Banking Woes

What would be your reaction if your bank card stopped working, you could not log in online to check your funds, and you had a limited amount of cash on hand?

Maybe freak out?

Well, that’s the situation I’m in right now. The bank was trying to update its system and somehow some way shit got messed up. I thought it was the site at first when I saw I couldn’t log on to check on my account. Then, this was posted:

bank photo

Earlier in the year, I probably would’ve cried. I’m leaving in four days and need to get money to pay for transportation to the airport. I had wanted to go shopping this weekend to stock my shelves with non-perishables so that I would have something to eat when I returned.

Those plans are scratched.

There will be no spending this weekend. I have to hold on to the little bit of cash I have. Even when my bank card does work the ATMs do not always have money. And when they do, the lines are ridiculous. Last Saturday at 9AM I waited for at least 20 minutes for a machine that spit out nothing but 10s and capped how much you could take out. The amount allowed was equal to three McDonald’s meals. You know I went ahead and slid my card in there twice so I could get six McDonald’s meals’ worth of cash. Cash was needed because the week prior all card reader machines in my neighborhood were down for about a week.

Fast forward to this weekend and I know I don’t want to put myself through the embarrassment of going to a store only to have my card declined. I already feel like I get the side eye as a Black person in the US when I even swipe my card the wrong way.

Nothing beats trying to purchase a new laptop at a Best Buy–in what I think is Bath Beach, Brooklyn–with a line, no, a mile (that store was always packed) of white people behind me, only to have my card declined. I had to step to the side and call the bank because they froze my account. They knew I usually didn’t make large purchases like that. I appreciated the bank doing that, but I couldn’t help but laugh at how I must’ve looked. Whatever. I walked out with my computer and a “Thanks, Bank. Thanks,” running through my upheld head. It’s because of exactly those moments I can’t take myself seriously. I have to laugh at myself.

I know the reason why my card would be declined now is not because of a lack of funds, the bank trying to avoid fraud, or anything of the sort. The system just isn’t functioning. The bank’s hoping it will be functioning again within 72 hours.

I’m hoping I can get my hands on some more cash. If not, I have enough food where I won’t feel hunger pains and a list of people I would call for a BIG favor…because I am leaving for the holidays even if that means I have to find my way to the airport with a penny and a prayer in my pocket.


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