Not as easy as Pi.

It’s the Pi Day of the Century, as well as the day after Friday the 13th. But it looked like my unlucky Friday was extended for 12 more hours until Saturday noon.

I was in Tayuman, on my way to meet a friend for lunch before I heading to Quiapo for the afternoon. My friend and I agreed to have some pasta, which we discovered we both we craving.

Before I reached the mall, I saw a Metrobank branch and decided to withdraw from the ATM. A few keypresses later, I was waiting for the machine to dispense my cash. And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

With a growing dread because of the odd delay in the transaction.

Finally, the ATM monitor flashed a message of regret: My card was captured. On a weekend when I only have 200 pesos left in my wallet.

I called the bank’s Support number but my fears were only confirmed when the bank representative explained that I cannot claim my card until Monday, when the bank opens again, and in that same branch where it was captured. The poor girl didn’t deserve getting the full blunt of my frustration, but she so happened to work in the detestable Metrobank.

What was supposed to be a pasta lunch date ended up an inexpensive fastfood trip, with my friend paying for my meal.

I was grateful but at the same time uncomfortable accepting the meal. It’s easier for me to accept free meals when I have money, because I can immediately return the favor: but drinks or desserts, in my turn. After all, I am working and earning for myself; I should not depend on someone else buying food for me.

It was an idiotic rationalization and I was stressing too much, thinking about it.

I was glad my friend tolerated my spewing vitriol against Metrobank every three minutes while we were eating and was not affected by my aura of bad vibes. Nobody really wants to have lunch with a walking beacon of negativity.

If it weren’t for my payroll account, I would not bank with Metrobank.

Wednesday morning.

Since I needed to withdraw money and get a phone prepaid card, I decided to do the same via the ATM outside the building. I did the phone card transaction first and waited for the paper receipt with the top-up code.

Except that no paper came out.

The ATM ran out of paper ribbon but the transaction still went through. That left me 300 pesos poorer and I still didn’t have a prepaid card.

I decided not to make further transactions in that machine, marched in straight to the bank, and reported the ATM incident.

The bank lady asked if I wanted the prepaid load sent to my phone or to have it refunded back to my account. I decided to get the prepaid load. When I asked for a transaction number, the bank lady assured me it was not needed anymore and to expect the prepaid load within the day.

Metrobank ATM

In hindsight, I should have insisted for that transaction number.

No prepaid load was sent to my phone number the entire day, and none the following day. I decided to go back to the bank the day after, only to find out (and realize too late) that the bank was closed because of the Chinese New Year.

Metrobank really knows how not to make me a happy customer.

There goes another waste of cab fare. Thank you, Metrobank.

It sucks when you’re broke because you absolutely don’t have money. It sucks more if you’re broke but, technically, you have money; except you can’t withdraw it from the bank.

I lost my ATM card earlier this week and I have not come around to replacing it yet. I needed to submit a notarized affidavit of loss to the bank before I could make an over-the-counter withdrawal. Thing is, I need to make an over-the-counter withdrawal so I could have some cash for the notary, among other things. You know the Universe is messing up with you when you get yourself into sitcom-like Catch-22 situations.

Thank Dog for kind friends who offered help in my time of need. Finally I was able to have the affidavit notarized and I was ready to head to the bank to withdraw. Flatmate Leo lent me some cab fare so I could reach the bank before 4pm.

A few minutes before 4pm, I was outside the bank and it was closed. It was one of those banks that close at 3pm. Great job, Jade, for not taking note of that sooner.

You have to understand: For someone like me who works at night, going to the bank during the afternoon is like agreeing for an appointment in the wee hours of the morning for you dayshift people. I get off work at 5 in the morning and I need to sleep.

It’s not that I urgently need the ATM card replaced; as I told Leo, that could wait.

I. NEED. MY. MONEY. DAMMIT.

So I need to head to the bank tomorrow at 9am, submit the affidavit and (hopefully!) get what meager money I have left in my account so I could survive until the next payday.

Today is payday.

And already most of my money has gone to paying bills, leaving me with only a few thousand in the bank. It’s ironic how the higher my salary goes, the less spending money is left to me, it seems. And there’s also that fact that my salary probably won’t be increasing in the next year at least, but that’s another matter and is something I really can’t be writing about in public.

Where does the money go? I don’t smoke, I hardly party, and I only drink occasionally. On the other hand, there’s rent, food, cab fare (the only vice and luxury I could really admit to indulging in regularly), utilities, and other bills. The world conspires to keep most of us in debt. One time, I heard a college kid complaining of his miniscule allowance; I wanted to say, “working won’t really change that, man.”

Last night, I discovered my ATM card was missing. Great. Until this afternoon, I had several thousand pesos in the bank and I can’t withdraw them because I’m missing that little piece of plastic. I’m pretty sure I last saw it in our bedroom; the boyfriend and I stopped short of dismantling the panelling, but we were not able to find it.

There is online banking, of course. Thanks to the Interwebs, I’m now up to date with my bills and pretty close to being broke less than 24 hours after money was credited to my salary account. That’s money gone without me even touching them. Ain’t modern life wonderful?

Today is payday. Not so much that I’m getting paid as me doing the paying. Dear gods, why wasn’t I born as a rich heiress instead?