I am not a frequent visitor to the ATM machine.  This is primarily due to the fact I have little self-control over ready-at-hand cash.  If I have cash in my wallet, I can justify frivolous spending like no one else.  I’ve been able to tame my affliction fairly well however, there is the occasional need for cash.  One such occasion recently presented itself when I was required to present cash for an international money transfer I needed to place. You guessed it; faux pas inspiration reared it’s beautiful head once again.

It was a gorgeous fall afternoon.  68 degrees, light breeze and a sky full of sun.  The ATM I approached was situated outdoors and canopied with a small awning to protect from window screen glare and harsh weather elements.  10 seconds after I started my transaction I sensed an invasion of my personal space.  I glanced behind my shoulder and their stood a bedraggled 20-something girl-woman with a leashed,  jeweled-collared rat-dog  12 inches from my back.   I don’t generally have a personal bubble issue however; I do listen to my gut.  My gut was telling me not to punch my access code into the machine.  It was not raining or snowing.  There were no tornadoes or typhoons.  Why the need to snuggle?  I turned to her, smiled (of course), cooed at the rat-dog and canceled my transaction.  I asked her to please step in and conduct her business – I could wait.  After all, I did not have a dog to contend with.  She obliged after a brief exchange which included “I just couldn’t” and a not so gentle push for me to continue my biz.  I stepped aside, went looking for a Snickers bar and came back after she left the premises.

I did not necessarily get the impression that this was an elaborate attempt to nab my measly funds but my gut told me something was askew. I was uncomfortable.   The news will confirm what we all know.  Desperate financial times may call for some to take desperate financial measures.  I’m always happy to help anyone in need -just not by force or lack of choice.  In any case, when at the ATM, please exert good form by..

Standing back at least 8-10 feet when the machine is in use.

Limiting your number of transactions.  The ATM was created for quick and easy transactions only.

Refraining from inspecting another person’s transaction.  It’s none of your business.  Keep your peeps to yourself.

Being patient.  Some transactions take longer than others.  For those of us that don’t use these machines regularly, it may take a few extra moments longer than you would prefer.  Please keep your hurried frustrations quiet.  This rule also applies for the drive-up machines.  For heavens sake, do not flash your lights or honk your horn (either in your car or on your feet with your new smartphone app).  That is rude and obnoxious.

There you have it!  Easy, right?  Oh, I nearly forgot….please wipe the machine of all delicious, sticky, Snicker remnants upon exiting.