Thursday 26 August 2021

The Battle of los Estupidos

This morning, as with most days, I was suffering from a brain fog. Sometimes it clears during the day, sometimes never.

I had forgotten the PIN for a credit card which I didn't use very often. On the way to the swimming pool, I stopped off at my bank. In the old paper-full days, the person at the desk would have given me a slip of paper with a temporary PIN. Now, he explained, having activated some process on his terminal, I had to go to the ATM, insert the card and I will receive a code in my phone.

My turn to be stupid. I passed the card by the contactless pad on the ATM. The machine sent the code to my phone, accepted my new PIN and the number sent to my phone. It waited a bit then displayed a message, "Transaction cancelled".

I was having trouble reading the numbers on my phone and the display kept on timing out. So I tried a couple more times.

But, of course, how can the ATM reprogram my card if it is in my hand?

Finally, the assistant did it for me and then it dawned on me, my mistake.

But later, having written a great deal of software in my time, I started to think. Maybe other people have made the same mistake. Maybe many people don't know where the PIN is stored anyway. 

Does the machine not know whether the card was scanned or inserted in the slot? I cannot believe that, I am sure it is lazy programming. When I was writing software, almost 60% of my time was covering all possible human errors. So the software should have prompted me to insert the card. And at the very least, at the end, it should have displayed a message which meant something useful such as "card not found". Then my mistake would have been more obvious.

Anyway, all is resolved. But I ended up feeling really stupid for not realising my error... and later, feeling annoyed about the software which could gently have pointed me in the right direction.

But my swimming on a beautiful hot day in Celrà cured all my annoyance. Another super day.

But on 12th September, I have to return to Lanzarote for a Concilación. The estate agent (see my previous posts) wants their €2,500 and is taking both me and the proprietor to court to recover the money. This meeting instigated by the Law Courts, is an attempt to find a solution before going to court. And I still haven't received back my deposit of €7,700.