Avatar How to use a cash machine

Many of us Millennials (I think we’re Millennials, are we Millennials?) have trouble using old-fashioned things. We do everything digitally now. Personally I get all my sleep done using an app and I have a monthly subscription that delivers all my food through my Smart TV. So it can be a bit of a challenge for us Millennials (Jesus I think we actually might be Millennials) to get to grips with the analogue world.

Old people and market stall traders use “money” in place of digital bank transfers and contactless payments. If you need some “money” you can get it from a cash machine. They can be bewildering if you’re under the age of 60, but don’t worry, they’re quite easy to use once you know how.

Here’s the correct procedure.

  1. Locate a cash machine. It will look like a sort of retro 80s video game machine embedded in the wall of a bank.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the layout of the machine. Designs can vary but they will all have some common features: a screen with control buttons down each side; a numeric keypad; a heavily fortified metal letterbox; and a little slot with a flashing green light.
  3. Insert your contactless bank card into the flashing slot. The machine is old and needs to actually make contact with it, but will give it back later.
  4. Look at the screen. It will usually ask you to wait, because it’s old. Eventually you’ll be asked for your PIN number. Try to remember this. It’s what you had to use before you had a contactless bank card.
  5. The screen will now ask you how much “money” you want and whether you want a receipt. Use the buttons next to the screen to appease its desire for information.
  6. A beeping noise will announce the return of your contactless bank card. Retrieve it from the slot when it is slowly regurgitated.
  7. The machine will now make whirring noises and, after an interval, the quantity of “money” you requested will be thrust out of the fortified letterbox.
  8. You need to still be standing at the machine if you want to actually claim this money. If you have absent-mindedly walked away as soon as your card is extruded, you will not get the money.
  9. If you stupidly walk away before the money appears, you will hear a loud beeping sound coming from the cash machine as you walk away, and you will spend a few seconds thinking it sounds like the sort of beeping sound a cash machine makes, and wondering why a cash machine might be making a noise like that.
  10. You will only realise when the beeping noise stops that it’s the sound of a cash machine trying to tell you you’ve got it to dispense some of your hard earned cash, £30 to be precise, and then idiotically absconded before the cash dispensing happened, leaving thirty of your precious sheets wafting in the breeze in a crowded shopping street.
  11. As the horror of your stupid, moronic actions finally dawn on you, you will turn around, just in time to see your thirty quid being removed from the machine by some middle aged woman whose face is a picture of nefarious glee, scarcely able to believe her luck that some brainless fool has just put three shiny tenners in her hand.
  12. You begin to run back to the cash machine, but the crowd of shoppers slows you down, you can’t get through, and meanwhile the woman has melted into the crowd, anonymous in a black coat in a sea of black coats, a bit shorter than average, lost below the heads and hats, and – probably wary of the fact that whoever just used the cash machine can only be a few paces away – is more than likely now darting for cover to make a getaway. She could have gone down a narrow alley on the left, or into one of the shops.
  13. By the time you get to the cash machine, she’s gone, and you’re £30 down, you absolute tool.
  14. You absolute tool.

13 comments on “How to use a cash machine

  • Once I was walking through the centre of Newcastle and needed to draw some cash out. As I approached the cash machine I could see a small stack of notes sticking out the front. Half expecting the owner to come rushing back, I looked around and there was no-one there. Thirty pounds all to myself, gratis.

  • Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s how my vast quantities of money arrive in the first place. Like cress.

    “Take care of the cress and the pounds look after themselves”, as my granny used to say.

  • Those are Newcastle pennies. Not only are they effectively worthless, but they won’t grow you any cress. It’s well known that Newcastle pennies are useful only for weighting down flimsy objects that are at risk of being disturbed by a breeze.

  • No. You’d get robbed as soon as they arrived, by Geordie ne’er-do-wells hungry for the London riches, so for your own safety that is not something I can agree to.

  • Exactly. The delicate clockwork that makes a London penny work (what?) would never survive the bumpy journey north.

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