Coffee and ATM’s

tim-hortons-2In our uber-paced world of blazing download speeds, drive-through cremation services and fast-food App ordering, it’s no wonder the average patience level of a human being is zero.  We want everything now.  No exceptions, no excuses.  And while I usually make an effort to avoid embracing the creeping cycle of impatient cynicism, I’m not always successful.  But in my defense, I am generally remorseful afterwards, acknowledging (with a glint of shame) that I had no business overreacting, no business allowing my patience to dissipate like an errant snowflake in May.  This I admit to, like a chastised puppy who peed on the carpet.

Blame society, blame the Creator.  Whether it’s a fit of road rage over the idiot who refuses to give up the passing lane because the GPS says a left turn is coming up in 20 miles, or listening to the ‘Best Of Elevator Classics’, while on hold with technical support, we all have our thresholds.  Do we react appropriately?  Do we behave like mature individuals, or do we react like indignant heathens, broadcasting to the world the grave disparity between our ideals and our actions.

There are dozens of examples that illustrate the extent of impatience, how moments of anger, fueled by rage and indiscretion, can get the better of us.

We each have our own list.  Here’s a couple you may be familiar with.


I admit this is not as big an issue as it was a few years back.  With debit cards prevalent in all facets of business and commerce, my needs for withdrawing cash, especially from my own bank (to save the additional $3 fee), have declined significantly.  But it was an issue, not all that long ago.

Does this sound familiar?

You pop by your own bank’s ATM to withdraw $40.  A quick in and out, time is of the utmost.

When unbeknownst to you, you’re promptly stuck behind the Grim Reaper of banking doom.  Let’s call them Beeper Reapers; ‘Beeper’, because by the time they’re done, you will have heard the dreaded keypad ‘beep’ 67 times. These are the individuals who insist on completing 6-months of banking in one long, arduous session.  And while the assortment of envelopes and crumpled papers should have been your first indication of a pending purgatory, the sighting of a bank book in their trembling fingers is the definitive final nail in the coffin.  Welcome to Hell on earth.  Do people even use bank books anymore? 

Nevertheless, with each consecutive beep, with each bewildered pause and scratching of the head, the interplay of envelopes and bank statements, seconds of your life tick away, moments you will never get back. 

My solution is simple.

The 3-minute rule.

Each person is allotted a 3 minute window in which to do their business.  Once the time is up, a $5 ‘sanity’ fee is immediately withdrawn from the account in question – for each minute they go over.  That should speed things up.  No more Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star on the numeric key pad. 

Pay to play, or get the hell out.


The morning stop at the drive-through for a quick java before work.  Just a coffee, you’re in a hurry, and so is everyone else.

But the line isn’t moving.  A standstill.  You watch, helpless, glancing at your watch as the parking lot backs up, chaos in coffee-land, no cars can get in, no one can get out.


Because the BMW in front is ordering FOR THE ENTIRE FRIGGING OFFICE.  Seven coffees, two Decaf, three Teas one bag in, two out, sweetener not sugar, breakfast sandwich lightly toasted hold the bacon, two sesame seed bagels with cream cheese, gluten-free Carrot Muffin, and a dozen assorted donuts.

Clearly an order that requires parking the vehicle, and entering the establishment.   Come on folks, some common sense please.

$32.75 later, the line moves.

My total, $1.75.

My solution is simple.

Slap the driver.

And there you have it.

Rant over. 

I don’t condone violence (usually), nor do I support giving pensioners a heart arrhythmia by having them play ‘beat the clock’ at $5 a minute.  I raise the issue to remind us that life is too short to waste dwelling on the negatives.  What you put out to the universe, you get back.  Life isn’t a race to the end.  The end comes far too soon anyhow.

So stop to smell the coffee occasionally.  But just coffee.  Don’t be ordering breakfast burritos, bagels or a baker’s dozen on my watch.

Until next time,



27 thoughts on “Coffee and ATM’s

  1. I am guilty too – this is one reason I don’t like to drive. I have the foot on the gas and am usually cursing under my breath at the person in front of me doing 40! Truthfully we are only go from light to light, so even if I’m in the lead how much faster am I really going to get to my destination. I no longer do coffee drive thru’s, the stupidity is just to rampant for my little black heart. Also when I get stuck in those lines I somehow feel claustrophobic knowing that once you’re in, there is no getting out! I’ll get my coffee at work with the new fancy machine and made just the way I like it – for Free! No lines required.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I hear ya. I pull into the Hortons near my house on my way to work, and when I see the line’s already long, I have to make a split second decision, cause once you commit, you’re stuck. Driving is another thing altogether, sometimes I curse the city engineers or planners or whoever times the stupid lights when I always get caught at the red. Oh the challenges of modern times! Cheers Theresa!


  2. I reacted to being caught on the highway behind Cheech and Chong trying to set a new world record for smoking the biggest doobie while driving a delivery van into and out of each and every lane without signaling and then falling asleep at the red light at the end of the exit. Since I’m writing this now, that means I bitched and moaned about this for two days straight. Appropriate reaction? You be the judge.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, that’s the classic, the ones who pass out at the red with their foot on the brake. Happens more often than most people think. Two days sounds like an appropriate length of time, by that time, something equally as annoying is likely to occur. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to say I do have issues when it comes to patience. The worst is while in a cue to get my coffee. It is coffee and you should know what you want. I hate people cueing for ten minutes and when asked what they want they stare at that board like it’s science and I hear that: ” aaaaaaaaa, I would like aaaaaaa ” and pause
    God my killer instincts awake

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Although Tim Hortons is the most popular coffee place in Canada, Starbucks is quite prevalent as well. Our 13 year old loves going to Starbucks, but the wait is ridiculous. I witnessed your situation first hand, 4 people non-stop talking to each other during the 15 cue, then when it’s their turn, they turn their discussion towards what everyone is getting. Another 10 minutes of back and forth. Ridiculous. And for this you pay $5 for a coffee! Cheers, thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I find that I usually regret leaving my house about 30 minutes into a trip. Something or someone is doing something idiotic that gets under my skin.
    My personal rant is the grocery store & the express lane. Lady, the Sbux counter at Kroger is NOT where you check out! All I wanted was coffee & you have turned this into a crossing the Rubicon scenario!
    Well done, Mike! Really funny blog. 👍👍

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thirty minutes sounds about right, excluding bad drivers of course. They can shift my mood a minute into leaving my driveway. And yes, the check out counter is common ground when it comes to aggravation. Usually it’s my knack for picking the lane with the expired coupon lady in front of me, or the one item in the store without a price tag – price check on isle 4 please.
      Cheers Susan, thanks, as always!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You get charged to draw out cash from an atm? We only get that with atms in pubs or amusement arcades. I hate it when you’re behind someone with 5 cards who are obviously desperate to find their last tenner. It should be 1 transaction per person, then back of the queue.

    I never use drive throughs, I have always followed Joe Pesci’s advice from Lethal Weapon 2.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We have 4-5 major banks, and each one will charge an additional fee if you card happens to be from one of the other 4. ATM’s in the pubs and elsewhere charge everyone, every time. That’s funny, you mentioning someone looking for their last tenner. Not sure if you were a fan of Coronation Street, but I remember watching an episode many years ago, where Stan Ogden got hold of their brand new debit card and took out cash for the first time. I think Eddy was with him and they were headed either to the Bookies or to the Rovers. It was so long ago I don’t even think we had ATM’s in Canada yet.
      Great advice from Pesci by the way! Cheers!


      1. Our banks all have an agreement not to charge so ATMs are for the most part free. It’s rare cash is used though now with contactless machines everywhere. That Coronation St ep surprisingly rings a bell (but back then we only had 4 channels).

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I am what people call very patient, although I do find myself talking back to my computer with frustration these days. I can’t say I’ve come across scenarios at ATMs or coffee runs like the ones you describe, but it was very amusing to read. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Susan! Computers have the ability to drive people insane also. We keep upgrading to faster machines, and when they actually slow down, stop, or doing something unexpected, it’s almost inexcusable. I have come close to launching my Ipad across the room several times. I tend to curse Apple products often, even though I have both an Ipad and IPhone. Thank you for visiting and commenting, much appreciated!


  7. Ah, road rage! But I have a reason for being known as the road rage queen. We have the “combi-taxis” here. Our pedestrians also think the roads belong to them and don’t know why there are pedestrian crossings. Some cars/combi-taxis will even stop to chat. Yes, on the middle of the road. These are over and above the usual bad driving. I used to tweet a lot about bad drivers but I had to consciously stop because I realized they’re not good for my non-South African followers. I just get so “diemoerend”, I’m just short of getting out of my car to “donner” the “poepol” but I’m a girl. Ha-ha!

    Let me translate those “colorful” words. Lol! Feel free to use them. I had to check Wiki ( to make sure I’m not being a “poepol” myself.
    diemoerend – livid (borderline volatile, apparently) (pronounced: dee-moor-ind, I think)
    donner – “moer”; “bliksem” – beat up (pronounced: almost as written)
    poepol – idiot (arsehole) (pronounced: poop-pol.. haha, I think)

    I don’t really use them but they are perfect for road rage. I do shout and give hand gestures. But, I’m a bit relaxed when not in a hurry. It doesn’t stop me from shaking my head in disbelief at some driving abilities, or lack thereof.

    I’m with you on the ATM queues but I’m forgiving on the drive-thru. I’m one of those with whom you get upset but in my defense, I order supper for the whole family, while on my own, and I don’t have enough holders and I can’t use those cardboard holders. And I make sure I check that I’m getting everything I pay for. I don’t know if it’s deliberate but there’s always something missing. Maybe it’s Africa. Lol!

    BUT, any queue that is slow because of anyone not prepared with money or card (like getting into a parking in the casino complex near home) makes me angry. What? You didn’t know you’d need to pay? And you forgot you keep your handbag in the boot of the car and must now get out and fetch the darned bag. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Despite how ‘zen’ I think I am when behind the wheel, I can go from 0 to 100 in a nano-second. I don’t know what it is, I’m a nice person, normally, but I can I can lose it in a second when driving
      And the people that stand in line for 20 minutes, then don’t have their s*ht together when their turn comes, makes me understand why people ‘snap’ and go ballistic.
      Serenity now!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. so true. Nice post. I take my coffee at home with breakfast there is no line there. I do not own a BMW (Big money wasted) I take le vélib (Rent a bike) or the subway. Faster no traffic. As for the bank now days I think it is going to be online bank that is going to dominate. Voila. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m allergic to line-ups. It is rare when I’m in a position where I can’t just turn around and come back later. In a similar vein, I almost never use the drive-thru. It’s just not worth the stress.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like your thinking Kirstie! But since the major bank’s profits dipped slightly last year, something like only a billion profit, I don’t think they’re ready to share just yet. But I’m on board with your recommendation.
      Cheers, and thank for commenting and the shout-out!


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