Every once in a while, we all run into it. That moment at the cash register when we realize that we can’t pay for what we bought. It has happened to me, and it has either happened or will happen to all of you. You just roll with it and deal.
Sadly, there are some people who run into this situation and end up just being annoying about it.
- The Guy With The Unactivated Credit Card - I personally ran into this guy at a Newbury Comics. It spend the better part of ten minutes trying to decide what Dunnies or Midgies or whatever those stupid plastic dolls were. Did he want the factory set with the special Heinz doll and the free bag? Or, did he want an open set, randomly picked by the store? naturally, the line behind him (starting with me) was growing as he went through his own personal geek version of Sophie’s Choice. Finally, he made his decision, a process that took far longer than it really should have. The clerk rang up the plastic pieces of junk and the guy pulled out his credit card. The clerk really did not need to swipe it since he still had the “remove this sticker after activation” tag on it, but he did, and sure enough, the guy’s credit card had not been activated. Thankfully, saner minds prevailed as the clerk cancelled out the guy’s purchase and Mister Decider sheepishly asked to use the store phone.
- “I want this, but I really don’t want it” - This wonderful individual goes up to the register with two heaping carriages of stuff, gleamed from all over the store. Of course, you get stuck behind them because there are no other registers open. Thus, you become witness to the ultimate in annoying consumerism. With each item rung up, the thought process begins. Some items make it through to the next round, some, sadly don’t. Different or same, each item gets the same amount of thought put into it, which becomes especially annoying when it’s twenty-four cans of cat food, all the same flavor. As you watch the two carriages dwindle down to two bags, you are left to wonder why such purchasing decisions were not made while she was picking these items out in the first place.
- “Price Check!” - Yes, we’ve all has price check situations before. You grab the one red Bazinga! T-Shirt on the rack, not even realizing that it did not have a price on it. It is embarrassing, and you hope that you make it through it without garnering the contempt of the people behind you. I have even gone so far as to apologize when it happens. But then, there are some special individuals who seem to be the masters of finding the untagged items. The first item they have needs a price check, then the next, then the next. By the fifth or sixth call for a price check, you wonder if they are pulling the tags off on purpose. Those suspicions are usually confirmed when the cashier rings up the one item with a price and they say, “Oh, can you check that? I don’t think that was the price.”
- “So I sez to Mable, I sez…” – These poor individuals are lonely and looking for someone to talk to. Unfortunately for the cashier, and everyone in line behind them, they chose Target as the place to find a friend. The process of ringing out becomes that much longer as the conversationalist (if we can call it that) spends more time talking about their cat, or how they got off the murder wrap for running over their ex-girlfriend, then they do unloading their carriage. Worse still, all the cashier can do is nodded and be polite, trying not to let on that she wants to just get this loser out of the store. In some extreme cases, the conversationalist will actually start talking to you (or whoever is directly behind them in line), pulling you into the same Hell he’s been subjecting the cashier to.
- “Um, well, how about if I…” - This lovely customer has finished their purchases and has been rung out with no trouble, only to discover that they only have fifty dollars on them and the total comes to sixty. It’s embarrassing, and again, has probably happened to everyone who doesn’t use a credit card for most purchases. Naturally, the only thing to do it to not buy something to get the bill down to what you can pay. For most people, it usually means dropping a higher priced item, because, let’s face it, you already saw Iron Man seven times in the theater, you can hold off a week to buy the DVD until your next pay check clears. But, for this special individual, the whole process becomes some sort of twisted The Price Is Right style game. They first drop the pack of gum they picked up at the cash register. When that lowered the bill by a dollar, they drop the Renuzit Fresh Linen Scent Air Freshener. Then that still doesn’t decrease the bill enough, they decide to hold off on purchasing the three pack of Kleenex. This drops the bill down enough that they think they can buy the pack of gum, even though they still have a difference of five dollars between their purchases and their spendable cash. If you’re lucky, they will remember they have a coupon for a dollar off the three pack of Kleenex that they just decided to not buy, thus continuing the game that much longer.