Mom and the ATM Machine


By Joy Loverde

I finally got my message across to Mom - but it wasn't easy.  In a nutshell, Mom told me flat out she wanted the "independence" of going to the ATM machine herself to withdraw cash.  The ATM machine in our Chicago neighborhood is located inside the nearby Walgreen’s. It’s a very busy city scene – lots of people both locals and tourists in and out all day long. I explained to Mom how she was an easy target for anyone who wants to rob her once she leaves the store. My 86 year-old, 100 pound, 4’ 10” mother laughed at me.

For several months she dug in her heels and insisted on wanting her independence when it came to withdrawing cash. I was not getting through to her and so I finally had to say, “If independence is what you are looking for to get cash then you will have 100% responsibility of managing the entire banking process which also includes going to the bank, opening an account for cash withdrawal purposes, and then keeping that account filled with funds. OK?” She said OK. And I held my breath.

The easy part was Mom setting up the account with her banker. She was proud of herself and told me so. In the meantime I waited for the inevitable to happen. Several weeks later she went to the local ATM machine to withdraw money and she could not understand why it did not work for her. Thank goodness she did not ask a nearby stranger to help her.!!!!

The reason it did not work was because Mom did not fully understand the connection between the bank account and the ATM machine. And that’s when she finally realized she was in over her head and her highly guarded “independence” when it came to the ATM machine came to a screeching halt. She came home with tears in her eyes and apologized.

We are now back to the way it was… if Mom needs cash, we both walk over to the bank together and she does her thing.

Stay tuned for more adventures of Joy and her Mom.