November 27th 2017
Today my bank card got declined at a petrol station. Twice. I put it into the prepay machine and went to type in my PIN, but the little screen said “CARD NOT AUTHORISED”, so I took it out, gave it the magic rub on my trouser leg, and then tried again. This time it just said “BLOCKED”, which I thought was very rude. I immediately panicked and assumed that my card had been blocked. A perfectly acceptable assumption considering, you know, the thing it said it had been BLOCKED.
My car has a little counter on the dashboard that tells you how many more miles you can expect to get out of the tank, and I was down to 34 miles in the tank. It’s only 18 miles from work to my house, but that wasn’t a big enough margin for error.
So I had a card that didn’t work and barely enough fuel to go home. So, what did I do?
I paid with cash, of course.
It was a freak coincidence that I even had cash in my wallet. I’m 24. I don’t carry cash. But fortunately I’d borrowed some from my Dad the other night to pay for a taxi, and I still had some left. So thankfully I had enough money to put enough fuel in my car to get home.
I got home and phoned the bank, expecting them to say that they’d blocked my card because of my uncharacteristic, overzealous spending over the Black Friday weekend. I was thinking that although quite annoying, it’s actually quite good that they do that. It’s smart that they can track your spending habits. I wonder what they think of mine?
Anyway, they told me that my card isn’t blocked and it was probably just a faulty machine.
So that’s good news.
Everything worked out in the end, but it does teach an important lesson.
Until tomorrow, always keep an emergency £20 note in your shoe or something.