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    Taking A Swipe At Common Sense

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Technology, Wild & Unruly

    (I am working as a cashier during Easter weekend at a popular retail shop. I have a long line but am getting people rung out quickly. A customer in her early 30s is next in line.)

    Me: “Hi, how are you doing today?”

    (The customer puts her items on the belt, and doesn’t say a word to me.)

    Me: *rings up her order* “Okay, that will be [total].”

    Customer: *swipes her card very fast* “Why isn’t this working?!”

    (She swipes the card back and forth quickly. All the while the machine beeps to inform us that it cannot read her card, because she is swiping it too fast.)

    Me: “Oh, you need to swipe it slower so the machine can read your card.”

    Customer: “Oh.” *continues swiping too fast, back and forth* “Your machine is broken! It won’t accept my card!”

    Me: “You just need to swipe it a little slower.”

    Customer: “I AM SWIPING IT! YOUR STUPID MACHINE WON’T TAKE MY CARD!”

    (She proceeds to keep swiping it back and forth just as fast as before and is getting a bit rough with the machine.)

    Customer: “SEE!? IT WON’T WORK!”

    Me: “Would you like me to try and swipe the card back here? Sometimes the front one doesn’t work but mine will.”

    Customer: “All right… Wait, you’re the store who got hacked, right?”

    (I get asked this a lot. During last year’s Christmas shopping season a bunch of credit and debit cards were hacked. People are still cautious about the security breach.)

    Me: “Yes, but we have taken care of the issue and your card is safe to use now.”

    Customer: “I don’t want my card hacked.”

    Me: “As I said, your card is safe.”

    Customer: “I don’t want my information stolen!”

    Me: “Yes, I understand, but we took care of the issue. I’ve used my card here plenty of times since it was fixed and no one has stolen money from me.”

    Customer: “Well, that is because you are an employee. They wouldn’t steal money from someone who works for them.”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “[Store] wouldn’t steal money from the people who work for them.”

    Me: “Oh, no. It wasn’t [Store] that hacked into people’s accounts. It was a hacker.”

    Customer: “But I bet you got a huge paycheck during that time when you were stealing money.”

    Me: “Yes, my paycheck was bigger but that was only because there were more hours to go around. [Store] didn’t steal any money.”

    (My manager comes over to see why I was taking so long.)

    Manager: “Is something wrong, [My Name]?”

    Customer: “I’m just making sure your employee doesn’t steal my card information. She asked to swipe it in the card reader behind her because the front one isn’t working. I don’t want my information stolen!”

    (I explain to my manger why I asked to swipe her card with my card reader and why she thinks I am trying to steal her information.)

    Manager: “As my employee said, [Store] didn’t steal anyone’s money. It was a hacker. I myself was a victim of the breach.”

    Customer: “But you work here! They couldn’t steal money from you! You’re just lying so you can get away with stealing more people’s money!”

    Manager: “I assure you, we are not trying to steal your money.”

    Customer: “But your employee is trying to take my card!”

    Manager: “Why don’t you try swiping your card again in the front card reader?”

    Customer: *swipes her card fast again, then a few more times violently* “See?! It won’t work! Your employee must have broken the machine so she could copy my card information into the database!”

    Manager: “Try swiping it a bit slower.”

    (My manager motions over the card reader at the right pace. The customer slides her card again and it goes through.)

    Customer: “It worked! Thank goodness you were here to prevent your employee from stealing my information!” *looks at me* “All you kids are thieves. I hope you get fired for this!”

    Me: “Er… have a nice day.”

    (I hands her her bags and she leaves.)

    Manager: “Don’t worry. You aren’t going to be fired for her ignorance.”