May 24, 2015

When two worlds collide...

Good old humans...always good for blog fodder.

Yesterday, I witnessed an exchange that I found funny and sweet,

After spending a morning of sourcing boxes (they are scarce in these parts right now) and doing some packing (in an attempt to head off the disaster that was our last move.  It's not going too well), I headed to the grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine yesterday for a friend's cookout that we were attending last night.

I grabbed the bottle and got on line behind a very sweet, older woman.  She was slowly adding the items from her cart onto the conveyor belt and the teenage boy behind the counter was quickly scanning and bagging her items before she could get the next item on the belt.

Once she finished, she pulled out her checkbook, inwardly I rolled my eyes - not because she was using a check necessarily, but because she hadn't pre-filled out the check (which used to drive me crazier back when checks were more common).  I reminded myself that I wasn't in a hurry anyway and to be patient.

After she completed filling in the register, she proceed to write her check but then stopped and asked the boy if she could make the check out for $20 dollars more and get the cash back.  The kid stopped, looked at her slack-jawed and said, "I've never done, I don't know."  She stopped and looked right back at him with a near identical expression and said, "Really?"  They stood there looking at each other for a few seconds.

While they stood there, staring at each other I could see thought bubbles over their heads.  Hers said, "I KNOW I can write this check over and receive cash!  How can he not know that?!"  His said, "I don't EVEN understand how this check thing works and WHY do people still use them?!"

Finally, she said, "Never mind," and finished writing her check.  As the kid began fumbling with the check scanning machine, all while mumbling about the machine not liking him, she looked over at me and my bottle of wine and said, "I'm coming home with you!"

Eventually, the kid had to call someone else over to get the machine to accept the check - this kid obviously has a hard time when it comes to checks.  Once the check was successfully inserted and spit back out, the kid looked at the woman, apologizing, and then said, "I could give you $20, but you'd have to act like you stole it,"  It took her a moment, but then she laughed and said, "No.  Especially since I'm going to church in the morning."  After it appeared to the older woman that she was done she started to walk away - not realizing she still needed to hit "accept" on the debit card machine.  I called her back and told her what she needed to do.  She did what was necessary and hit the "Done" button saying, "I certainly HOPE I'm done!"

As she walked away, the kid looked at me, shell-shocked, holding the check and said, "We usually give these back!"  I had no idea what to say to him, so he took off after her.  About that time, the guy behind me said, "Now, you aren't going to pull the same thing are you?"  I smiled and showed him my debit card.

When the kid returned, he apologized for the wait.  I told him not to worry about it as I wasn't in a hurry.  I didn't tell him just how much amusement I got out of the entire thing.  He responded with, "That's the only good thing about working on Saturday; most people aren't in a big hurry so I don't feel as pressured."

I'm thinking this kid, as sweet as he was, is in the wrong line of work.


  1. Kids today would poop their britches if they had to do things the way we did... in the "old" days! I was a checker for a while and we used the old comptometer style cash registers!

  2. I hardly ever write a check these days, only when somebody won't take any other form of payment. It's funny, it was once a very common thing, all right. And that poor kid, I think he's in the wrong line of work, too. :-)

  3. I used a check the other day because I was buying something for the Troop and the boy scout account only has checks. Same thing... kid had no idea how to process it and in the end gave it right back to me with the receipt. We also wrote a check at the car dealership today... funny, with all the banks closed they couldn't even check if it was good or not. You'd think they'd take debit cards.

  4. Once I went to a video store (when there were such things) to rent a video. Their computer went out....and the kid was clueless about how to handle a cash transaction. It seems he had never had to count out cash change before. He was used to the computer telling him how much to return. I had to count it out for him.

    It seems we are getting more removed from...well, the simple things.