The Magical ATM

In the world of banking, the people on the front lines of the industry are known as tellers. These are the people who are expected to help customers with all of their day to day banking needs. It is often a thankless and miserable position to hold. These are their stories. These are their legends…

Bank Teller 4We got a call one day from a woman who wanted to let us know that our ATM made a mistake and gave her money that wasn’t hers. Apparently, she pulled up to the ATM, and before she even inserted her card or punched in her PIN, the machine gave her $400. She wanted to know what she should do.

Okay, I know the right thing to do is to return the money. But if there was a magical ATM out there that was just giving away $400, I’m pretty sure I’d want directions to that machine. When the teller that answered the phone asked the assistant manager what she should tell the woman, he said, “Do you want my answer or do you want the bank’s answer?”

A lot of people wouldn’t have bothered calling. That’s $400 that you just got for free. Congratulations!

But this woman, who made it clear that she just recently opened her account with us, called to complain. “I just opened this account with you guys and already it’s a hassle!” I’m sorry, but having $400 shoved in my face by accident is not what I’d call a “hassle.” That’s what I call “serendipity.”

30 Rock - ColumbusDid Columbus call Spain to complain when he hit the Caribbean instead of arriving in Indonesia? “Crap, guys! We’re in the wrong place! Turn it around!” No, he didn’t. Instead, he landed, enslaved the natives, called them Indians anyway, and pretended like he didn’t make a mistake at all. He kept the $400!

This woman just kept complaining about how much of a hassle it was for her to have to bring the money back to the branch. But it was made clear that she didn’t have to bring it to our branch. Any branch would do.

By the time the manager got off the phone with her, he was a little fed up with the phone call. When he hung up, he told us what he really wanted to say. “Do you want me to call Superman and have him fly backwards around the world to turn back time so this never would have happened to you?” If she had never called us, we’d have never known about the mistake. $400 gone and no one would have been the wiser.

I’d like to hear some of her other complaints about life…

“This diamond that my fiance got me is way too big and heavy! I can hardly lift my hand!”

“It isn’t fair that my kids are so well behaved. Why don’t they ever get in trouble or sent to detention like some of their delinquent friends?”

“Well, shoot! I won the lottery. Now I’ve gotta drive all the way downtown to pick up my humorously over-sized check for millions of dollars. And I was gonna spend the day watching that Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon. There goes my weekend!”

3 thoughts on “The Magical ATM

  1. I’d be worried someone’s job was at stake, as someone had to be accountable for that $400.00 I’m sure there’s an accounting of how much money is being stored/distributed by ATM.

    One: God is watching and it’s a test. I’d return the $$
    Two: Someone’s going to have their head on the chopping block- I’d be grateful if someone saved me, I’d return the $$
    Three: It belongs to the last person who just visited the ATM, did a withdrawal, but forgot to take the $$. How devastating. I would call the bank to see what transaction happened before mine. Check with them.

    I think the lady wanted to do the “right” thing, but probably wanted/needed the $$ and was at war with her integrity and wanted the bank to justify her keeping the $$ so she wouldn’t feel guilty about essentially keeping something that wasn’t hers.

    UNLESS, she was crazy and it was $$ from her account? Her life has nothing going on and she had to create drama so that she wasn’t lonely? If that’s the case, go with the crazy so that karma is good.

    This story presents a good question. If an ATM mysteriously gives you $$ that isn’t yours or deducted from your account, what do you do?



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