The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Assumptions on the Route to Wayward Thinking

Fuelling up

Yesterday I found myself in another town half an hour away from home and with the car tank quite low on petrol. I thought it best to fill up for the journey since there were no filling stations on the route home - so I put in £20 worth and went to pay with my debit card.

I never give paying by card a second thought because I always leave enough of a balance available to cover unforeseen eventualities. However from what ensued perhaps I need to re-examine this assumption.

I put the card in the reader but it didn't seem to care much for my card and the transaction was not authorised - I hadn't even got as far as entering my Pin number. The checkout girl tried a second card reader and there was the same response from that reader too.
"Have you had trouble with this card before?" she asked.
"No," I replied and I hadn't.
With just £15 cash in my pocket I could have been in a bit of a pickle here - except I had another card on another account with me as well. This transaction went through fine and I was mildly relieved that I was free to go having paid for my petrol!
The whole event had taken place without my thought, concern, embarrassment or anything like that - in other words I didn't give it a second thought.

So far so good! In terms of the NOW of the visit to that petrol station in another town I was emotionally unscathed!

Homeward Bound

Once on the road, commencing the journey home, things began to happen on the inside. It started out as curiosity, "I wonder what's wrong with that card?" The last time I had used it in a card reader was a week before - but I went through a detailed chronological memory search to make SURE. I'd also checked my balance online only three days before and I remembered checking about my upcoming direct debits and standing orders at that time. This was all part of my strategy of "being prepared".
And yet here I was - only 5 minutes after discovering my card could not be read - assuming that in spite of all my diligence, there perhaps were not enough funds in my account.
Here I was - only 15 minutes after being in a calm, serene state, unconsciously certain that my "being prepared" strategy was watertight - thinking myself into a state of disquiet and self-distrust.

That's how quickly it can happen!

After concluding that I was, after all, utterly on top of my finances, my thinking moved on to the next phase - all designed to answer the big "How has this happened" question.
Next assumption - theft.
"There's a distinct possibility that someone has been able to clone all my details and siphon off enough funds to void my next attempt to use the card." There then followed another memory search for any recently new online purchase sources - or maybe it had happened when I was travelling during the last month.

As I sat behind the wheel cruising, my mind although not exactly racing was certainly not in 'cruise mode'. The initial discomfort around the self-distrust had given way to a more agitated feeling. "I must get home quickly to check my account and make phone calls to the bank if I need to," I thought. Curiously enough, the 'if I need to' bit was there, but was almost a whisper. I was definitely thinking, feeling and starting to act as if someone was in the act of siphoning off my funds as I was driving.

Wayward Thinking

Once the train of wayward thought has left the station, the only way to get off it and back on the right lines is to wait for it to stop. Trouble is - and this happens to us all - the more we add to the thinking, the faster the train goes! It becomes an express, whistling through stations, hurrying us to the destination we definitely DON'T WANT! Once we realise our thinking is wrong AND we know how to stop the train, the next stop will arrive soon enough.

The other thing was the 'readability' factor of the card itself. At the petrol station, I moved straight to using the second card once the first card wasn't readable. At that moment of NOW I'd gone unwaveringly to the reasoning that, "to these particular card readers on this particular day my first card is not readable."
However, once my train of thought - driven by the engine of "wanting to know why" - had set off down the road of distrust, first of self and then of others, the notion that it was JUST the card was left behind at the station.


The journey home became much more comfortable and uneventful once I'd got on the right train of thought - once I'd realised it was, most likely, just the card, although I'd check my balance when home, just in case - because that would be sensible and prudent.

And that was a million miles from where I had been on the wayward thinking route - what I like to call the "Route of All Evil!"

Happily, when I got home I discovered my funds were all there, my identity intact, my integrity unsullied and my state nice and calm.
Life can be very simple - or we can complicate it almost to the Nth degree. It's our choice!!