Monday, January 23, 2012

The Brazilian ATM Dance

I get performance anxiety at the ATMs here. Seriously. Every single time.

You see Brazilian banks have a rule, you mess up your pin 3 times and they block your card. That means long bank lines, documents, and all that bank fun just to get it unblocked.

Thus I always get ATM stage fright the moment I step up to start the withdrawal process. Performance anxiety is a bitch, though having it at an ATM instead of other places is not a bad thing. Thankfully for me, and not Mr. Rant, it doesn't keep me from my mission.

Of course once I miss my pin the first time, it gets significantly worse.  It's always that moment that I'm rushing somewhere and realize that I have no cash for the subway or whatever it is I'll need it for. I rush to a machine and put in my pin without thinking. That's where they get you, or me anyway.


Oh shit. I seriously get the oh shit face and almost want to bang my head against the machine. That means 2 more tries. I'm now questioning what my actual pin is. Breath.

That's what I do, I breath and attempt to remember the last 2 digits. The first 4 are no problem as you use them every single time you make a purchase with your card, but the machine requires 6. Those last two numbers are like those distant cousins you see at the occasional family reunion but you still can never seem to remember their names.


Seriously, I'm that lame that I have to stand for a second before I put in my pin and breath. My full pin slowly slips back into memory. In my defense, between all the sliding in and out repeatedly, pull it out slower, please leave it in a minute, etc etc it's a wonder how a girl remembers her first name... the ATM card you dirty bastards! 


  1. I have one word for you...."Sarah Palin".

  2. The same thing happens when you're at a store or a market, and it might be your error first, then the next error is the machine, the checker, the network, etc., and then you really have to think "should I make the third try"...I usually don't. Being locked out sucks as you described.

  3. French banks to the same thing, and I got our card blocked once on the way to the airport to go on vacation!!! I was in serious trouble on that one.

  4. i'm you, or your me. But that story so fits. Happened last week buying tea.

  5. Do you mean 'breathe'?

  6. I do. Thank you. Keyboard stress is hurting my ability to spell ;)