I vaguely remember the first time I used an ATM (I shall do my best not to call it an ATM machine during this plight, as then I am really calling it an Automated Teller Machine machine, which drives me crazy when people do that, but I digress). It was around 1985, and I was given my first ATM card by my parents so that they could put money in an account for me, and I could easily withdraw it while I was at college. The ATM has come a long way since those early machines, okay, now that I think about it, not really. I remember the machine I used, it was in the Commons building at Illinois Institute of Technology, and as you would do today you would put in your card, punch in your PIN (Which should never be called a PIN number, thereby calling it a Personal Identification Number number), and out would spew your cash. About the only difference between then and now was that to make a deposit you had to put your checks or money in an envelope, whereas now the newer ATM’s don’t need an envelope when you make a deposit.
Back then then geek in me always dreamed things would change with the ATM, like instead of needing a card and a PIN they would have retina scans to identify you, but alas, we are still tied down with that ATM card, however, the geek in me also generally trusted the machine to give me the right amount of moolah, and I also remember that I don’t think I even counted my money when I made a withdrawal. The reason I thought about this is that the other day I re-noticed my wife taking money out of an ATM and then counting it, and it occurred to me that it was something I never really did. I guess I always figured what would I do if the amount was wrong? Sure, the ATM’s have those cameras on them, so should I fan out the money if front of the camera while mouthing “Hey, you didn’t give me all of my money!”, and then call the bank hoping that they believed me that the machine screwed up? I suppose if there was an epic fail in the amount of money the machine dispensed I would try to do something about it, but seriously, if the machine shorted me a twenty-spot, would I really take the time to call the bank? Sadly, probably not.
So that leads me to today’s plight: Do you count your money after getting it from an ATM?