I’ve noticed a curious trend recently revolving around the credit card machine, and honestly, I don’t know why it keeps happening. Okay, that’s a lie; I know exactly why it keeps happening. (Customers are idiots and are constantly rushing for some reason.)
It’s just weird when it does happen, and I know the explanation for that as well; somehow, deep down inside me, there’s some hope that I’m dealing with an intelligent, observant person. Yeah, I don’t know why that little sliver of hope continues to exist either, and yet, there it is, twinkling like the dim, distant start that it is.
So, here’s how it goes: I write up their purchases, total them, and take payment. When it’s a card, you plug it into the machine, insert the card, and wait for it to spit out the receipt. Pretty basic stuff. Now comes the weirdness. You have the customer sign the receipt, then staple their copy (the second receipt printed) to the itemized receipt, and hand it to them to keep.
That’s how it should go. Today, this was how it went: I handed them the copy to sign, the customer signed it, pocketed the receipt, and turned to leave. I stopped them, explaining to them that they currently had my copy of the receipt crumpled up in their pocket. As the sudden realization of their mistake collided with their embarrassment, the fumbled with, well, everything.
Here’s the simple thing about it all: Turn. On. Your. Brains. Or, rather, stop turning them off when you enter a store. You know why I tend to not want to ask an employee for help finding something? I like doing it myself. Then, after I’ve searched as well as I could and come up empty, I’ll ask for guidance. There’s a tiny bit of self satisfaction when I’m able to successfully navigate a store on my own. For many Shoppers, however, that’s simply not the case.
Many are perfectly content coasting as far as their brute senses can take them, which is, often, not very far at all. By allowing their brains a break while they shop, they become babbling idiots. Harsh? Yes. Incorrect? No. I’ve seen far too many intelligent people stare at a wall of alphabetized charts forget how to figure out if the letter “N” comes before or after “M”, or some similar such nonsense. I give no slack for such a lackadaisical approach to living.
This receipt issue is along the same lines. The receipts are marked clearly as either “MERCHANT COPY” or “CUSTOMER COPY”. Aside from that, when was the last time a store, or any business for that matter, asked you to sign the copy of the receipt that you take with you? (And don’t offer forth any receipt made with carbon paper. The receipt that you sign in that case is still the one that stays with the business. Yours is always one of the copies.)
There’s often an anxiety issue, and I get that. Often, Shoppers want to get in and get out of a store as quickly as they can. I totally get that. But there is a decided difference between haste and carelessness. One does tend to breed the other, but this borders on stupidity. Regardless, there’s no defense for this. This is a process so ingrained into our consumerist society that such lapses, while comical, is absolutely ridiculous.
I’m at the point of rambling, so I’ll end with this: Be better when you shop. Challenge yourself, just a little bit. You’re better than that.
-The Retail Explorer