Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cold Cash


I did a search today on Google and found that if you place
the words "Antarctica" and "ATM" into the search box, you
get 403,000 hits. 403,000! Why would there be so many
uses on the internet for those words used together. I
mean, there's an urban myth that Eskimos had 100 words
for "snow" (Incidentally, "snow is found on Google
164 million times!) but, really does there need to be
that many hits for Antarctica ATM???


However, McMurdo DOES have the most remote ATM in the
world. Quite a marketing feat for Wells Fargo if I do
say so myself. (Maybe they will give me free checking if
they read this not so subtle attempt to kiss up to them).
But we are the mercy of our ATM machines. Only one is
used at a time (while one is being serviced or filled,
it is turned off) and if both were to break down, we'd have
to go back to the old system of getting cash advances on
our paychecks. Yes, we don't have a lot of use for actual
cash here, but if you want to buy anything at the store, one
of the bars or play a game of cards, cash is essential.
The machines only dispense 20 dollar American bills and you
can't make deposits. Lately, one of the machines has been
sticking and cutting the bills in half. We joked that it
was giving "change" or someone requested 10 dollars. The
same bills are recycled over and over into the machine.
Some of those bills are looking tired. Especially since
it's winter and when we don't get new bills in until August.
The Finance person a couple years ago would iron the bills
so they would feed more easily through the ATM. Literally,
the smell of money would travel through the hallway. There
is even a security camera pointed directly at the ATMs to
prevent muggings. What's up with that? So this summer there
is a technician being flown all the way down here to give the
machines a tune-up. I wonder if they will give him travelling
money or will he have to get money out of the ATM like the
rest of us. At least he won't get mugged.

6 comments:

andrea said...

haha. a very informative post on a mundane, but unique part of mcmurdo life!

Lori Murray said...

LOL, Wells Fargo wouldn't give you free checking if you owned Wells Fargo :-)

Tom said...

I'm afraid you're right about Wells Fargo :(

shooskua said...

Bills getting cut in half is a bit of an exaggeration I'm afraid. All bills that go out to the public are perfect (if not a just little tired). Just didn't want to spread that particular bill-cutting rumor.

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