Are You Smarter Than a T-Rex?

Every once in awhile, “the boy” approaches me with a question:  Where are my gurl blogs?  Which then triggers me to respond by saying “well, I have lots of good ideas for some, just haven’t had the time to write any, I’ll start blogging again soon, I promise!’

So here I am…you have “the boy” to thank!

First and foremost…study this timeline, you will be quizzed on it later.  Seriously, I spent a lot of time making this, study it!

money timeline vertical

Now that you’ve studied the timeline above, (note: if you haven’t studied it, do it now!) allow me rant.

Credit/debit cards are not new.  Neither are the POS (Point of sale goobers…not Piece of…well you know what else POS stands for) card readers.

Now, I’ll tell my age a little here and reveal that, when I was a kid, I vaguely can remember a time when my mom would pay for something with a credit card, and the cashier had to get out that little carbon copy doo-hickey.  For those of you youngsters, basically they would place the card on this little box.  The box had a receipt paper and a piece of carbon paper, and when they pressed on the card, the indentions would be imprinted on the receipt paper.

But, those are LONG gone.  I have also been around long enough to know that the POS card readers have been around since my early childhood as well.

So why, why, why, why, why?  Is it so hard for some people, to this day, to figure out how to use these things?  And I’m not even talking about the elderly who have trouble seeing.  I’m not talking about my mom’s generation, who has trouble with technology like smartphones and computers.  I’m not talking about any generation in general, because the fact is, these things have been around long enough, we ought to understand them.

Yet, it seems that at least once a week (once a day some weeks), I get stuck behind someone who is absolutely befuddled by these little magical card reading contraptions.

Just the other day, I got behind a lady in a very busy grocery store.  The lines were ridiculous to begin with, and I just so happened to pick the “right” line.  Does that happen to anyone else?  There’s 30 registers open (Obviously I wasn’t at Wal-Mart, they have 100 registers available and at any given time a day, there’s only 3 open) and every single line in the place is moving except yours.

Anyways…back to the point.

The lady checking out was about three people in front of me.  The cashier had done her job and scanned all of her groceries and it was time for her to pay.  The whole thing went a little something like this:

Cashier: That will be $26.32

Woman: Here you go (proceeds to hand the cashier the card, even though the POS thing is right in front of her, literally, she had to move it out of the way to hand the card to the cashier)

Cashier: Go ahead and swipe it right there (points toward POS)

Woman: Oh! I didn’t see that! (Really lady?)

The woman slides her card. She stares at the screen for what seems like an hour.

Cashier: (Finally!) It’s asking if you want debit or credit.

Woman: Does it matter?

Cashier: No, not unless you want cash back, if you do, press debit.

Woman: Oh, I don’t need cash back, but I pushed debit anyways.

Cashier: That’s fine, push the green button if the amount is ok.

Woman: If the amount is ok?  Wait, did the amount change?  How much did you say it was?

Cashier: $26.32

Woman: Oh, well that’s what it says here.  I don’t understand what to do now.

Cashier: Just press the green button.

Woman: But wait, if I press the green button, how much is it going to charge me?

Cashier: $26.32

Woman:  Are you sure?  Why would it ask if the amount was ok if you already told me what the amount was before I swiped my card?

Cashier: It’s just reassuring that you know how much you are being charged.

Woman:  But I don’t!

Cashier:  (Pointing at the screen)  It says right here, “Total: $26.32, is this amount right?  Yes/no”

Woman:  OH!  Ok, I understand now!  Yes, that’s the right amount.

At this point, she is still staring at the screen telling the machine that it’s the right amount.

Cashier:  Just push the green button.

The woman pushes the green button and stares at the screen for another eternity.

Cashier:  It’s asking if you want cash back.  Push the red button for no.

Woman: Ok. ( She pushes a button)  Oh no!  I pushed the green button by mistake.

Cashier:  It’s ok, just hit zero.

Woman: But I don’t want cash back.

Cashier: That’s fine, just hit zero to cancel it out.  It won’t charge you anything extra.

Woman:  Ok.  (She presses zero, and the receipt prints out.  Success at last!  Or…maybe not)  It didn’t ask me if the amount was ok this time.

Cashier: You already confirmed that the amount was ok.

Woman:  I know, but I did the cash back thing, and I want to make sure the amount is still correct.

Cashier:  Let me show you, right here on your receipt.  It shows your total was $26.32, it charged for that plus zero cash back.

Woman: It charged me to do cash back even though I didn’t want cash back?

Cashier:  No ma’am, it’s just showing that you pressed cash back and you asked for zero cash back.

Woman: Well why is it charging me?

Cashier:  It’s not ma’am, look here, it shows you the total amount you were charged, $26.32.

Woman: Oh, this technology is so confusing.

She proceeds to stand there, staring at her receipt while the cashier is waiting for her to move so she can check out the next person in line.

Woman: Wait, I still don’t understand…

Customer in line behind her: TAKE IT TO CUSTOMER SERVICE!  There are other people waiting to check out!

Woman:  Wow, what a B—!

She proceeds to push her cart to customer service, where she was still arguing with the boy behind the counter when I left.

Seriously people….the dinosaurs had it figured out and they had brains the size of a walnut.



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