The accidental old-lady botherer

It was a Sunday afternoon and I had a caffeine withdrawal headache and I wasn’t in the mood for no nonsense. I just wanted to get some cash out from an ATM and go along to my favourite cafe and get a coffee.

As I was nearing the door of ASB Bank’s ATM lobby, a middle-aged woman entered it ahead of me. When I got inside, I saw that she was at one ATM, but the other one was out of service, so I stood back about two metres behind her and waited.

She seemed really tense and eventually turned around to look at me. I think she didn’t realise that the other machine was out of service, so she needed to find out why I wasn’t using it and why I was standing behind her.

“Are you waiting to use this one,” she asked. “Yes, that one is out of service,” I explained. She glanced over at it and said, “Oh, I didn’t even notice that when I came in. I just went straight to this one. Well, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t holding you up.”

I thought it was an interesting choice of words. I mean, she hadn’t even been there for minute and yet she apparently felt that she was taking too long.

But then I considered her choice of words – “holding you up”. It seemed like a bit of a Freudian slip. I think she was scared of the strange person lurking behind her. She was alone at an ATM on a quiet Sunday afternoon. She was scared that I was going to hold her up.

She had become quite flustered and seemed in a hurry to get her cash from the machine and leave, away from the notorious gangsta criminal R.O.B.Y.N.

Man, all I wanted was a coffee.

8 thoughts on “The accidental old-lady botherer”

  1. I feel tense when someone stands behind me at teh ATM. And it is for the fact that I feel like I’m taking too long. I wonder why that is??

    So where’s your favourite cafe? 🙂

  2. Perhaps you should have stood right behind her – breathing on her. That would have been awesome – she would have completely flipped out.

    I always get the feeling you are waiting to rob me. You look like a criminal.

  3. The rule seems to be that I will always be in line behind someone who gets printouts of all their account balances and then thinks a lot about things before making a withdrawal.
    If I’m really lucky it will be a woman who also wants to rearrange her handbag while standing at the ATM after withdrawing cash.

  4. Kyla: Frasers in Mt Eden. An oldie but a goodie. They have Allpress beans and generally make excellent coffee. Plus their cake and slice selection is so good.

    Mel: Oh, but I am waiting to rob you! Nya ha ha!

    Max: You will be pleased to hear that my ATM technique is swift and streamlined. In and out faster than a member of Duran Duran on their 1983 Sing Blue Silver Tour.

  5. Maybe she was uncomfortable with using modern technology so felt like she was taking longer than most people do, unaware that she wasn’t.

  6. I told off some young boys who I thought were bothering the homeless fellow who frequents Ponsonby Road. Turned out they were giving him some money. I was rather embarrassed. Serves me right for trying to be nice. I certainly won’t try that again.

  7. I used to really enjoy depositing 20 cheques at a time in my local ATM. You couldn’t do them all at once though, oh no, you had to enter the amount for each one and get a print out, then put it in an envelope and feed it to the machine before doing the next. It was awesome.

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