Saturday, July 23, 2016

Empty Pockets

Seemed like a usual day of routine waking and then sleeping and dreaming and waking again. A cold shower because those who say said it will be real hot today.
Leftover blueberries for the morning feeding and the usual route to the Tummy Temple while everything seemed very normal. A few folks were out walking early and a few poor souls lined up to put on a new roof.
Grab a small basket with my soiled canvas bag and gather the blueberries and raw peanuts and then walk the store to cool on the air conditioning when an announcement comes over the speakers in the ceiling.
“Our credit card system is not working so you must provide cash or a check. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
I don’t carry cash or a checkbook. I’ve gotten so much into this easy plastic card thing that I don’t know how to respond to this limitation on my regular routine.
I wander the aisles past the pasta and the baking soda wondering if they will announce they have fixed it and I can go on my merry way. The announcement doesn’t come.
Suddenly I remember there is an ATM machine in the store.
There is already a line forming for recovery of cash to purchase grub so I find my place. One by one the frustrated shoppers with their carts full of huge boxes of sugar cereal or rotting meat punch their plastic cards and extract cash to move along.
Now it is my turn.
I have not personally used an ATM for many years and was unfamiliarly with the process on the screen. Sure knew how to shove it in and punch the numbers but then I got into a loop of preferences and couldn’t move on. After a few minutes, I canceled the transaction (I hope) and went in reverse to return all the items in my basket to there appropriate positions and left.
Should I go home and get my checkbook? Should I go to the bank and explain my technical confusion? Should I take another hour while the temperature is rising?
I decided to try the bank.
The bank is next to a Chic-Fil-A and is very popular so there was much traffic. A scooter was parked where I normally lock my bike and some vagabond hanging around so I move further down to lock up to a trashcan.
Instead of going into the bank and acting like some wussy who couldn’t figure out the ATM machine, I manned up and inserted my card.
Just as I remembered the instructions were clear and precise and I got my cash and I got my receipt and I got my card back. What had I missed at the other ATM?
Now with a pocket full of cash I retraced my steps. Blueberries, peanuts, and of course hydration were on the list.
Standing proudly in line with a hand full of cash, the checkout lady says the computer problem has been fixed.
Leaving with all my items and a pocket full of bucks I declare this as a learning lesson on a hot day. Don’t underestimate the inevitable.