Friday, August 6, 2010

RHINESTONE--your ATM card is in the BDO office

Yesterday, passing by a row of ATMs (automated teller machines) in Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, I saw an ATM card sticking out of the slot of one of the machines. The card belonged to one named "Rhinestone." I forgot his or her surname written on the ATM card. It was a Banco de Oro (BDO) card, but Rhinestone inserted and left it on the slot of another bank's machine, perhaps because BDO's machine next to it had a long line of people waiting to use it. Two men on the line of BDO's ATM said to me that a man in green jacket had just left that machine I was standing by, so they presumed he was Rhinestone. I waited for a few minutes for any person to come looking for a card on the machine, but no one did. I decided to keep the ATM card I found and planned to pass by the BDO branch office on Congressional Avenue, a few minutes away from my home, after I did my groceries in Trinoma.

Thus carrying my heavy bags of groceries, I alighted off the taxi in front of the BDO-Congressional branch and approached the BDO counter staff. I fished from my bag the the ATM card I found and told the two women on the counter that I found it in their bank's machine in Trinoma. The other woman mumbled something upon seeing the card and proceeded to punch on her computer's keyboard, perhaps to trace the card's branch. She seemed unmindful that I was still sitting in front of her, waiting for her to say something like she was going to take care of it, etc. I had to ask her if it was okay for me to go already. She said it was, and I stood up to leave. Well, she didn't even thank me for bringing over the card. Not that I was waiting for her to say that to me, her reason maybe being that it wasn't her own card anyway. But after all the effort I made in going to their bank to turn over the card, rushing as I were to get to the bank before it closed in 30 minutes, amid the heat of the afternoon sun (it wasn't cool inside the taxi), and my expense in having to get another taxi after going to the bank, I think at least a smile from the poker-faced BDO staff would have been nice to see that hot afternoon. But, of course, the bank's staff didn't know what I had to go through in turning over that ATM card to them. I just consoled myself with the thought that, hopefully, Rhinestone was immediately contacted by the bank that his or her card was already safe with them, so that my effort would not have been useless.

This wasn't the first time that I've had some incident with an ATM machine. In fact, this was the fourth time. First time was when I chanced upon a little over a thousand pesos hidden by a plastic thing placed over the ATM money slot by some petty criminals whose racket was to cover the slot to capture the money of unknowing people who would use the machine. I saw the money while I was withdrawing some money of my own, which got stuck inside the plastic cover and made me wonder where it all went. (It was a weekend when I took home the captured money. When I talked to the bank manager that Monday over the phone, she thanked me profusely for keeping the money to turn over to them. She sent someone to me to pick it up). Second and third times, I chanced upon the ATM slot spewing some money while the owners (two separate occasions) were walking away, forgetting for some reason that they had just withdrawn money!

Oh, well, so much for stories about the ATM!

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