Fine. Don’t Take My Money, Then.

, , , , , | Working | May 5, 2020

It’s lunchtime and I’m going through a popular fast food drive-thru with my two small kids. I’m from out of town and we’re trying to head home, so fast food is the best option for us. I order, and the girl confirms my order and has me pull forward. Judging by the voice, it’s the same person who took my order.

Employee: “Hi there! Your total is $11.74.”

I hand over my card. The employee stares at my card in her hand for a moment.

Employee: “Oh, did they not tell you we can’t take this right now?”

I’m confused because I know she took my order, so she was the one who didn’t tell me. I also know there was no sign by the speaker or menu saying that they aren’t accepting cards.

Me: “Um, no?”

Employee: “Do you have another way to pay?”

I’m completely thrown off, but I’m trying to be polite.

Me: “I don’t have that much cash. Er… My bank doesn’t have a branch here, so I’ll have to figure it out. I’ll have to come back.”

Employee: “Do you want us to hold your order for you? I can have them hold your food at the counter inside.”

I’d rather just reorder to ensure I get fresh food.

Me: “Uh… No, that’s okay. I’m not sure how long it will take for me to come back. Thanks.”

Employee: “Oh, okay.” 

Her tone of voice, while not rude, made it clear she was done speaking with me. I decided not to go back and just got food elsewhere since she didn’t apologize for the situation at all. Plus, I didn’t want to have to pay an ATM fee anywhere or have to get out of the car with a two- and three-year-old.

I’m pretty sure the person in line ahead of me paid with a card, but maybe it was a gift card? It felt weird to me, almost as if she were making an excuse not to accept my card. It’s a decent-sized city, so it’s not like seeing an out-of-town debit card would be a reason to deny my card.

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