Better security, my hole

February 16, 2007 at 10:45 am | Posted in chip and pin, James Bond-like smoothness, making a tool of myself, PIN | 18 Comments

I had a close call on Wednesday after work. In a fifteen-minute window between trains, I left the station to get some Valentine’s gifts, and almost got done for fraud:

With only fifteen minutes to make my purchases, I run down Glasgow’s Argyle Street until my shoes are melted leather, trying to find somewhere that sells flowers. Pushing my way past windows red with false promises, weaving through crowds of eager pleasers desperate to trade currency for possibility, my bond with these people is the threat of an expectation that can never be met. Or so the shops will have you think.

It could be New Year’s Eve; you can smell the anti-climax in the air.

No flower shops. Fuck fuck fuck. There’s Matalan. I’ll try in there.

Matalan’s a clothes shop. What the fuck am I doing? Ten minutes ’til the train arrives. Screw it, she’s getting clothes instead of flowers.

I pick out a top and trouser combo that I think looks nice, knowing full well she’ll take them back. What the hell do I know about picking women’s clothes? Still, better this than to turn up at home empty-handed.

I join the queue and pull out my card to pay. It’s actually Linzi’s card, from our joint account, but with the advent of chip and pin, nobody checks the cards anymore. I’ve gotten away with using her card dozens of times since the ATM swallowed mine a while back. Black thoughts about what bastards banks are fill my already-fraught mind as I approach the cashier.

Six minutes until the train. It’s the greatest con the banks have ever pulled on the public to say that chip and pin increases security. Much easier to get a pin than it is to learn to forge a signature. And the blame lies squarely with the cardholder if someone steals your pin. Win/win for the banks. Cunts.

I step forward and think FUCK! I’d forgotten, you need a membership card to buy stuff in Matalan. I don’t have mine. “No problem,” the girl says, flashing me a circuit-board smile, long since disconnected from her eyes through overuse. “I’ll just look up your details on the computer.”

Four minutes to go. I can’t miss this train. We’ve been arguing a lot recently. She’ll think I’m being petulant.

The cashier finds my details. I push my card into the reader and wait, panther-like, for the machine to tell me to enter my pin. As soon as the LCD screen flashes, my fingers dance over the digits and I hit Enter. Nothing happens. “Oh, jings, looks like the reader’s frozen. I’ll need to cancel that transaction and put it through again” she says as she hands me a receipt confirming that the transaction has indeed been cancelled.

Two minutes. Please Enter Your PIN.

BASTARD CUNTY FUCKER! The reader’s frozen again. “Hmmm…I’ll need to get the head cashier down to sort this for you. We can probably just override the chip and pin function and get you to sign for the transaction. Sorry about this, I don’t know what’s wrong with that thing!” she smiles, saccharine spilling from her well-trained mouth. Liar. She’s not sorry. Look at those brown eyes, rusty coils of apathy.

I’m trying not to panic. I could maybe attempt Linzi’s signature, but the “Ms” on the card would give me away regardless. “Look, I’ll just need to leave it. Sorry, but I’ve got a train to catch in less than two minutes – I don’t have time to wait to get this sorted. Sorry – can you just cancel the transaction please?” I say as I snatch the card out of the reader, and by the time I finish talking I’m practically running out the door. Guilty? Moi?

It’s times like this I wish I was smooth. This wouldn’t happen to Daniel Craig. He would’ve just killed the cashier, bloodlessly slitting her throat with his card, and then walked out with the clothes.

Needless to say, I miss the train. However, this gives me plenty of time to go and find the tulips and underwear. I make bloody sure I go to the ATM first though. It’s cold hard cash for me from now on. Well, until I get my own card sorted.


Linzi gave out to me last night for not doing anything to tell people to vote for me in the Irish Blog Awards. Usual story, lack self-belief, and blah blah blah. Since I had already voted for others, she voted for me, bless her soul. Anyway, I’ll get a load of grief from her if I don’t say this, so hey everyone, vote for me. I am the best Irish blogger living in Scotland in the entire world.

I’m in for Best Newcomer, Best Personal Blog and Most Humorous Post. Voting closes today, so if you are thinking about voting, do it now. You don’t necessarily need to vote for me, although I am the best, so if you don’t vote for me, you’ve got it wrong. And look, if you vote, you could win a Home Premium Edition of Windows Vista. Woooooh! Didn’t he do well?

Good enough?



RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. You didn’t promote yourself? Modesty in the extreme, Kav.

    Even I put up flyers in UCD – at night so no one would see me – and even though all posters are torn down in the morning, I’m sure someone saw them.

    Wouldn’t hold my breath on it though …

  2. No, there are far better bloggers than me out there. And I wasn’t joking when I said I don’t want my mammy to find out about my blog.

  3. You see there’s no point now telling people to vote for you when you’ve already revealed who YOU’VE voted for! Cos people, like say for example ME, might read your blog and think ‘yeah, he’s a funny bastard, I might vote for him’ then scroll down and find out that some people, again for example ME, weren’t voted for by you.

    No, it’s grand. You’ve every right to vote for whoever you like. Even if it’s not me. No, honestly, don’t try to console me. It’s grand. Really. I’m grand. *sniff* Nothing to see here, move along, have ye no homes to go to? *wail* I’m ok, I’ll be grand, nothing to it. Sure I don’t care about the awards at all at all so I don’t. No, not me. Couldn’t care less.

    That is all.

  4. Welcome along Karen. Well, as long as you had a bit of a laugh, that’s alright by me.

    You’re right though, I’m screwed. I really would make a terrible politician.

  5. Vote for Kaz’s Boobs!

    And Daniel Craig wouldn’t have been shopping in Matalan anyway. You’re so redundant, Kav.

  6. Redundant like a fox, Sweary.

    And whatever. I don’t read Heat magazine.

  7. Here ‘s your reply posted on my site but for yor ease posted here too, other reasons you may like Lebanon is that Valentines is cancelled for ever, and they dont check your signature on credit cards, my wife has been signing mine for the last fours years. She nearly got arrested the last time she was home in Ireland as she forgot what she was doing and since she never changed her maiden name she had no proof the cards were her husbands. Anyway good luck in the awards, Best new comer is between you and swearing lady in my opinion.
    From : MacDara
    Cheers Kav , No the question does not annoy me but I have been meaning to do a blog about it for some time. But before i do here are some of the reasons money, no Tax and good expenses. Others include a great life style, I am 50 minutes away for the ski slopes, I have a pool and tennis court at home (Shared but the locals rarely use it as they cant be seen by enough people) There is no place for night life like Beirut, more bars , restaurants and nightclubs than you could possibly go to and a new one virtually every week, of course some only last a week but there you go. The women are fantastic looking, the men funny in their own way. It is probably safer than most European capitals if you could look past the odd bomb, There is very little crime, non provoked violence is non existent( bombs Excluded). The country has sun , sea and old stuff.
    Also don’t discount the adrenaline rush or sense of excitement that comes from war and not knowing when the next bomb will go off. I am joking about the last bit but only just.
    Actually as I type Nasrallah has just finished making a speech commemorating a previous Hezballah leader and they are now firing weapons into the air. ( a favourite pastime). These can sometimes be dangerous as a falling bullet is sometimes as dangerous as being directly hit.

    Here’s a previous post that highlights some of the good stuff about Lebanon.

  8. “Vote for Kaz’s Boobs!”

    I voted for you solely because of your magnificent rack. Call me shallow, but when push came to shove I appreciate a comely form in a blogger much more than witty wordsmithery. And see I’m a girl so it’s all right for me to say that because girls don’t care if anyone thinks they’re gay; we just want people to think we’re thin.

  9. I yearn for the days when anyone could steal a chequebook and forge a signature. The economy was stronger in those days, women and kids were less lippy. You could go to the pictures, get a fish supper and the bus home and still have change out of 10 bob. It was easier to get away with killing prozzies too, none of this DNA stuff about.

  10. Kav, you are a romantic, aren’t you? Tulips and underwear.

    You really need your own ATM card.

  11. You picked out an outfit for your wife with only a 15-minute window of opportunity between trains and a keg of stress on your back? Lordy. Thank your lucky stars that transaction didn’t go through… :^)

    I’m gonna try to vote for you but it might be closed now cuz I’m 6 hours behind you (I’m quite slow that way).

  12. That’s what I was thinking. An entire outfit picked out in only minutes? Give us a description.

  13. So what if you have your wife’s card, they don’t really do anything, right? I’ve used my bosses card more times than I can count and have never had a problem. Don’t tell him though.

    Embezzlement is fun!

    I kid, I kid.

  14. MacDara: Nice one, very comprehensive! You’re a braver man than I, let me tell you. The thought of bombs would loom large in my mind if I was considering moving somewhere like that.

    Sam: Wait, so all I had to do was get naked and you’d have voted for me instead? Dang…

    Eddie: Yeah, killers in those days don’t know how good they had it. It’s such a damn hassle these days.

    Sassy: Tell me about it. I usually just use my own account, but the joint one is getting hit hard this month…money that’s meant to be paying for my garage. Gah.

    whyioughtta: Thanks, yeah, you’re too late, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? Isn’t it?

    annie: It was a pair of boot cut trousers and a kind of see-throughish lacy blouse thing. It was a businessy kind of outfit for these meetin things she’s having next week. It was nice. That’s the extent of my descriptive powers for clothes. Oh, and didn’t you read my previous post? I said nice things about you, you know.

    cindy: I’d never been caught before, and I would have got away with it this time, if it hadn’t been for those pesky kids.

  15. I did vote for you!

  16. Of course I voted for you Kav, but you’ll have reduced your chances by switching addresses at the last minute.

    Still pissed off they didn’t consider our Blunt Cogs entry though. I thought it was a work of genius.

  17. More about the fecking awards? Gah! I already voted for you. The cheque better be in the friggin mail!

  18. sam: Just messing with ya, and thanks. *puts clothes back on*

    kim: Thanks. You could be right, I seem to have lost a few in the transition.

    And didn’t you see Damien’s post bigging Blunt Cogs up? He’s subscribed and everything.

    steph: I’m broke, so again I’m going to have to revert to sending naked pics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: