austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I've got ninety thousand pounds in my pajamas

There's some kind of lurking madness at the nearby ATMs. Yesterday when I sought $100, the machine didn't actively protest, but did spit out ten $10 bills. I wasn't expecting this: I don't believe that I've ever gotten a $10 out of an ATM before. I've gotten $50 bills out of an ATM in Snowbird, Utah, when I was visiting a lodge there because it was a mathematics conference, which was certainly a novel experience, but otherwise it's been nothing but $20 bills out of every United States ATM I'd ever visited. I didn't even know this one would dispense $10 bills. Actually, I'd been starting to wonder if the $10 was still in existence, since it seems like the stores around me are always short of it and will give back $5 in change instead. Maybe they're all protesting that splash of salmon pink the new bills have.

Singapore ATMs I only over got S$50 bills from. There might have been S$10 bills available, but since I usually wanted a hundred dollars (I believe I subtly think of that as the basic unit of disposable income) there wasn't much reason for me to try combinations that would get away from the fifty-dollar note. (Singapore hasn't issued a twenty-dollar note in ages except for that special commemorative issue with Brunei earlier this year.) Plus the bank I had listed S$100 as one of the fast-cash options, saving precious seconds in my overpacked week, so it was easier to go with that.

I have wondered why ATMs -- if you don't take a fast-cash option -- ask to enter the amount you want down to the cent, since I've never seen one that offered change. I'm not actually convinced they need to take the final zero either, given that the amounts dispensed are multiples of twenty or, I suppose, ten, but I can accept that on the grounds that it's hard if you're thinking of `100' to try stopping when you type in `10'. Granted that when you program a system it's probably best to try designing it to be as general as possible, but at some point the people setting up the machine have to decide what's the quantum of money dispersed, and from that point on any smaller units are irrelevant.

Trivia: By late 1928 at least seven colleges of ``voice culture'' were set up in Hollywood attempting to teach movie actors to speak. Source: Clara Bow: Runnin' Wild, David Stenn.

Currently Reading: The Sixth Great Power: A History of One of the Greatest of all Banking Families, the House of Barings, 1762 - 1929, Philip Ziegler.


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