Queing for ATM
Image credit: Gary Perkin / Shutterstock

The ATM users from hell

Cash machines are useful things. They give you cash. Which is always nice.

When we find ourselves short of paper money we find ourselves an ATM. We quick restock our wallets and move on. Because using an ATM is quick and painless.

Except when it isn’t.

An ATM can be very slow. Or rather some people who use them can be. Excruciatingly slow.

Like these ATM users.

The computer programmer

It should be pretty easy.

Put in card. Enter PIN. Key in amount of cash required. Remove card. Pocket cash.


Not for the computer programmer it isn’t.

The keypad turns into a NASA computer. Keys are repeatedly pressed. Seemingly at random.

Withdrawing £20 from an ATM becomes more difficult than programming a flight to the moon.

Eventually persistence pays off. Or rather dumb luck does. Or maybe the ATM just gets pissed off at having all its buttons pressed.

The PIN is accepted.

Unfortunately we’re not there yet.

Another delay ensues while navigating the tricky task of deciding how much money to withdraw. Mercifully the cash finally appears.

The computer programme then wanders off oblivious to the seething queue which has built up.

atm users counting cash
“Golly! That’s enough cash to fly to the moon”

The differer

Choices. Choices. So many choices.

Do I just want cash? Do I want to check my balance and then get cash?

Do I check my balance on-screen or get a print out?

Do I get a printed balance to check the balance on screen is correct?

How much money do I want?

OK. I want £30.

Oh no. Only denominations of £20 available.

Do I get £40 or £20?

I’d better check the balance again.

Do I check my balance on-screen or get a printout…..

The litter bug

Not the slowest of ATM users. Litter bugs usually know their way around the keypad.

Nevertheless this type of ATM user really annoys me.

They always ask for a printed receipt with their cash.

They collect the cash and wait for the receipt.

When the receipt appears the litter bug walks off. Without even looking at the receipt. It’s left dangling in the breeze.

Until the next litter bug uses the ATM and their receipt pushes the other onto the pavement.

Why do they do it? Is printing the receipt a warning to the ATM?

“I’ve got a record of what you paid me so don’t try ripping me off.” But if so why leave the bloody receipt?

Drives me nuts.

Who annoys you at the ATM? Or do you lead a stress free ATM existence? Maybe you recognise yourself in one of the characters above?

Let me know in the comments box below.

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  1. Try North Point Shopping centre – Usually a queue right across the main aisle so no-one can pass without a dance. When you want money out the person in front is a multi-card user. Yes they getting all their friends and family a £10 each off their cards or they know they have a tenner in one account but not sure which card it on. Let me help, it will be the last card you are going to try in ten minutes time.

  2. LOL Alan. The ones I can’t figure out are those who queue up at the cash machines outside of supermarkets.

    They use their debit card to get some cash and then go in the shop and use the cash they withdrew to pay for their shopping.

    Just use the bloody card to pay for your shopping instead of queuing for cash!


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