The Washington Post

Editor’s Query: Tell us about a time technology failed you in a big way

Technology failed me years ago. It was the first time I used an ATM. After years as a mother and working woman, I was about to return to graduate school and was already on edge.

The night before the first class I realized I was out of cash. Very early the next morning, I dashed out to the bank dressed in my nightgown and bathrobe.

I got the ATM window to open, put my bank card into the machine on the display and promptly, in my haste, put too many zeroes and asked to withdraw $1 million.

I looked at the display with terror, and the window closed, with my card inside.

A man approached the ATM, but I was just staring at it, and he was staring at me.

“I just withdrew $1 million,” I screamed. I ran home, called a bank emergency number and, in tears, explained the situation.

“Do you have a million in the bank?” I was asked.

“No way,” I replied.

“Then don’t worry,” said the person on the other end of the line.

The bank canceled my card and would later send a new one, but off I went to my first day of grad school still scared and wondering if I’d put my family into debt.

Joyce Siegel,

Rockville

Tell us about a time something funny, embarrassing or remarkable happened at a Washington dinner party.
The Washington Post is partnering with the Public Insight Network (PIN) to hear more of your 100 percent true stories taken from your own experience. Submit your answer to the query above online at wapo.st/ed­query. By sharing your story, you become part of PIN — a network of more than 130,000 people who contribute to high-quality journalism. Editors will choose an entry to run in the Magazine, but we will also share more of your stories online. You can also submit to The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.

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