Posts Tagged ‘machine’

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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Heat: Bad for You, Worse for Me

May 4, 2010

Our air-conditioning hasn’t been working for a while, and there is no cold-air in the back of the store where the fitting rooms are located. I can basically handle the hot air with very little sweating and no whining and complaining. Yet, customer after customer comes into the fitting room for five to ten minutes and come out saying, “Wow, I’m so hot, why is it so hot in here? I can’t handle it.” They say this with a mix of surprise, and some with irritation and anger towards me, as if I broke the air conditioning, because I’m the Devil. (As my old friend used to joke, “It’s so hot the devil came up and asked us to turn down the heat!”)

The entire time, day-after-day for weeks I worked in the fitting room, running on dehydration and hazy delusions, listening to everyone complain about the heat, and only one–one customer–said to me, “Wow, it’s so hot in here, it must be terrible for you!”

Manual Labor

April 25, 2010

A woman and her husband have a credit card strip which doesn’t work–its been de-magnetized–so I have to input it manually and then slide it through a machine which makes a physical copy of the credit card number. (It basically rubs a receipt against the credit card.) I tell them I’m doing this.

The guy laughs, replying, “Manual labor?! Ha-ha! How terrible for you!”

I just replied, “Yeah… Ha-ha… Thanks a lot…” I wanted to slap him in the face with the credit swipe machine.

You know what’s manual labor? Turning over that card and calling the number on the back to request a card that actually works! Compare that to the amount of time each cashier has to take manually entering your number and verifying it, times by each time you use that card–and you see how many people’s lives you’re wasting in addition to your own, because of your blatant, haughty laziness. This is the difference between members of society whom are progressive, and those who are backward-moving donkeys that ensure our social evolution is slow and tedious. Manual labor is obviously lost on you, but capitalism is not.

Customer Types: Capitalist