This blog post may contain one or more of the following; extreme sarcasm, scenes of a criminal nature, references to violence, and, references to activities which can only be carried out by someone over the age of 16 (except with parental consent). You have been warned. If you find any of the above-mentioned things offensive please read one of my other blog posts.
I have a habit of attempting to deal with live humans whereever possible. Even though I can just about remember how to create a simple computer program using the BASIC language I have never managed to find a way to properly interrogate an Automated Telling Machine (ATM or "Hole In The Wall" or "Cash Machine") and get useful answers out of it. The similarities between a Talking ATM and the Talking Toaster from "Red Dwarf" are enough to drive me mad every time I attempt to imagine one!
I have another name for ATM's - "Automatic Temper-Inducing Machines". If you want to know how I came up with that name for them feel free to read on.
There are at least two major problems with most ATM's (as well as the stupid computer type machines where you can theoretically check your balance and cancel standing orders in branches of one particular High Street Bank) - at least as far as I am concerned.
The first major problem is the place where you usually find an ATM - ie, outside where it is usually positioned in a wall which is guaranteed to be in direct sunlight. The exact position of the aforementioned ATM usually means I have to scrunch myself up in order to be able to see the screen in the event of it being sunny - can't someone position another one a little higher up the wall (preferably with some kind of hood over it to keep the sun out)?
The other thing is the font and size of the writing on the screens. I admit that ATM's have to be a uniform size to fit into walls but expecting me to see and decipher eight small boxes, then make a quick decision (especially when there is a queue or a group of people near me) is not conducive to my happiness. There should be fewer boxes and fewer buttons which are more spaced out.
There is one particular High Street Bank which is on the verge of completely losing my business for two reasons. I have found most of the staff to be seriously unhelpful. Last Wednesday was the final straw as far as I was concerned.
Not only do I absolutely hate using their computer-type machines for checking when money is coming into or going out of my account, but I am not too keen on dealing with Androids posing as humans.
I have complained several times to one particular branch of this particular Hight Street Bank (its full name mentions a former British Colony as well as a major Asian city) as I feel their computers contravene the "Disability Discrimination Act" but with no satisfactory result.
Let's just say that they give you a choice between two font sizes for their screens - one of which I need a microscope to be able to read comfortably (they call this one "Small") and one of which I would really need a magnifying glass to read comfortably (they call this one "Normal"). I have asked several times for the addition of a font I would actually be able to read comfortably (they would pobably call this one "Large") without success.
However, this was not the final straw that drove me to open a Bank Account elsewhere. That resulted in me - for the first time in my life - wishing some criminals had taken their activities one step further.
Allow me to explain;
There have recently been some rather interesting criminal activities going on in Leicestershire involving the theft of JCB diggers (at least I assume they were stolen) which were subsequently used to remove ATM's from the walls of Cooperative Shops - Also known as the "COOP" (pronounced "Co-op").
On Wednesday I had decided to open a Bank Account with another Bank (this one staffed by very friendly humans - as well as a very nice man called Jeremy and a nice Manager called Theresa). As a result of opening the account with TSB I had to transfer some money into it.
What I thought was going to be a five minute walk to the nearest branch of the old Bank, get the cheque, and walk back to the new Bank to pay it in, ended up with a very irate Ineke having to get a bus to a different branch of the old Bank to get the cheque because of a "Security Alert" at the nearest branch. The only indication of the Security Alert was a rope blocking the lift to the floor where the desk was until a rather snooty female Android in a grey uniform asked me if I had an appointment - and grilled me on what I wanted to do - before telling me to find another Branch.
On the other hand, the staff at TSB couldn't have been more helpful if they had tried.
I will deal with machines if I absolutely have to when it comes to making financial transactions or getting financial information. However, the only Androids I have ever felt comfortable dealing with are mobile phones - not corporate humans.
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