Tag Archives: Star Trek

Star Trek and ATM’s


A bit of irrelevant ranting for a Monday morning…

"Is there a 'Fast Cash' button upon this device?" "Dude, are you gonna be a while?"

I stopped off at an ATM last week to pick up some cash for the farmer’s market and the nearest bank was, of course, the ever-prevalent, Bank of America. The bank that charges you a fee to look at it as you drive by. I pulled in, skipped gayly across the parking lot, and strolled up to the machine to begin my transaction. Now, a small note about myself: I have this weird little thing where I actually pride myself on my blazing ATM speed. Bing, bang, boom! I’m out! No receipts, no surrender! Nothing worse than getting stuck behind the guy who wants to deposit money, pay bills, and check the balance of his 5 accounts via the machine expressly intended for people in a hurry. Not this guy. I use double fingers like I’m playing Simon Says.

Anyway, I quickly realize from looking at the very first screen that I am on unfamiliar ground, as I rarely use B of A machines, and this may not be as cut and dry as I’m used to. The first screen asks for my language and it literally gives me 8 options to choose from. Really?!? 8? I know this is northern California and we are pretty ethnically diverse, but I haven’t seen that many language options since I tried to read the warning labels on my Swedish-made furniture (long story short, attach all furniture to walls like your blonde-haired life depends on it).

I stared in amazement at my plethora of options and half expected to turn around and see the entire cast of Star Trek waiting in line behind me. That’s about the only circumstance I could foresee in which most of these languages would ever be used, and while I did see some character-based languages, I’m pretty sure none of them were Vulcan. Scotty could just select English, but I still think the ATM would have to either be drunk or use an accent in order for him to understand. Of course, we all know that the Federation has no use for money in the 23rd century (duh), but I think we also saw that sometimes it is necessary to go back in time to northern California to save extinct whale species in order to stop giant space probes from tearing the Earth in two, so ya never know.

The icing on the cake was after I pressed “English” it then went to the next screen where it proceeded to tell me that I had selected English and asked me whether or not that was correct… in English, of course. Did some software designer somewhere get paid by the amount of ridiculously useless screens he created? If it was wrong, how the hell would I know?!? If I had accidentally selected Vietnamese I would have been left staring at a screen of wingdings for who knows how long!

What a complete waste of time and energy on everyone’s part. Just another example of common sense being overruled by the desire to placate even the tiniest percentage of the consuming public. If the United Nations ever decides to come to Chico Ca. on a “fact finding” mission about the medical uses of marijuana you can then reinstate the universal translator software, but until then I think maybe it might be easier if I just slip in my bank card, that has English written all over it, and then enter my PIN.

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