COLUMN: Deposit a small amount of courtesy here

This will probably make me sound like a grumpy old man, but as I get older it seems more people have a decreasing level of respect ...

On Point by Andrew Holota

This will probably make me sound like a grumpy old man, but as I get older it seems more people have a decreasing level of respect for their fellow members of society.

Remember courtesy? Consideration for others?

Are those just antiquated constructs?

There are myriad examples of what I’m talking about – texting and driving; barging into lineups; berating hapless clerks…

One of the items on my list of get-me-stewing-mode is the bank ATM-Hog.

Perhaps I have never grasped the full concept of an automated teller machine, or maybe I just can’t embrace the expanded service model.

To me, an ATM is a way to quickly obtain some cash when the bank is closed, or to avoid queuing for a bank teller.

However, in what was no doubt an effort to provide extra service for users, banks also have a “deposit” function included in their internal machines (not the convenience store variety).

Not a good idea.

Even the simplest deposit requires the user to enter the amount, retrieve and stuff an envelope, key in the amount, deposit the envelope, etc. And then they may also want cash.

And then along comes the bank ATM-Hog.

This individual is of the unshakable belief that the ATM is there for their personal, unfettered, unhurried, extended use.

This person chooses a busy time for ATMs such as after work, and steps up with enough deposit chores to keep a squad of chartered accountants beavering away well into the dark hours.

To the horror of those behind her/him, out of a purse or wallet comes a wad of crumpled documentation, cheques, slips, forms, receipts, annual stockholder reports, a financial horoscope, and last week’s grocery list.

Utterly unfazed by the growing lineup, the ATM-Hog pokes in a code, peers at the screen, thinks for a few long moments about the appropriate selection, and the agonizing process begins.

Poke. Poke-poke. Poke-poke-poke. Click.

Consult screen. Excruciating consideration of the piece of paper to go into the envelope. Stuff and seal. Ponder at length before allowing the machine to accept the envelope.

The gathering crowd is now praying that all the other visible documentation is not going to be involved in further transactions. No such luck.

Next slip of paper. Poke-poke. Poke.

Audible groans from those who simply wanted a fast 100 bucks and done. Temper heat waves shimmer off foreheads.

Poke-poke-poke. New envelope.

“Would you like to process another transaction?” asks ATM.

NO!!! we all mentally scream.

Yes, says Hog. Poke-poke.

By now, we are looking at each other, discussing whether we should pool whatever cash we have left on us, and offer it to ATM-Hog to go to a teller.

Do we rush the Hog en masse, and feed him into the deposit slot?

Point and shout, “He’s got a gun!” Amusing thought, but there are no ATMs in jail cells.

Actually say something sarcastic, out loud? No, that would be impolite.

Maybe it’s time for me to line up for a teller. But that would be a waste of the precious minutes of my ever-shortening life I’ve spent waiting so far.

I begin to seriously think about ducking out of line, and walking over to the drive-through ATM just around the corner of the bank. But drivers get really uppity about pedestrians using drive-thrus. I can appreciate that.

(Mind you, don’t get me started about the folks who drive up to the ATM and then get out of the car to use it!)

ATM-Hog finally finishes, walks past the steaming, scowling crowd, wearing a “What?” facial expression.

Oh, nothing.

I hope the ATM ate all your deposits.

Sorry, I mean, have a nice day.

Andrew Holota is the editor of The Abbotsford News.