It’s Not Us Or The Banks, It’s Just You

, , , , | Right | October 14, 2019

I’m working one afternoon on the checkouts, during a day when [Bank] debit cards are refusing to work on our registers. I learn later on in the day it’s a widespread issue, affecting multiple stores, but never do learn whether it was nationwide or just a few stores. Odd thing is, the cards work when withdrawing cash from ATMs, but transactions at registers are declined. 

Anyway, I get a customer who just flips out. The lady before her is polite enough, even with this situation. Polite Lady makes two further trips during her transaction: first to bring her total up enough to qualify for our voucher scheme and then to run to the ATM when her card is declined. Polite Lady is no hassle and understands it is not our fault. I help pack, and eventually, Polite Lady pays and is sent on her merry way. 

I eventually come to serve Not Polite Lady (NPL). She is understandably annoyed, but overall, she hasn’t had to wait too long, unlike some other times I remember. She is very bad-tempered. She at first asks me the total of her first three items, which are a magazine, a carton of milk, and something else. I give her the total, then I proceed to scan the rest of her items, and her total is about 60 euro.

She tells me that she is annoyed and frustrated and that her card had better work. I inform her about the card problem, which she knew about beforehand anyway, having witnessed what I said to Polite Lady. She refuses to even try the ATM, and lo and behold… her card is declined. 

She then tells me she only wants to pay for her initial three items, to which I agree, of course. It’s up to her what she buys. I inform her that I’ll have to scan her products again, in order to void them back out, and she says she doesn’t care what I have to do. There is a little bit of confusion on my part, as I’m not 100% sure if she wants me to void out all of her milk — she has four cartons — or she wants to keep the one. I mention this, and she gets so frustrated that she just says she’s not going to take anything and says that all the stores have done this to her, mentioning a couple of our competitors. From her language, it almost sounds like she thinks there’s some sort of conspiracy to deny her the ability to buy her groceries. She just storms out of the store empty-handed. 

The next customer says I have the patience of a saint.

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