Asking Him To Press Buttons Makes Him Press Yours

, , , , , , | Right | September 10, 2019

(I work at a European grocery store, in Australia. Our card reading machines are a bit crappy and have a few steps to them, including a screen that asks the customer if they would like to take cash out, a screen asking them to select their account using the numbers on the PIN pad, and then a screen telling them to enter their PIN. The next person in line at my till is a young woman, but a man has perhaps unintentionally put his one bottle of liquor in front of her groceries. He walks forward expectantly, assuming I will now serve him first. I glance over to the young woman and she gives me a little shrug which I take to mean she doesn’t mind if I take care of the man first, and avoid possible trouble.)

Me: “Hi! How are you today?”

Old Man: “I want $60 cash out.”

Me: “Sure thing. You’ll just need to insert your card for me.”

Old Man: *tries to insert his card upside down*

Me: “Round the other way, please, sir.”

Old Man: *grunts but manages to put it in right*

Me: “Okay, so, what I need you to do is just type in ‘60’ and then hit the ‘okay’ button there at the bottom for me.”

Old Man: *more grunts*

(I see he’s struggling a bit so I reach over and type it in for him, and then turn the machine back to him. I’m already panicking because he obviously is going to be difficult and the lady he pushed in front of is going to have to wait even longer. I explain that he needs to select his account.)

Old Man: “Well, I want a cheque.”

Me: “No problem, just hit whatever number it says cheque is.”

(I watch him try and fail to hit the “CHQ” button instead of the number multiple times before I pull the machine toward me and select number three for a cheque. By this point, he is beyond agitated and snaps at me.)

Old Man: “Do you want my PIN number, too, girl? Want to put that in for me?”

Me: “No, you can do that yourself, sir.”

(I turn the machine back to him and he enters his PIN, but doesn’t hit “okay” to actually finish the transaction.)

Me: “Sir, just hit ‘okay’ for me, please.”

Old Man: “Okay?”

Me: “Yes.”

(The old man proceeds to pull his card out without hitting “okay,” completely canceling the transaction. I am internally screaming by now.)

Me: “Sir, you needed to press ‘okay.’ You pulled your card out before it was ready and now you need to do it again.”

Old Man: *now practically yelling* You said it was okay.”

Me: “No, I said you needed to press ‘okay,’ the green ‘okay’ button at the bottom of the machine, which tells the machine that you have finished entering your PIN.”

(The man now hands me his card.)

Old Man:You do it, then, if you think I’m so incapable!”

(I’m wishing I could tell him just how incapable I really think he is, but I just run his card again, enter his cash-out amount, select cheque, and then hand it back to him for him to enter his PIN. He enters it, finally presses ‘okay,’ and the till tells me it’s processing.)

Old Man: “Is it ready yet?”

Me: “Not quite; it will beep.”

(The machine beeps and my heart is racing at this point.)

Me: “Okay, sir, you can remove your card. Here is your cash; have a good day.”

(He grumbled off and I apologized profusely to the lady who was supposed to be before him. Thankfully, she was cool about it and said I had handled it well. He was only buying one thing and his transaction was honestly one of the longest and definitely the worst one I had that entire day. People can be so awful.)

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