Today at work we were discussing the feeling of information overload. Sometimes you just have so much new information in your head, that it feels as if anything new would push something old out. It reminded me of back when I worked as a Receptionist many, many years ago.
I was in charge of answering the phone calls coming into the office, and then forwarding them to the correct person. It all used four digit numbers for the extensions. After a couple of days I remembered quite a few without looking at the charts.
But then I went to the ATM to withdraw money… Which also requires a four digit code. And I couldn’t for the life of me remember the number. Which I’d had for years. But my mind went completely blank, all I could remember were the extensions for colleagues at work! I tried several codes that I thought were my PIN code, but they were all wrong – and my card was actually locked.
I don’t remember if I ever remembered the correct code! Since I’d locked the card, I had to order a new one with a new code from my bank, since apparently they couldn’t just unlock it. (Which is weird, really.)
Unrelated to the information overload, it also reminds me of what happened next. Since I couldn’t withdraw money and would have to wait several days to get the new card, I went to my bank to withdraw money. (This was in the Netherlands.) When I came up to the counter and asked to do so, the lady behind it looked at me like I was crazy and said I needed to use my bank card to withdraw money. I explained that it was locked so I needed to withdraw some from within the bank. She said that you couldn’t do that.
I was flabbergasted. I was standing inside my bank, with my ID and bank account number… and I could not get money out of my own account? Apparently not. Which seemed insane. Still does. I asked her to try anyway, because surely it was possible. She sort of huffed and seemed very angry at having to do something.. Shortly after she said “no, it didn’t work!”, handed me a paper to show that it hadn’t and sent me on my way.
At that point I was seething. Because she’d been very dismissive and quite rude about the entire affair. (And of course the fact that I was now without money for several days.) Once I got home I had a look at the piece of paper that she’d given me… and saw that she’d entered the wrong bank account number. No wonder I couldn’t get any money withdrawn!
To this day I think that had she done it correctly, I probably would have received the money. I just can’t imagine that any bank won’t let you walk into their office and make a withdrawal from your own account in their bank. It seems like a horrible business plan if they don’t. “Yes, we’ll take your money – but you can’t get it back!”
I was too angry and upset to go back at that point though. That’s my biggest downfall… When I get angry, I cry. Which makes me seem like a wuss, and also makes it very difficult to talk to people and get my point across. Incredibly frustrating!