It’s a dark and stormy night…. there’s a mist and just a slight glow of illumination. In that glow, there is a small structure standing alone, and I move slowly and carefully toward it.

Holy moly, its an ATM. I must be nuts looking to get money from a machine all alone and in the middle of nowhere. How come when we need money we always find an ATM that makes you feel like you are in the Haunted Mansion at a Disney theme park? 

Who were the architects and “think tanks” that decided that when older people needed some cash on a weekend, let’s send them to a desolate island that pirates of 200 years ago might not tread?

I stood at the ATM and realized that maybe this was not a good thing. I might be little better trained in self-defense that many of my senior clients, but is it now necessary to wear a Kevlar vest and infrared goggles to withdraw a few bucks. I don’t think so.

A favorite client of mine recently told me of a similar experience. He needed some money on a Saturday night and thought a visit to a friendly ATM might be in order. Was he in for a surprise? He said, and I quote, “felt like I was on stage in Vegas with a spotlight watching him take out money”.

You’re looking at a machine, trying to figure out what the machine is asking, you’re fumbling for your glasses, you have your wallet in your hand………your car is running with the door open…

Hey, maybe it would be a lot easier just to hand over our wallet and keys to our car, to the “perp” watching in the bushes.

When I speak to groups of seniors about self-defense, I say, let’s think before we act. Don’t drive out of your condo or gated community on “auto pilot”. If you need money plan for it and go to the brick and mortar bank on a weekday. Our lives are not so cluttered that we can’t remember we need a few bucks to go to a movie.

Look, I know that an ATM is a convenience. ……But I also know that it’s a great spot to get “stuck up”. The night has a thousand eyes, so said a favorite rock song of the 50’s.

If you want to go on stage, try out for your local theatre company. Don’t do a tryout at your local ATM.

Take it for what it is…It’s just AS I SEE IT.