Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tenuous Grip on my PIN

I have a strange relationship with the PIN for my ATM card.

I cannot remember it unless I am standing in front of the ATM and, possibly, for the few minutes after that transaction.

If you asked me right now, I could guess at it. I have some inkling about what the numbers could be. But I only know with certainty when I am standing there ready to withdraw some cash.

At least I used to know the numbers with certainty at that point.

I have not had to use the ATM for over two months. It appears that the certainty of knowledge fades with time.

I stood at the ATM today and could not remember my PIN.

I had walked four blocks to the ATM to get some cash so I could buy something lunch, but I had to walk away empty handed. Two guesses at the number and I had to cancel the transaction. After three wrong guesses the machine keeps your card. At least some machines I have run into do that. It has never actually happened to me, but I have never not been able to remember my PIN.

I have had the same PIN for 18 years now. It is in my brain somewhere.

Still, I had better bring my lunch to work tomorrow, just in case.

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