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ATM: Automated Teller Machine.  By the name, you’d think you can do everything at the ATM that you can do talking to a live teller inside of the bank, but you’re wrong – they’re still quite limited in their abilities even though they’re getting more and more advanced every day. Last week I tweeted that I think ATMs should have a 60 second limit; if you can’t get your transaction done in under a minute, the ATM should eat your card and make you go inside to bank with all of the other people who can’t figure out simple on-screen transactions.

Here’s a list of things you can do at the ATM:

  1. Withdraw cash using the quick cash button

Here’s a list of crap you should not even think about doing:

  1. Calling it an “ATM Machine”.  (“Automated Teller Machine Machine”?  Please don’t leave your “House House” tomorrow.)
  2. Check your balance.  (If you don’t at least have a ballpark figure in your head, you probably shouldn’t be withdrawing anything.)
  3. Transfer funds. (Go home and do it online.)
  4. Requesting a printout of your entire account activity back to June 1996
  5. Deposit 90 checks from your business one-at-a-time.  (Go in the bank – they love to meet their business customers. Seriously.)
  6. Refinance your house.  (It can’t be done.)
  7. Take out a loan. (Again, no.)
  8. Listen to it beep for 60 seconds while you futz with the radio.  Focus, son.  The rest of us have things to do today.

It seems that someone in front of me at the ATM always wants to try to tackle something that can’t be done at the ATM – and is content on investigating their options for four or five minutes while I sit behind them at the drive-through like a bump on a log.

Don’t do any of this.

Not even at 3:00 am when there is no car behind you, because if a car shows up and wants to hit that quick cash button, he’s going to be pissed watching you try to figure out which button on the ATM will allow you to deposit grandma’s jewelry into your safe deposit box.