July 5th, 2008

monastery, etherkiller, asr, sysadmin
  • kensey

A note to every cashier who hasn't figured out card terminals

Please swipe customers' cards correctly.  Don't run it back and forth in the card reader and don't scan it "carefully", which apparently means "so slowly that the card reader can't read the stripe properly".  Following these two rules will not only help you read more cards successfully, it will keep my card in good condition longer.

If I should happen to hand you a debit or credit card that simply does not scan in your reader even when swiped correctly, please do not look at me with a hangdog expression and say "Oh, it didn't scan, do you have another card?"  The card has numbers clearly printed (embossed, even) on the front of it, which are in fact the same numbers embedded in the stripe.  Your till has a keypad and so does the card terminal when it's a separate item.  TAKE THE EIGHT SECONDS AND KEY IT IN MANUALLY, just as you'd do for a phone order.  In the time it takes you to ask and me to fish out another card or cash, you could be done already.  If it declines, then I'll give you another card.  (You do know that in days of yore, prior to about 1990 or so, there WERE NO card readers, right?  It was all carbon copies and telephone calls.)

I worked a cash register for 2 years and I never asked a customer for another payment method because of a scan issue.  Swipe once; if it doesn't read, try again; if it still won't go, key it in.

Edit: I honestly had no idea any store had a blanket policy forbidding manual input.  None of the ones I worked at did (all of them took phone orders of some sort; that might be part of why) and such a policy is one of the stupidest things I can imagine a store inflicting on its customers and employees (it might even be against their contract with the card brand, because it could be seen as tantamount to refusing that card).  However, assuming that were the case in any particular instance, it would be easy to say "I'm sorry, this didn't read <i>and we aren't allowed to key manually</i>, do you have another card?"  Instead I always just get a dumb look.  It's a minor thing but it plays out the exact same way just about every single time, so it gets annoying after awhile.

The card damage thing is because I've seen readers that have a stop at one end of the card slot so that you can't swipe it in that direction, but some cashiers swipe it that way anyway and slam the card up against the stop.

Another reason I get irritable about this is because I have two cards that are cracked that I use at self-serve POS terminals.  One has the stripe completely cracked in half and taped back together; on the other, the top half of the stripe is hanging by a thread.  Rarely (never at a swipe terminal or ATM and only a few times at an insert-card ATM) have either of them failed to read on the first attempt when I swipe them correctly.  And the ones that don't read them just don't, no matter what tricky maneuvers you try to pull, so there's no point to wasting time trying.
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    aggravated aggravated
if only

BAD service Greyhound!

i've been going greyhound for years now, and it's always pretty uneventful. longest trip was 15 hours, i think. i prefer it to flying, because even when you get stuck sitting next to someone you can recline your seat pretty comfortably, and it doesn't give me that awful sinus pain flying does.

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short version: Angry Rent-a-Cop screams at me, puts his hands on a man that defends me, entire terminal shocked.
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    aggravated aggravated


Dear Nurse,

Please do not push me to walk faster when it was the first time I had gotten up after having my surgery. Then pretty much cutting the circulation off in my legs after I got back into bed with those leg massager things.. no thx. They are supposed to help KEEP circulation in the legs, not cut them off.

A Gripe on BJ's

I'm not sure how national the BJ's Restaurant and Brewery is, but in Southern California, there are quite a few locations. I'm a fan of their food (sometimes) and the Pizookie is always oh-so yummy. :9 I've never gotten bad service before at this chain.

Recently (and I mean within the past year or so), a new BJ's opened right near where I work so my friends and I tend to frequent the place for lunch/dinner. We've been there maybe half a dozen times or so and have only gotten "good" (read: tolerable) service twice. I know... it's stupid of me to keep coming back, but for some reason I always believe it'll be better next time around. The last time I was there was the worst.
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