One of the most humbling (i.e., humiliating) things about making Aliyah has been my inability to conduct “business as usual” due to my poor Hebrew skills. A few weeks ago I needed to deposit a check that someone gave us. When I entered the bank a young employee snatched me out of the teller line (where it would have cost me 5.5 shekels to complete a transaction) and insisted on taking care of my deposit via the ATM – I was thankful (it cost only 1.65 shekels to use the ATM), but she went so quickly through the screens that I was unable to recall the entire process.
On Friday I received a reimbursement check from my landlord for repairs I had paid for and I took it to the bank. I was too early (they open at 8:30) and the outer lobby was already packed with customers so I decided to wait until Sunday. On Sunday when I arrived at 8:30 they were closed. So I attempted to use the ATM, but didn’t know which one to use because they have two different systems. I tried the one I have used in the past to withdraw money, but quickly realized it was the wrong one. The other seemed to be out of order (at least I assumed that’s why the guy who attempted to use it before me was cursing as he left).
This morning I went back to the teller line and when I handed the checks over for deposit she scolded me and told me to use the ATM! I explained that my Hebrew skills don’t allow for such an adventure and she pointed to a young woman in a hot pink sweater who had just arrived (5 minutes AFTER the bank opened) and yelled across the room (something in Hebrew, which I suspect was along the lines of “Hey – this moron needs help with the machine”!) for her to assist me.
“Hot Pink Sweater” proceeded to the back room to put her back pack away… and came back about 10 minutes later. This time I insisted that she instruct me and that I push the buttons. I promised that if she allowed me to take pictures of the screens that I wouldn’t need her help again in the future (and that I could help you not need her help in the future as well!)
As a professional technical writer, I must preface these instructions with an apology for the quality of the images! I didn’t have “screen shots” to work with, only what I was able to capture while dealing with Miss “Hot Pink Sweater” – who wasn’t too sure I should be photographing the screens – so I had to work fast and without time to deal with lighting issues (like the fluorescents and my shadow on many of the shots). Hopefully they’re good enough for you to be able to follow the procedure.
Maybe next time I’ll have a more controlled environment in which to take better shots. Anyone want to send me a check?