Posts Tagged ‘debit’

Please Swipe Your Card

October 30, 2010

Credit card machines have evolved quickly over the years. Currently, everyone has their version of the swiping machine with a digital pad so you can view your items and total, eventually signing on the same screen. I consider the most advanced being the machines which allows you to swipe whenever you please–there are not a lot of these, as most people ask you to wait before you swipe. Our business uses the one where you wait. Let me compress a single-day’s worth of, “Please swipe your card,” into a single transaction.

I greet the customer. They swipe their card–come on, I haven’t even logged into the system nor taken your clothes yet, calm down! So I tell them it’s not ready yet, I prepare to scan an item, they swipe again! “It’s not ready yet,” I repeat again. They stand there staring at the machine, as if it’s a race–can they swipe it right when they need to? Can they swipe it at the exact second it says to, “Go!” Because, you know, if they are able to do this, their world is full of greatness. Yeah, right, and I”m the Retail Fairy. By this time, they’ve often swiped several times, sighing in some ridiculous relief as if they did it right, and put away their credit cards.

I finally scan in all the items, and I need to select the option for Credit or Debit cards. They’re swiping away, two or three times, as I say, “It’s not… ready yet. It will… tell you when it’s… ready.” Each pause is generally one swipe from the customer, thinking that by swiping it multiple times, the transaction will go by faster. It is like people at a stoplight pressing the button constantly as if that will alert the system, “Oh my, someone is in a hurry! We must change the light faster! Hurry, there must be a life and death emergency!” Actually, it’s people with low intellect stimulating themselves. Anyhow, sometimes I even try to outrace the customer. Can I scan in all the items and press credit, before they can find their card and swipe it? Can I? Can I really? Most of the time I do this, they say, “I didn’t even see the total.” Yes, it’s always lose-lose when you deal with the lost.

Finally, the screen appears, “Please Swipe Your Card.” And they stand there, with their credit card. And what do they ask? What could the possibly ask to make them look any smarter as human beings?

“Do I swipe now?” Seriously? Who in the world taught you to act like a chimpanzee? Most times I just sigh and nod.

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The Art of War in Retail: The Opposition

May 28, 2010

Chapter 5
The Generals- The primary opposition is other Generals who lead their armies–cold cash, credit cards, and debit cards–into battle against your armies of clothes. It is critical that you use all your tactics and your terrain to your advantage. Your troops must be well folded, sized, and prepared for battle. Some Generals are easier to defeat, but some will cut up and defeat entire battalions of Soldiers–it is up to you to distract and move these Generals into new battlefields against Soldiers who can take more damage. Your primary goal is to take as few losses as possible before you capture their army of money–thus the greatest sales Generals engage in direct contact.

The Champions- These are key Generals, ones you can automatically notice as they walk into the battlefield. Some of these Champions have huge armies, with a fat wallet lined with designer accessories–they will buy up handfuls of clothes. Some of these Champions used the dirtiest tactics to defeat as many of your soldiers as they can, with as little damage to their armies as possible–these people search for super sales. Champions are often seen on the same battlefield many times, and many sales Generals can point them out in battle. The very worst Champions are the ones who come the most, and bring devastation in their wake, time and time again. These bad Champions confuse multiple sales Generals, destroy entire battlefields, and wreak havoc on the self-esteem and psyche of all who challenge them.

Siege or Parlay? Yet, even in this, there are some Generals and Champions that only come for parlay, they wish no siege, no prolonged wars. Some Generals will come with organized battle in mind–often called a shopping list–willing to trade equally in their army with your army. They are like Valkyries of Valhalla, taking your Soldiers to a better place, with the honorable death of battle on their breath.

The Opposition must be known and understood. Often, the best advice is to put yourself in their shoes, even if they rarely ever place themselves in your shoes. If you understand the Opposition, you can understand your place in the battlefield even better.