A brief history
The defunct societe bank generale was the first to introduce ATM service in Nigeria, It was in the year 1989. For those who do not know( I doubt if such category of people read this blog though) ATM means-Automated teller machine.
The average Nigerian must have at one point queued up, waiting patiently but angrily to use the ATM. Now (3) things are likely to put one in this situation seething with anger.
1. The service is bad and the machine is taking forever to dispense cash
2. Someone is using his/her ATM card for the first time and they are trying to acquaint themselves with the process
3. Someone wants to withdraw virtually everything in their account. These ones come with about 3 ATM cards…….. You can only pray they stop otherwise the ATM will run out of cash by the time they’re done.
i have discovered from my observation that whenever people queue up behind a single ATM while several other ATM points are free and appear to be working, others simply join the queue without asking questions or at least trying out the other ATM point(s) nobody is queueing behind. This happens 90% of the time but this is not always the case. Sometimes one confident or stupid person ( depending on the outcome) comes along ready to take the chance.
Now such confidence or stupidity will lead to either of 2 things.
1. The ATM machine is faulty and it swallows the card. s/he looks confused, rueing the decision not to join the queue like everybody else. At this point those on the queue, happy within themselves will fake concern and you will hear someone say Ah sorry ooo- That machine is not good, that’s why we are all queuing behind this one- it swallowed someone’s else card before you came. The victim would then blame them for not telling him/her that the machine is faulty and another person who initially appeared focused on their business would say something like It’s your fault. Next time when you see people queue up behind only one ATM you join them. Don’t do oversabi.
2.The person walks up to the ATM, inserts the card and ………….BOOM- The machine dispenses cash and you’ll see people run to queue behind that ATM, blaming themselves for not having enough courage to try it at first.
S/he then leaves, shoulders high, looking at those on the queue like some slaves he just liberated.
All these happens because poor ATM service has made majority of Nigerians rely on the instinct and judgment of others. So if the person if front of you is withdrawing cash you prefer to wait until s/he is done instead of trying out other ATM points nobody is using. If the ATM dispenses cash you insert your card with confidence, any outcome other than this you flee and try out the other ones.
PS; it’s up to you which of these approaches you prefer. The conformist that assumes everybody on the queue cannot be wrong and queues patiently behind them, or the nonconformist who’s bold enough to try that ATM point everyone is avoiding.
Both have their rewards, The choice is yours… Choose wisely