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They Have No Cash Memory

, , , , , , | Right | July 30, 2022

I’m a supervisor at a movie theater. It’s a very slow weekday. We’re only projected to do about fifty people from open to close since that’s been our weekday average for several weeks now, so we only schedule one person each on box office and concession, since that’ll be enough. But we unexpectedly get a rush of about forty people in the afternoon for one show. Every once in a while, you’ll just have one show time that randomly sells very well.

To help expedite the line at concession, I leap onto one of the registers that haven’t been opened. There’s no money in it, but I can still run card transactions. I look at the next person in line, [Customer #1].

Me: “Hey there! I can take card payments at this register. Are you paying with a card? If so, I can take you over at this register. If you’re paying with cash, the person at the other register will be able to ring you up.”

The customer smiles, nods, and walks over. They order their food.

Me: “All right, that’ll be [total].”

The customer pulls out their wallet and begins to count out cash.

Me: “I’m sorry, but as I said, I can take card payments at this register. The person at the other register can take cash payments.”

Customer #1: “You never said that!”

The customer huffs and puffs and argues and tries to force me to take cash before literally throwing a debit card at me and stomping away. I shrug and look back at the line at [Customer #2].

Me: “Are you paying with a card? I can take card payments at this register, but I can’t take cash. If you’re paying with a card, I can help you.”

[Customer #2] gives me a thumbs up and walks over. They order their food and I give them their total, which is less than $10. They then throw a $100 bill at me.

Me: “As I said, I can take card payments at this register, but I cannot take cash. Do you have a card you can pay with?”

Customer #2: “This is bulls***!”

Cue another short argument before he just leaves without buying anything, mumbling a string of profanity under his breath. I look up at [Customer #3].

Me: “Are you paying with a credit, debit, or gift card? I can take card payments at this register, but I can not take cash payments.”

[Customer #3] walks over, orders their food, and is given their total. They, of course, pull out cash.

Me: “As I said, I absolutely cannot take cash at this register. I can only take card payments.”

Customer #3: “Wwwhhhaaattt?! What kind of a movie theater is this?!”

Cue ANOTHER argument before he very reluctantly gives me a card. I look at [Customer #4].

Me: “I can help you at this register, but only if you are paying with a card. I absolutely can not take cash at this register.”

Customer #4: “I have a gift card! Does that count?”

Me: “Yes, I can take a gift card. But I cannot take any cash.”

[Customer #4] comes over, orders, and hands me his gift card. I run it and it only takes off half the total.

Me: “All right, you owe a balance of [total]. Do you have another card you can pay with?”

Customer #4: “I’m gonna have to give you the difference in cash.”

Me: *Glaring* “I cannot take cash on this drawer. I repeatedly said that.”

Customer #4: *Shouting* “OH, COME ON!”

Yet another argument follows, and I end up just refunding his gift card. I turn and look at [Customer #5].

Me: “I absolutely, positively can not take cash on this drawer. But if you are paying with a card, I can help you over here.”

Customer #5: “All righty!”

[Customer #5] walks over.

Customer #5: “All I have is cash.”

Me: “Then why did you come over when I said I cannot take cash?”

Customer #5: “Because I have cash.”

Me: “You’ll have to get back in line over there.”

Customer #5: “You mean I have to go to the back of the line?!”

Me: “Unfortunately.”

He storms away. [Customer #6], a young woman who appears to be in her late teens, starts to approach without me even saying anything.

Customer #6: “You can only take cards, right?”

Me: “Yes.”

[Customer #6] orders and pays with a card! It’s a friggin’ miracle!

Customer #6: *Shouting at the line sarcastically* “It doesn’t take that much effort to listen, guys! If he says he can only take cards, he can only take cards. It’s not f****** rocket science!”

[Customer #6] gives me a wink and walks away. [Customer #7] begins to approach.

Me: *Turning to them quickly* “I can only take a card payment! No cash! Are you paying with a card?”

Customer #7: “…no?”

I point to the other register.

Me: “They can take cash. I can’t.”

I turn to [Customer #8].

Me: “Are you paying with a card? I can take a card payment, but I cannot take cash on this register.”

[Customer #8] walks over and orders. They pull out cash.

Me: “I can take card payments, but I cannot take cash on this register.”

Another argument ensued. Thankfully, the next two people actually got the message and paid with cards, and by that point, the line was over. I really, really, REALLY don’t understand people sometimes.

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