So I'm standing, mildly put off, this Saturday at a distance from two people, a man and a woman separately using the available ATMs outside the bank. Their looks don't quite repel me, but there is a 'social evaluation' going on whose upshot goes something like this: so very glad I'm not them.
Well. The woman at the machine backs off and comes my way. It's not accepting check deposits, she says. Gets in front of me, but indicates I can go ahead. I'm there to deposit a check, but I'm dubious about her judgment. Really? I say, almost melodically -- kind, but with a patronizing skepticism.
I go to the machine. It tells me it cannot now accept checks. I go back in line, behind the woman who just clued me. That's what it does say!
Such verification cements me, perhaps by the 'egg-yolk' on my face, in unity with the gal. A new guy wearing a baseball cap files behind us, and we tell what's up. He, too, has come to deposit a check. So we're a line of three.
The fellow at the other ATM is still futzing away at his business, and noting the queue, looks over apologetically and says Sorry! I'm almost finished.
No problem, we indicate.
Now a fourth person, another woman, joins us, we fill her in and invite her to go ahead with her transaction, which isn't a deposit. It works fine, and she remarks that such a problem as ours did occur at another ATM just this week. She wishes us a quick resolution and a fine day.
We're now becoming 'a community', all commending her on her luck at this machine.
The original guy leaves, and the lady in front of me tries his ATM. It works. As I take her place, it's almost a 'high-five' moment. Two clean points, our team is up by six.
Now I take my chance and discover that it's accepting my check, but not reading it effectively enough to note the deposit amount without a 'zoom'. Perhaps an allied glitch. But the zoom works; so too the deposit. As I leave, I pass the baton to the baseball cap man by verifying that the ATM will handle him.
Even though we've 'been in this together', I feel superior, utterly in charge, utterly analytical and socially skilled, dealing with a class of people I wouldn't want to sit with at the theater or stand with in the museum. Well. They wouldn't be there, would they? I think. No need to bring the hand sanitizer.
As I unlock my car and get in, hoping to scoot away before the guy leaves the machine, he rushes up to me. Holding my ATM card in his hand.
You forgot this! He says cheerfully.
I take it with a genuine thank you, feeling totally lame.