If it is possible to avoid going to ATMs to withdraw, I will be more than happy to grab that alternative. In Nigeria, you go through underserving stress to get whatever you want. Nigeria is known for its long queues with slow-motion movement to get through to that which you want.
Despite all these, some people will just still insist to add pepper & salt to injury and frustrate the little energy you have left. While some of these things that happen at these ATMs’ locations can be so hilarious (that is after you remember it), they always smite the soul so hard when being displayed.
1. Advertisement of Bank Products & Herbal Concoctions: While standing under the scorching sun, that’s when you will now see one Aunty coming to advertise their bank products, Ogun jidigidi and the likes.
Whaat?… No, No! Like what? I am here suffering you are there advertising. How can my head grasp what you are saying? Why not make my withdrawal easy, improve your banking system and then come talk to me. Abeg, shift
2. ATM Retracting Your Card: There is no running away from it or escaping it. For once in every Nigerian experience at an ATM, your card must have been ‘swallowed’ (that’s how we call it) and then, others are left to go back emptyhanded just the way they came. That is why most people always fast and pray before leaving their homes to an ATM to not witness such happen during their wait.
The machine takes your card and you are left to your fate that day. God help you, you don’t have any cash on you. You are just a goner until their so-called 14 working days. Or God just blesses you that the ATM is not owned by your bank. Best advice; Go and apply for another one.
3. Security Officers Becoming Engineers: At every point in time, a security officer becomes an expert in machine repair/automation. He becomes a small god that everyone at the queue beckons on for advice or ‘special touch’ to make the machine dispense.
4. Over-Confident People Flying From The Back Straight To The Front: You will always meet people who will come and have the effrontery to move to the front straightaway after seeing the long queue. I just don’t understand how people build such liver. In the South-West part of the country, that’s where you will see some claiming they can do so because they are older. Respect the grey hair, they’d tell you. (Sh’o mo age mi?)
That infuriates me so much. Since when has age got to do with social order, queuing just according to your time of arrival?
5. Time Wasting: When someone begins to take forever at the machine and then you start praying for the money not to finish before your turn and you hear someone from the back shouting “Oga, no finish the money oh”!
6. Space Reservation: At every ATM, you’d always meet people who will ask you to keep watch of their space. (Oshey! Queue keeper!) After leaving you to keep watch, they’d go and check out other ATM locations.
On days that their family people follow them from their house, they will come back only to see that their queue keeper has withdrawn and left. They couldn’t withdraw where they went and where they still thought they had hope, OYO has become the case. And, in order not to lose on both sides, boom! A brawl begins as he tries to explain his journey to the angry waiters. (Township nah sense)
7. Attempted Murder: There is always that car that has tried to kill someone before. This happens mostly at locations where the compound space is small. And you ask yourself, is it because of N1,000 now that I will die?
8. Disappointment: That moment, it reaches your turn and the machine displays out of service, or unable to dispense cash. HAA! They have finally got you!
9. Folly & Jest-Making: As Nigerians that we are, at every ATM location especially times when the crowd is massive, there is always that clown who tries to make light of the situation. There is the folly and laughs that take place at every Nigerian ATM.
10. Ironic Movement: Nigerian ATMs, the number of people on a queue does not determine the speed of movement. It will shock you to know that a line with 15 people will move faster than a line with just three people.
Some people have come to worship their idol there that is why it will take someone 10 hours to withdraw 10 thousand. It hurts the most when you leave a queue with more people but get stuck as number three on the new line. Chaii! You are not alone… Take heart
11. There is always gossip at every ATM location. That is when some people will begin to discuss all their family problems over the phone with someone on the other end and disturb the peace of others.
Or sometimes when you go to withdraw in a group, that is time to assess every guy that arrives there; either good, bad or ugly. You and your friends begin to assess his dressing, his looks.
The same goes for girls. Guys in group are the worst. They sometimes even make it obvious they are talking about you.