One Coincidence Too Many

“One coincidence is just a coincidence, two coincidences are a clue, three coincidences are a proof. ” Hercule Poirot.

When still in Italy a couple of weeks ago, I went swimming suits shopping with the girls as most of the previous year ones were too small.
Daughter number two was quickly sorted with her sister’s old togs and a couple of new ones, but daughter number one was the other story and not an easy one.
First of all, she doesn’t like girly things, second of all she doesn’t like bright colours and third of all she hates to go clothes shopping, not to mention trying things up.
With this little introduction, you already got the general mood that surrounded me during “the swimming suit mission”. Because that’s what it was: A Mission, or to be precise, a Mission Impossible.
The heat, of course, didnt help us to accomplish our task but made us try to be as quick as we could so that we could soon move to the next shop, the supermarket.
No, I am not saying I am a food shopping enthusiast, on the contrary, I hate it, and in fact, always have my weekly food shopping delivered, but at least the supermarket is a cool place. And by cool, I mean chilled. The clothes shop, instead, was hot. Sure they had air conditioning but because they kept all the doors opened it didnt do much.
After I inspected thousands of items, while the daughter was behind me lifting her thumb up or down to the possible candidate, we eventually settled on a few anonymous dark blocked coloured bikinis disguising any feminine identity.
Mission accomplished. We paid and happily run into the supermarket, where we much appreciated the Antartic temperature running through all the place.
We got a few bits and headed to one of the till.
It must have been the heat, it must have been the stress of the shopping, or it must have been the effort to hold my tongue in front of my eldest daughter poor fashion taste, but sure all of those things contributed to exhaust my brain. How did I know that? I didn’t, until I find myself inserting my card to pay, and instead of digiting my PIN, I kept staring at it like in a trance. At the third cashier’s cough, I eventually awoke and hurriedly pushed the green button. Transaction Rejected.
How was it possible? I had just paid in the other shop, and it worked.
-It happens sometimes -, the lady cashier said. We tried again, ….and again. Transaction Rejected, all three times.Puzzled, I paid with my other card, and that was it.
If it were the end of the month, I maybe would have worried to have overspent, but been the beginning of the month I knew the account was well covered. I blamed the shop’s connection, and didnt think about it again.

The Monday after I was back home to Ireland, I had an appointment to get my blood tests done. I was a bit early, and so I went to the ATM to get some cash.
“This service cannot be provided”, or something like that, it was the message on the monitor.
I immediately checked my bank account, and there was funds, so I thought maybe I was trying to withdraw too much and exciding the daily allowance. I changed amount, but once again, I could not get anything out of the evil machine. I tried a third time but still no cash. I left disappointed, annoyed and even a bit embarrassed as there were now a few people queueing behind me and witnessing my desperate and unsuccessfully attempts to get some cash.
Same story at the doctor. When I tried to pay for my blood tests, I kept receiving the same message: Transaction Rejected.
I started to blabbing apologies to the lady at the reception, and I also informed her, in details, of my financial situation. I actually had 30 euros to pay for my blood tests; just for some obscure reason, the money refused to move from my account to the doctor’s one.I didnt have my other card with me, and I could not pay with cash because the little plastic fecker card didn’t get me any cash either. So………now what?

A bulb lighted up in that over confused head of mine. I suddenly remembered the incident with the card at the supermarket. It was the same card, and it could not be a coincidence.
I excused myself with the receptionist, and after promising I was not running away, I stepped outside to ring the bank and try to figure it out what the problem was.
“Your pin has been locked because you wrongly digited three times.”
“No I didnt ”
“Yes you did, mam. You pressed enter three times without actually digiting the pin first, and that is the same to the system. The code and the card have been locked as a result of a fraud alert”.
Oh, that is what had happened! Back to the supermarket, when my brain was more totally fried than tired as I naively thought, I kept pressing the green pay button but without the pin.
I admit to have been idiotically distracted, but should not the bank warn you in these cases? Apparently not. It is all automatised.
Thankfully it is automatised even the procedure to unlock your pin, and it can be easily done at any ATM.
It took me literally five seconds to unlock my card, and five minutes later, I’m leaving the doctor surgery with the receipt of my payment safely in my hands.
Never trust coincidences, especially when it comes to credit cards. If they are not working, there is always a reason, and it won’t self fix itself.


43 thoughts on “One Coincidence Too Many

  1. You were really put on the spot! Several years ago, we were traveling, and my card wouldn’t work in a shoe store. It turned out some computer decided my card had been hijacked because I was 1,000 miles away from home. The next few times we were on the road, I called the card company ahead of time to tell them I would be traveling. It made me feel like a teenaged girl, having to state my itinerary ahead of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That happened to my mom here once ,she went from being embarrassed to be furious….I really didn’t want to be that poor guy on the phone but in the end she was right,she even warned her bank she would have used the card abroad.Banks are like Irish weather: you can’t win🤣🤣🤣🤣


  2. Speaking of coincidences, I’m spending some time with my mother and she watched Poirot tonight, something I haven’t done in ages.
    She also got her pin no. wrong three times today at the supermarket and was locked out of it! Ugh… poor dear… all these numbers and passwords to remember now!

    But I’m glad you had success with the swim suits… that can be a nightmare!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m
      Sorry for your mom and I like her already as she is a fun of poirot.🤓I put same pin in all my cards and same password on all my devices and apps.not very safe but at least it’s easy to remember💁🏻‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I felt so bad for her…I can see her losing her confidence more and more as she ages. It’s so heart breaking.
        Sigh, i know it isn’t safe, but it’s so tempting isn’t it? So many complications these days it seems.
        Yes, we really enjoy watching Poirot together 🤓🥂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s hard to see people you love to age. I am in Italy on vacation at the moment and try to spend some time with my 90 years old grand dad too but since Christmas, when I saw him last, he got so forgetful and fragile but still with a bloody driving licence😱and that is so dangerous.🙈

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes it is!
        Ugh, the driving license thing is so difficult, isn’t it? My parents make me very nervous with their driving, but they would be miserable without it. No easy answer there.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Isn’t it just the worst feeling? I had a similar thing happen and found out after the fact that they sent an email asking for verification. Yup, I always check my emails while I’m at the checkout trying to pay. Pffft!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. A similar thing recently happened to me. My bank cancelled my card, because they determined there was unusual transactions made with the card. So, without even notifying me first, they canceled the card and sent me a new one. The unusual transaction was that I bought a plain ticket, which I tried to explain, yes this is infrequent, I’m not buying plane tickets every month, but it doesn’t mean it’s fraudulent. I asked them to please check with me first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no. We are glad they protect us but this is far too extreme……block your card for a plane ticket.May Be the operator was just jealous of you going on hols😉
      Have a laugh if I tell you it happened again during my hols. same supermarket, machine was not obviously working properly, it refused twice the pin and so I didn’t even try third time because I knew then my card would have been locked…well they locked it anyway as apparently three times wrong pun must not be on a row but in the lifetime if your card…..nonsense: thankfully I had cash and my husband with me but think if I was away on my own😱as I had to wait to come back to ireland to unlock the pin

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As my fridge broke while on holidays I’m limiting my grocery shopping at the moment as the only fridge I can store things in is the camping one🙄we are going to get the new main fridge today…..what a disaster 🙈


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