A friend posted something about his bank card not working after piling up food at the checkout counter on Facebook recently. Fortunately, a kind lady offered to buys his food which he kindly declined. The post brought back a memory of a similar incident that happened to me.

It was late last year, I can’t recall the exact date but I know it way payday and I rushed to the supermarket that afternoon. I went along the aisle and started collecting without even checking the prices. There were a lot of people and wasting time would mean a very long wait at the checkout queue.

So I quickly gathered all my stuff and walked to the counter. I chose the one with the shortest line and soon it was my turn to checkout. The clerk totalled my groceries and amounted to a little over K100.00. I give her that magic card and she swipes it against the machine. I enter my PIN but the system declines, I try a couple more time to no avail so I tell her to hold my groceries and I would come back after I visited the ATM across the street.

As soon as I stand at the ATM, I realised what I had done. Absentmindedly I had entered 5 digits instead of the normal 4. So with a smile I put in the card and punch the right PIN. As soon the machine logs in, it sends me a message that I had exceeded the allowed number of times to input an invalid PIN and it would retain my card. What!?

Yes. I had to slowly and humbly walk home after this experience. I never went back to inform the checkout clerk that couldn’t make payment and I’m sure she probably said some cussing words when she had to return the items but I was too embarrassed to go back.

Anyway, lesson learned. Never forget your PIN, never rush when doing home shopping and most importantly never enter the same PIN 3 times if it doesn’t accept it the first couple of times.