Don’t Respect Cashiers Who Don’t Enforce Their Own Debit Card Minimums

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Went to an organic grocery store recently to buy a Diet Coke. An organic grocery store that serves Diet Coke is a very New York thing. “I mean technically everything here is supposed to be organic, but you know…business is business.”

It was $2.50 for a two liter. The cashier tells me this, I hand him my debit card. He frowns. Rolls his eyes. “Our debit card minimum is $5.”

And that’s it. I guess he expected me to deduce next steps? It was like when your girlfriend is mad at you but won’t tell you why until you figure it out yourself. Well I got news for you, Organic Grocer: unless you like showing up to the movies 45 minutes early and are a fantastic artist, you and I ain’t dating.

So I say, “Okay.” I don’t have any cash on me. Well, I might have, but I didn’t check because fuck him. “So are you not going to sell it to me?”

Like I said, I may have had cash on me but now it’s a matter of principle. If he had asked me, “Do you have any cash?” in an almost apologetic tone, I’d check. But his entitled attitude and eye roll meant he was either waiving the minimum or I was taking my ass to Duane Reade out of spite. I’d even tell the Duane Reade cashier about this, force him or her to take a picture with me then text it to the organic place’s cashier. Well, I wouldn’t have had his number, so I’d run back and show it to him, out of breath. Then I’d chug the entire two liter of Diet Coke in front of him.

Where was I? Oh yeah. I ask him, “Are you not going to sell it to me?” He rolled his eyes. “No, it’s fine but just so you know…usually the debit card minimum is $5.”

Oh, bless you, kind Cashier! What an honor! How lucky I am, to have found myself unable to pay in tender you arbitrarily requested for an amount you arbitrarily determined. And lo and behold you ever so graciously acquiesed to my unreasonable request.

I get why businesses have card minimums, but either make me pay it or don’t. None of this in-between, roll your eyes, make me feel guilty, wishy-washy bullshit. Stand behind your minimum! Grab the Diet Coke out of my hand and say, “You get some cash or get the hell out of my store.” All I’m going to do the next time I come back is insist on using my debit card while hoping I get a different cashier. Then he or she will just tell me the same mewling, “Well, next time use cash,” and I won’t learn my lesson. The vicious cycle will continue.

Also he acted like he was doing me a huge favor. What do you want me to do, come back and pay you double in cash? Like I’ll just show up with $10,000 in unmarked bills stuffed in a duffel bag. Plus a baby. “This is my first born son. Giving you this is the only way for me to feel right about my transgression.” Then I take my debit card out and cut it up in front of him, crying. In the tune of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You I sing out “AND IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII…….WILL ALWAYS……PAAAAAAAAAAY CAAAAAAAAASH.”

The main takeaway: if you’re a business with a card minimum, own it. Don’t roll your eyes. Us customers will respect you more in the long run.

The great thing about signing up for my email list: no minimums to join. (Actually it’s free, unless you want to give me money. In which case the minimum to join is $100.)

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