“Do I Have To Sign for This?”

28 Oct


So easy that a baby could do it....? Nahhh.



In the super busy, technological world that we live in, where food is “fast” and cell phones are “smart”, there is a certain tradition–namely paying for a transaction–which seems to have not yet been mastered by the majority of the human race. To put it plainly: some stupid sonsofbitches don’t know how to use the debit machines at all.

I mean, even the styli (that’s plural for stylus, right? Oh well, you know what I mean) that is used to sign the screen is confusing for people. I have had customers try to use the stylus to write something down on paper, and I’ve also had customers use their own pen to sign the screen, which is totally fulfilling to do if you are self-absorbed and like to leave your mark everywhere. I may not have been tested into the gifted program in middle school, and I might have totally bombed my SAT’s (when I sat down to take the test and heard it would take three hours, I kind of checked out mentally), but I feel like an absolute genius while at work just because even the most important-looking people fail to use a piece of technology that has been around since the late 60’s when IBM implemented their idea for credit cards with magnetic strips. Yes, I do my research!

My favorite thing is when I say “Okay, just select debit or credit on the screen” quite enthusiastically, I might add, and the customer goes “Well…what’s the difference?” Keep in mind that the customers who ask me this are usually older than I am (twenty-one) and have had more financial experiences in their lives than I certainly have. So, at that point, it’s basically up to me to play the role of Suze Orman and explain in layman’s terms how a debit card works: “Okay, so with debit, you enter your pin, and by entering the pin you are able to get cash back. When you use debit, the transaction usually goes through immediately with your bank. With credit, the transaction usually doesn’t go through right away, but most banks won’t charge you fees if you use credit while some stores charge you a fee for paying with debit. And no, I do not know if your bank charges you or not, so proceed with caution.” Usually by the time I’m done explaining this to them their facial expressions are akin to those of a person being explained quantum physics in Klingon. Then they usually say, “So I should use credit, right?” Sure. Use credit, use a friggin’ Mall Madness card, just use something and get the heck out of my store.

Lastly, I am quite concerned with Americans and their ability to think for themselves. Every debit card reader, for example, has a slot where you insert your card. Now, sometimes debit reader companies enjoy throwing stupid people for a loop and they, gasp, change the location of the slot. This usually causes customers to try sliding the card in slots which do not exist, or they put it in completely wrong. Little do many of them know that the companies have graciously put a little picture of the way the card is supposed to be inserted on the machine! No one ever seems to notice this picture, and I’m too nice to tell people about it either. But it would be totally awesome if customers could learn to notice such pictures.

I look forward to the day that robots take over the world–I really do. At least they’ll know where to do with their damn credit cards.

Here’s an awesome video I found about how to use a debit card. Please study this, people!


7 Responses to ““Do I Have To Sign for This?””

  1. minilaptop410 October 28, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    I’m guilty of sliding my card the wrong way all the time lol. But if you don’t notice the difference between credit and debit then you must not look at your account much.


  2. Vodka and Ground Beef October 31, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    I was at the pharmacy the other day (stalking my hot surfer pharmacist), and there was a man two people in front who acted like he had NEVER SEEN a debit/credit card payment machine. And to make matters worse, the cashier just kept repeating, “Sir, just slide your card. Sir, just slide your card.”

    He had NO idea what she was talking about and I spent like 6 hours in line just watching it all. I read an entire Marie Claire and got halfway through “Hairstyles Mag” before someone just came and took him away.

    • Retail Robot October 31, 2010 at 1:56 am #

      Haha! I know, some people see the machine and they freeze and are all “Omg mo….modern tech…nology? HALP!” I feel bad for them, I really do. The cashier should have helped him, though. When I see someone who is like that, I pull a little white lie and tell them that the machine isn’t working right and that I have to swipe it myself….it solves everything!

  3. Scott November 3, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    I worked in retail for several years, this is a common problem, especially because so many of the machines are slightly different. I can understand the confusion to a degree, but then again, there’s a limit to its tolerance

    • Retail Robot November 4, 2010 at 10:48 am #

      There are a lot of variations, but that’s what the diagrams are for!

      Did you ever get a lot of customers saying “I wish they would just make all machines the same!”? It would be awesome if they did, and it certainly would eliminate any confusion. Only problem is that I sense that there are like three main companies who make these machines, so having them join forces would be pretty hard.

  4. alonewithcats November 4, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    The same people who struggle with how to swipe their cards also probably are in terrible debt. Because if they’re not smart enough to know how to swipe, they’re probably not smart enough to pay it off, either.

    You get to play Suze, though. Lucky!

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