One day, I was back from work driving toward the bank because I wanted to withdraw some cash for that evening, It was a mundane evening, nothing interesting or exciting, an everyday scenario that I encounter each evening after work. The traffic already at ease, peak hours almost over, not congested but not too fast and everybody seems to be driving joyously. That slow relaxed situation, made my mind wander through a few things, what to do later, where to be tomorrow, my budget, when to get that and this. Basic normality mind dwelling .
Arrived at the bank and entered the ATM lobby, since business hours was over, the car park was empty, only few cars around. I parked at a spot in front of the bank. There was a security personnel at the staircase, fiddling with his phone, some other guys at the other end of the building probably taking a break. Entered the main entrance glass door where the machines are, and there was only but one lady at the other end of the lobby, depositing some cash, lots of them as the machine kept making that twirling sound and the money drop bay doors keeps shutting and opening all the while I was there.
Walked to the nearest machine, entered the ATM card into the slot, waited for the prompt at the screen and punch in my PIN. Then begins the sound of cash being counted in the machine, the screens prompts me to take the card and receipt and done. Sequenced and concerted instinctively. I watched the lady at the other end, her back facing me still depositing the cash, not yet done. She sure got a lot of deposits going on I said to myself, I even had the time to take a look at the pamphlet spread out on the table, at the middle area of the lobby, some housing loans, refinancing brochure, things like that.
Back in the car,and next, to make my car payment, at a different bank, it was another 15 minutes drive. This time the area was not that secluded as before, parking space full and quite a number of people around. Went into the bank, entered the account number to deposit, and took out my wallet.
Shockingly, I realized the amount that I had withdrawn earlier was not there! I recalled in agony that I never remembered taking the cash notes from the ATM machine and blatantly just left.! Since I was already there, with the the cash I had that time, I just made the deposit nevertheless and get done with it. I just shook my head in dismay and head back to the car, a bit frustrated but calmed down quickly.
In what seemed to be a futile effort, I decided to drive back to the bank where I had made my withdraw, probably there was someone nice and kind that might have spotted the cash and waited for my return…. hahahaha.
It was a sincere thought really, The probability of meeting someone like that is…. I don’t know, maybe 1:10 billion…? LOL. but what urged me to get back was the thought of meeting that kind of person, not because I was frantically trying to recover the loss. No need to go fast and furious right?, I maintained my composure and rationalized that getting that all pumped up may lead to another unfortunate traffic event which I do not want to handle this moment. Arrived at the bank, went inside, there was the same group of guys still at the other end of the building, I watched them in case They were calling me, nothing. There was this one guy just getting out of the bank to his car, nothing, I watched in paranoia for any expression but nothing, the lady at the cash deposit earlier on was gone the security personnel at the stairs earlier on also not there, and of course, the outlet bay of the machine was clean and shut. Could any one of them had taken the money?
Made another withdraw with the same amount again. There’s no point wasting time anymore or getting frustrated all about it, all I can do is go home have some dinner and sleep it over, I accepted the loss, with no one to blame but myself for the carelessness of not being focused and just plain silly. The funny thing is, I was in no hurry or far from blundering about, everything that evening seemed unruffled, idled, and yet things happens.
The loss and gain.
How much did I actually throw away.? well the exact amount is RM600. Translates to about USD 200 or EUR 150, maybe not that much for some people, but for the general Idea, that amount of money could get me through 60 lunches or 46 cappucino or two 50mm lens or two brand new tyres or 40 movie tickets or Fuel for maybe 2 month or pay my telephone and internet bills for 3 month. Sigh..
Well, what’s done is done, no use to complain or go make a report as it was totally my fault for leaving money lying around so I guess that was the end of it but, It wasn’t. Few days later I got three missed call notification, I checked the number and it was from the bank, didn’t think much of it as it was probably the normal telemarketer trying to make some sales or what. That night, I got to my online banking and to my surprise…
One deposit of RM600 was made to my account and the embarassing note : ATM W/D cash not taken…! just below the transaction number, date and time.. hahahaha. 😛 I was surprised, elated and at the same time embarrassed as well . It turns out I didn’t lose my cash after all, since no one pulled the money out, the machine just swallows it back.!
I could not imagine the turn of events, had there been more people at that particular time, I might have really lost my cash, but since there was no one there at that time making withdraws, my money just hanged around in the air for how many minutes I do not know and ended up being re-deposited automatically.
Never got into this kind of situation before, so I guess this experience left me wondering, what it felt to lost money unwittingly, how it reminded me to be more careful and take things more seriously in the future. Such a simple mistake and being absent-minded at the wrong time and the wrong place, can take serious effect and consequences. Maybe being able to accept the fate that this happened to me also helped as a reminder that we are sometimes not that lucky, and when we are not that lucky, we should not just stumble but continue and get through. However, in my case, I was really lucky this time. Thanks to HSBC bank for returning my cash. 😀