things that a teller can do—you can deposit money, withdraw money, and check your balance. My husband’s first bank account was described as a student account; therefore he had to always use the ATM and was penalized if he talked to a real person. Needless to say he got quite chummy with the ATM, and taught me to do the same.

First off, if someone is using the ATM when you pull up, stay in your car, or hang back a little on the sidewalk. People get pretty edgy if you crowd them while they are entering their personal information. When they are done, step up with your debit card in hand. Insert the debit card and follow the directions. They should first tell you to enter your pin. Try to remember your pin or have it on hand (I always forget it and get myself into trouble). Then they will ask what you want to do. Let’s say you have that brand spankin’ new pay check from your new job. Grab an envelope, and put in the pay check. Then tell the ATM that you want to make a deposit. It will have you enter the amount that you are depositing. Then the little slot to insert the envelope will open, and you can put the envelope in. It will then ask if you want a receipt, if you want to do anything else (like withdraw cash), and then it will remind you to take your card. ATM’s at gas stations and other banks will work much the same way, but you will likely be charged fines for using them. When you are finished you can step away from the ATM with some cash, your check deposited, and a smile on your face.

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