You know that old saying about it being so quiet you can hear a pin drop? Well, I dropped a pin yesterday but not the kind you stick in your finger or that you tack to the bulletin board. No, I totally forgot my debit card PIN number. Sam and I had buzzed over to the drive-up ATM at our credit union to quick-draw some walking around money for coffee and chew bones - a little brass for dos amigos, so to speak.
I inserted my card into the machine, punched in my PIN number, which I have used a gazillion times and nada. No money! Aren’t they passing out free money at the ATMs anymore? I tried a second time, same PIN number. Nada! Okay, now I’m becoming a little agitated. One more time - slip the card in the slot, tap in a slightly different PIN number. Nada again! The ATM informs me that I am out of the game on a called third strike. What the . . .?
Fortunately, I had another debit card from another credit union and I was able to correctly enter the PIN number for that card and withdraw some cash. But I was shaken. Had I started down that long road to the Big A? Would I soon become an occupant of Dementia City? Or did something happen to my debit card? I felt like I had played that old Groucho Marx game, You Bet Your Life, and had failed to say the secret password.
I drove away from the ATM machine reminding myself that I did occasionally forget things (like items on a grocery list) and if I just let my frustration pass, sometime during the course of the day my PIN would once again prick my memory. But here I am a day later and still nada.
So, I’m thinking I will have to drive to the credit union today and find out if there’s a problem with my PIN number. Who knows, maybe someone has hacked into the credit union’s records and has withdrawn all my money and the credit union has shut my account down. One time I inserted my card into a bank ATM because my credit union wasn’t close and the bank ATM ate my card, wouldn’t give it back. Turned out my magnetic reader strip on the back of the card had demagnetized. How’d that happen I wondered, but never did find out; dang banks.
I read in the papers almost every day that hackers have broken into company or institutional records somewhere. No light sentencing should be considered for those people when they’re caught - off with their heads, give ‘em the guillotine!
I wish we didn’t have to play this PIN game and secret password game though. I try to be careful with my PIN and passwords, but I have 30 user names and passwords for different places I go to on my computer, so I have to write them down because there’s no way I can remember them all. Congress has talked about protecting our personal information against hackers and those people who want to cater to our prurient interests with some bills with the acronyms SOPA / PIPA (more about those later), but those bills apparently are so restrictive of free speech the whole country is up in arms about them.
Sam and I say three bags of poop on hackers and one bag on Congress (at least they’re trying). See you next post. Who are you again?