Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Stupid Muscle Memory

I just spent nearly an hour at Citibank trying to resolve a PIN related problem. Given Elephant Larry's recent history of identity theft, and our blog readership's probable dislike for boring bank transaction words, I'll spare all of the superboring details.

Bascially, I was having trouble signing onto Citi's website and the dude on the Customer Service hotline told me I had to go in person to fix it. So I did. But when I got to the bank, even Nancy (my new Citibank friend) couldn't figure it out. First I entered my PIN on the little PIN-giver typepad. Then on her keyboard. Then again on the typepad. And then on the keyboard. And about two more times after that. But it wouldn't let me in.

Nancy even had to call the Citibank Customer Service hotline to get help for both of us. I told her that she should probably have access to a direct Citibank Employee line or something. She agreed. Then she admitted this PIN problem was actually pretty common.

In the end, Nancy scrapped the whole thing and just gave me a new PIN. She told me to type it into the typepad, which I did, and then the keyboard, which was the moment when I realized the source of our stupid stupid stupid PIN-entering problem and why it should have only taken five minutes to help me out.

The type pad looks just like the screen for all Citi-ATMs. It looks like:

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
. 0 .

And normal computer keyboards look like:

7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3
. 0 .

And since my human brain remembers my PIN by pure muscle memory, I didn't even notice the difference. I told Nancy, shared a good laugh, and then I robbed the bank.

Bonus detail: On the way out, I saw five guys, one in a Hooters uniform, vigorously pushing and pulling a heavy cart up a ramp. It was loaded with about 30 boxes of Hooters Hot Wing Sauce, and they were all working together (1,2,3 PULL! 1,2,3 PULL!) to get it into a parking garage. Totally surreal.


Alex said...

Excellent... This now puts me one step closer to discovering Mirror-Chris' PIN number...

christopher said...

Any loyal blog readers will know that I've already revealed my super secret personal identification number, somewhere on this very site.

The race is on!

Jeff said...


Elephant Larry said...