I normally consider myself an intelligent person. I could whine defensively about grades and test scores, but everyone knows that sort of thing doesn't matter if you haven't been gifted with a little thing called common sense. I'm one of those people who, when presented with a problem, immediately conceives of the most difficult possible solution and struggles gamely on until inevitable defeat.
This happened a few years ago, when I was going to use my brand spanking new debit card at an ATM for the first time. I headed over to my local bank-within-a-grocery-store. Upon finding that the bank branch was already closed for the day, I headed to the ATM that was located at the store exit.
What I saw was nothing like the ATMs that I was used to. Instead of several slots and a big screen with helpful instructions, there was a huge black boxy thing with a few blinking lights and a teeny tiny number keypad near the top. I assumed it was some outdated form of ATM that the store hadn't bothered to replace. And even though I had no idea how to use it, I was determined to figure it out for myself. After all, I really needed cash.
After 5 to 10 minutes of searching for a place to stick my card, a nice woman came up and informed me that the ATM was outside of the store. I was, in fact, struggling to figure out how to use the back of it. (Bless her, I don't know how she kept a straight face.)
What makes this especially stupid is the fact that:
A) My mother had used this ATM several times before when we were out shopping together.
B) I had to pass the front of the ATM on my way into the store.
C) I honestly don't think I would have figured out what I was doing wrong without help.
Worst of all is the fact that the back of the ATM was in full view of the store's security cameras (as shown on the closed circuit TV screen by the entrance). I was lucky that this incident didn't end with me being hauled away by security and questioned as to why I was trying to break into their ATM.