Yesterday I called into the bank to pay in a cheque. Our bank has been modernised, meaning machines have replaced people. If you're very sly, you can hover outside the door until the three little helpers in the foyer are all busy, then you can sneak in past them, down the side of the room, round the corner, and there you'll find a human being at a desk. But I didn't want to do that. As I've said before: I am woman; I am not defeated by machines.
I followed the instructions on the machine and stuck my cheque in. The machine spat it out. I tried again, very carefully making sure I had everything the right way up and round; the machine spat it out again. I muttered to myself and went and asked a little helper. 'Of course, I'll come and help you. Now, tell me, what do you want to do? Pay in a cheque is it? Right now just touch the screen, just there. Well done, that's right, and do you want a receipt?' And so on; she very patiently talked me through everything I'd already done, then she put the cheque in and - it worked.
In the car park afterwards I went to pay. Now there is always a problem in the car park as there are three machines and two invariably have hand-written notices stuck on them saying they don't accept notes. And the only one that does is at the opposite end of the car park. I went there, queued, then fed my note in. It spat it out.
I banged my head on the side of the machine then I took out my ticket, picked up all my carrier bags, stuffed my purse under my arm and stumbled to the attendant's office where the attendant was sitting with his feet up. I asked him for change for the machine. 'No,' he said, 'that machine will give you change.'
'No, it won't. I've tried it. It spat my money out.'
Reluctantly he left his comfy seat and we went back to the machine. We queued again then he put in my £10 note. It worked straightaway.
I'm just glad I didn't need to be resuscitated using one of those shabom!-machines. The day I'd had with machines I'd probably have blown its fuse.