Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Feelin' Stupid Part I

Obviously, no one likes feeling stupid; well, maybe clowns do. I’m sure they don’t feel stupid as much as are acting stupid. Maybe they feel stupid for acting stupid, like a what-have-I-done-with-my-life stupid feeling. That’s not the point though. I have this reoccurring problem when I purchase things using my debit/credit card.
First off, I’m referring to the self-swipe debit card pads at grocery stores and gas stations. I always assume that the part that reads the magnetic strip is on the big side of the pad, which it is sometimes. Doesn’t it just seem like common sense that the part of the pad with more – stuff – would read the card? Here are the two examples of card swipers in case you don’t get what I’m writing about:

My problem is that I never guess right. I’m always wrong, but being wrong isn’t that big of a deal. The big deal for me is trying to understand the example picture of the credit card. I can never tell which way it’s facing or which way it wants me to orient my card. Combine that problem with the normal problem of the strip just not scanning properly, and it’s just a mess of stupidity. The cherry on top is the high school kid who, frustrated by my perceived ignorance, asks for the card so he can do it for this old timer. I refuse to allow them to work it for me; quietly and annoyed, I laugh into my chest and keep trying. After failing again, I dejectedly give up and hand over my card. The rest of my day involves looking into the mirror with self-doubt wondering if I can tie my shoes or turn on the lights. If I can’t scan a card, what other things can’t I do? It takes a couple of days of teasing my dogs by hiding treats and sneaking up on them (I’m smarter than them!) but I get my self-esteem back.

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