Been there? Done that?
500 Words: My Secret Fear
No eye contact is made.She stares resolutely at her screen.Fumbling around with my purse, I struggle to take out my card.I hear a distinct harrumph, low and guttural.I fiddle around trying to line up the black strip with the EFTPOS machine slot.”Any cash out?” she barks at me.She catches me by surprise. I’m daydreaming again, off in another world, a micro-escape from the drudgery of grocery shopping. “No, no thanks,” I stammer, just managing to swipe my card.”Select account, then PIN and okay,” she barks, louder this time.PIN and okay. PIN and okay!!Bloody hell..what’s my PIN? What’s my PIN?!I’ve gone blank. Completely blank. No PIN. Nothing.After many years of fearing that this might happen, it actually has.She turns and stares.”Well?” she thunders, drawing out the last consonants.She looks at me as if I’m an imbecile, a time waster and a fool.I mentally crumble under her pressurePIN, PIN, PIN, I silently scream at myself. Come on, remember!!I go to key in my email address, at least I can remember that.But in the split second it takes to see that numbers are required, I realise an email address is the wrong answer. Panic floods through my brain.I have secretly feared this for a long time but I’ve kept pushing that fear back into the box marked ‘later’.The dreaded forgetting of the PIN saga.And in an era when the media continues to tell us that the population is aging and Alzheimer’s and Dementia are on the rise, why are we being required, more and more, to stop signing our names (which we generally know) and start making up, remembering and tapping in personal identification numbers and passwords consisting of letters and numbers with upper and lower case etc etc for extra security.She glares at me, her face contorted with impatience.”PIN and okay,” she sneers.I’m angry now, her bullying attitude hasn’t helped.As we make eye contact, the light bulb goes on in the office in my brain and the drawer containing the file marked PIN numbers opens, the four numbers required float down to my index finger and I tap them into her machine with a snigger.As I grab up my docket and swagger off with my purchases, I smile to myself and mentally punch the air.I confronted my fear and survived! It feels good.A possible brush with the “A” word, or even the “D” word?I’m not admitting to anything, but I do know I’m not giving in without a fight! Of course I’ll be scared if it happens again but after facing my fear and surviving, my new motto is “Bring it on!”