Yes, it is!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why ATMs Should All Be Created Equal...

And why husbands should not go to the grocery store alone.
Okay, before anybody flames me, I should affirm that I do love my husband.  I do, I really do.  But this ADD stuff?  I could live without it.
So yesterday my husband informs me that he had to report his ATM/debit card lost.  He called and told our bank that the ATM that we used mid-week captured his card because of the amount of money that we withdrew.  Captured?  Hmm.  That boggled my mind.  It wasn't as if we withdrew a thousand dollars.  In order to be good stewards and not use a charge card, we actually withdrew a little less than $500 from our checking account to pay the auto repairman the balance due after he repaired the damage to my car left by a hit and run.  Do you think the ATM would really retain a debit card for withdrawing that amount of money?  I don't think so.  My suspicion is that T left his debit card behind at the machine after he withdrew the money.  And instead of putting his debit card in his wallet immediately after the withdrawal, he stood at the machine and counted the money while his card waited for him to grab it.  I know, I was there.  However, I don't recall if T grabbed his card because he was standing at the machine counting the money while I contended with the kids who were seated in the back of the SUV.
When T went to use his card on Friday, he realized he didn't have it in his possession.  Now this is not the first time this has happened.  It seems that anytime T uses a machine that requires the card to be retained until the transaction is terminated, T has a difficult time remembering to grab his card back.  And instead of listening to the warning chime, he assumes that the beep is because his picture is being taken after using the machine.  Seriously folks, at least that was the excuse a few months ago when this very thing happened the first time.  But the excuse he gave to our bank for the missing debit card?  Classic.   My new rule from here on out is that T is no longer allowed to use an ATM that requires the card to be retained inside the machine during the entire transaction.  He must leave immediately and go to the nearest ATM that only requires that the card  be slid through the card reader.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  Well, T does now.
So now that T has no debit card, he either must wait for his new card to arrive or use his credit card.  Today, T wanted to go to the grocery store to get lunch items for the weekend and for work.  He made no mention of loading up on groceries.  In fact, the pantry is well stocked at the moment.  He mentioned that he had no cash on hand and that he would have to use the credit card.  I, wanting to avoid using the credit card, offered T my debit card with the promise that I would get it back as soon as he arrived back home.  And I assumed that he would remember that my PIN for my card is the same as his PIN.   So, off he goes with Jackie in tow.  I don't know why, but soon after T left, I started to panic because I just had a feeling.  A bad feeling.  And my hunch was right.  About an hour and a half after he left, T arrived back home, extremely irritated.  Oh boy, I knew I should have gone with him.  I thought T was going to the store for just a few items, not all out grocery shopping.  First, T went to the BX to buy t-shirts and socks.  He tried to use my debit card but when the cashier asked to verify the card, T was denied.  So, he used the credit card.  Okay, I was fine with that.  It wasn't as if he was charging food with the credit card.  So then he makes his way to the commissary.  T loaded up with groceries and when he went to pay for it, he requested a small amount of cash back so he could pay the bagger a tip (this is a military commissary thing for those who are unfamiliar).  The cashier entered the amount that T requested and told T to slide the card down the card reader.  All seemed to go smooth until the cashier did not hand T the extra cash that he requested.  When T asked for the cash, the cashier informed T that he couldn't give him that money because it was a credit card.  What?  Ughhh.  I just had to shake my head when T explained that because he had a problem using my debit card at the BX, he decided to go ahead and use his CREDIT card at the commissary.  And because it was a credit card, T could not get the cash to pay the tip to the bagger.  Unfortunately, we were charged a few dollars for something as evidenced on the store receipt.  I guess I'll have to call the commissary and the bank on Monday. Ughhhhh.  Also?  Before T left the house, I told him that the commissary rarely verifies my card and that he more than likely would have no problem using it.  It's too bad that T decided to deviate from his stated plans to me.  That trip to the BX really threw him off.  Dang ADD.
As I put the groceries away, I told T that I didn't not expect him to get that amount of groceries. His response? That's why he wanted me to go with him.  Heheheh.  First of all, he never asked me to go with him and second of all, he had said that he was going to get just a few items, not go shopping for clothing and a cart full of groceries.  If I had known he was going to grocery shop, believe me, I would have gone with T because he really does not know how to grocery shop.  And because he let a little 6-year girl tell him what she liked and he bought it without considering how this same little girl has previously asked us to buy these certain items and then decided she did not like them after all.  So now I have stuff in the pantry and refrigerator that is there for display purposes.
While I was still putting groceries away, T told me that he also bought stuff for dinner.  Okay, I did notice baking potatoes and fresh broccoli and a steak.  I assumed that is what he bought for dinner.  Since I don't eat red meat, I just figured that I would eat just a potato and broccoli.
Soon after I got the groceries put away, T asked me what was for dinner.  I couldn't help but stop in my tracks.  Did I hear him right?  I thought he bought stuff for dinner.  Arghhh.  I told him that I though he bought stuff for dinner.  Well, not the steak.  The steak was for him but he didn't get anything else for me or the kids.  I just had to shake me head.  I could not even respond.  And I didn't want to say anything else for fear that I would make him feel even worse after the ordeal that he had just experienced.  So, I just sat on the sofa and read a fellow blogger's blog.  Then a few moments later, T asked again what was for dinner.  Okay, now that I had a few moments to decompress the stress of T's ordeal, I got up to look in the pantry for ideas.  I immediately noticed taco stuff.  I asked T if he wanted that and he gave me an affirmative.  So, I get everything together quickly and noticed that I did not have fresh lettuce and we needed another tomato.  So Tim offered to go to Dierberg's just down the road from us.  I gave him explicit instructions for using my debit card again.  He seemed surprised when I reminded him of my PIN.  It was immediately apparently that he must have forgotten that we both have the same PINs as I had requested years ago.  I told T that we needed just lettuce and tomato, nothing else.  I was so proud of him when he arrived back home in minutes with the requested items in hand.  Everything appeared to go smoothly for T.  That is, until T said that I was going to be mad at him.  What now?  He said that the 2 little tomatoes cost him nearly $4.00.  Well, I knew Dierberg's was a higher priced grocery store.  But $4.00 per pound tomatoes?  I asked T if he bought the beefsteak ones.  He showed me the tomatoes.  Oh no, those were not beefsteak.  They were just the regular greenhouse variety.  So, I took a closer look at the store receipt.  I noticed just 2 items, lettuce and shallots.  Shallots!  Shallots. You know, that onion-type of vegetable.  And it looks nothing like a tomato.  No wonder those 2 little tomatoes were nearly $4.00.
I then asked T if he went through the self-checkout.  Yes.  But he said he used the code that was stamped on the sticker.  Fail.  He entered the wrong code.  Ughh, ADD.  So we enjoyed some expensive tomatoes tonight with our turkey tacos.
Lessons learned this week?  Do not let ADD husbands use ATMS alone and do not let ADD husbands go to the commissary alone.  And?  Make sure ADD husbands know the difference between shallots and tomatoes and to use the attended check-out lanes at the grocery store.
Tomorrow will be a better day.

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