Mom Takes All The Debit Credit

, , , , , | Right | July 15, 2021

In the shop near my home, there are a few debit-only registers where you can’t pay with cash, generally used when it’s busy, since it’s easier to open an extra one. These are clearly marked. They have signs everywhere, stickers on the floor, and the dividers and even the belt are all bright blue and white with signs saying, “DEBIT ONLY.” Even then, the cashier always asks, “Are you paying by debit?”

But we all know that for some people this isn’t enough.

My mom and I happen to shop together, getting some cake and drinks. We enter the “Debit Only” line and wait our turn. We notice that the woman in front of us is having a debate with the cashier and it’s heating up. It’s obvious the woman wanted to pay cash but went to the wrong register.

My grandmother on my mother’s side had a great way to deal with this sort of thing, and we silently decide to honour her memory. We start talking to each other in a tone that’s a little louder than usual.

Mom: “Well, she does know the language, so that rules out that she didn’t understand.”

Me: “But illiteracy is higher than one might expect and on the rise, so perhaps she couldn’t read all the signs or the belt.”

Mom: “That is a possibility.”

The cashier notices us and smiles a little. This alerts the woman and makes her throw an even bigger fit. 

Me: “But why wouldn’t she hear the cashier ask? Is she perhaps deaf, as well?”

Mom: “No, because she clearly understood the cashier explaining just now.”

Me: “Well, that leaves another possibility, but we haven’t ruled out illiteracy yet.”

Now the woman knows we are talking about her and turns her attention towards us. 

Woman: “I’m not deaf.”

Mom: “Then perhaps you can’t read.”

Woman: *Fuming now* “I can read!”

Me: “Then perhaps hard of sight, since you didn’t see?” *Points to all the signs in general* 

We can actually see her starting to feel embarrassed so my mom takes it easy.

Mom: “If you don’t have any excuse not to be able to see, read, or understand all the signs, then perhaps you shouldn’t take it out on the cashier who is just doing her job. Just pay your stuff with debit, or let the cashier do what she offered and take your receipt to another register to pay there.”

The woman nodded meekly and paid by card.

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