The One Time Internet Banking Showed Me Pepper 

Guys, it’s 2018 and the world is going digital. Everything either has an app, website or Instagram page – even Bend down select has come to meet us on the gram. It is what it is. 

I am excited for this, I tell you, especially as I’m one person that doesn’t like to  carry cash around. Sometimes I like to look at my account balance via bank app, all 25kobo of it and smile to myself. I have made it in life.

Anyway, I went to a store to cop something the other day. It was a windy evening and I went from school so it was pretty close to their closing hour and I was in a hurry  sef, I just wanted to get it off my bucket list – You know how you’ll be Saving for something and every time you look at your balance, you’ll be feeling like who has money until you spend it by mistake and have to start saving again. So I just wanted to buy it once and for all, and rest. 

So, I got to the store and they had what I wanted, how I wanted it, down to the color, everything. I had seen it cheaper somewhere else, just not in the color I wanted, so I turned it down because every time I bought something I didn’t like because I wanted to save extra cash, I always regretted it.

So, we concluded the deal, signed receipts and all. I was happy, I got what I wanted and it didn’t waste time. They were happy cos it was quite a lot of money, a good sale to close the business day.

I asked if they had a POS machine because I didn’t stop under the rain to withdraw at the ATM because like I said earlier, I don’t like carrying cash around. Like, what if they do me touch and follow now? 

They brought their POS and everything. The first transaction declined. One brow was arched already, like huh? They were like, Ahhh, it’s network. See how the weather is. You know how these banks are.
.. 

Okay o.

 Try it again. 

This time it said insufficient funds.

You know how when you receive those scam messages saying you won millions in a Lacasera Promo you didn’t enter for and you laugh and be like these people are joking.

Omo, that was my initial reaction because I didn’t get debited and the transaction declined. These people are def. joking.

I went to my bank app and behold, money had left my account. I checked transaction history, they were showing me the 200n card I recharged the day before, to do night plan. No sign that money left my account the present day.

My temperature flew up! The place was cold like a fridge but I was hot like someone that ran out of sambisa forest.

These people started packing up their product to return to storage. I was like, Haba! Is that how you people use to do? So you want to abandon me like this.

They were like, there was nothing they could do, that I had to go take it up with my bank – banks had closed by this time. They said errors like this were normal, given the weather and that it would revert and if it doesn’t, I should take it up with my bank.

Aspa me? Uncle you Mean me? 

I was almost in tears.

Horror images flashed in my head of a yahoo boy calling his friends that he intercepted money hanging in the air on the internet, how he used net to catch it and he had blown. I imagined the staff using my ATM card to do something that just transferred my money, I imagined they lied to me. I imagined they got the alert and didn’t want to say. I imagined the worst.

In my very before, they started packing to go home.

see me o! With my money? 

I plonked down on their chair, at least they had nice seats and DSTV. I was observing a silent one man protest. They would look at me and exchange glances. I had my best Adonkia (I don’t care) face going on.

People will come in and in a general manner, greet everyone around and I’d  look up in that Can anything be good about this I-just-got-scammed evening?

I berated my self for not leaving school on time when the weather was better. For not going to the bank. Shey if I jeje withdrew this over the counter and held my bag tight, this would not have happened. No, you must be tush! Slay queen. Do you have POS? See her mouth, Oshisco.

One of the staff came to me that I should try the transaction again. I looked at him as though he talked from his feet. Asin I should use this POS to transfer another of this same money, Asin make e hang again Abi wetin?

Instead, I said my current balance could not go the transaction a second time. He said he was sorry but the last person it happened to tried it three times and it failed. 

Get it! He was debited three times and he didn’t even get what he came to buy. God, people have money in this country.

I waited to see the Manager, before I go home and come back and they say they don’t know me from Adam. He said they should have tried ordinary transfer because his POS usually has these kind of problems. Funny, we didn’t even think of that.

My own was, I didn’t want them to think I tried to flash their account, you know how yahoo boys credit your account and the money vanishes. I wanted them to know I was an upright citizen of the Federal Republic certified under the keen eye of the anti-corruption government, before they will think I didn’t have money and I came to buy wetin senior me.

The manager took judicial notice of the event and I left. No written paper or anything to show I’d been there.

This even sounds funny to me now, writing it because at the time I didn’t know that the bank statement would reflect that money left even if the app didn’t show it. That was the day I knew I wasn’t all that internet literate. Lol.

Going home was like going from a burial. I was like a zombie just going through the motions – enter bus, press phone, look Outside window, mourn. 

I  was praying that no one I know calls my line cos it would be either of two things – go off on them, bringing the third regiment and the works or burst into tears. I would prefer the former of course because it’s easier to apologize for being upset but how do you say you’re sorry for bursting into tears, being all weak and crying like a baby. Not taday.

For the past hour, I had been refreshing my bank app till it became a routine.

  Refresh. See low balance. Exit. Repeat

When I saw a different sum, it didn’t click at first.

Then it did. 

Then I thought I was seeing double.

 Then I slept off because I cannot come and kill myself.

I had planned to go to the bank the next day, and if they told me their usual story of they don’t know what happened or wait how long – I always heard stories of how people never got their money from banks.

I was prepared to leap, all 5”6 of me, on their teller till I got my money back, because really na gra gra we dey use win fight for this country.

Seeing my money, all the fight left my body. 

I wanted to weep tears of joy but I’m a big girl, I’m not about that life.

The next day, I went back to the store, they were excited to see me. Only then did I even begin to see they understood the pressure I was under. I was thinking they saw me as a fraudster, when all they saw was a girl who can’t hurt a fly.

I came with cash this time – I rather fight off a den of robbers than try that POS again. They even had a little gift for me for the trouble. 

 I haven’t used POS since then, I think I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I need Therapy.

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