Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Monday madness

A recent rash of firings (incompetence and foul mouths) has left the Service Desk and the supervisor podium dangerously short-staffed. At the moment, I'm doing double-duty (thankfully at my old pay rate, otherwise I'd tell them to take that podium and ...).

Anyway. Monday nights have been just TERRIBLE lately. Last Monday I actually had to go on a register. God forbid. If it is one thing I hate, it is a register. It is not that I can't do it, I just hate bagging groceries with a mortal passion. I once told someone I'd rather gnaw my own leg off rather than go on a register. Plus, I can run the store by myself better than anyone else, although no one wants to admit that, so they usually just go on the register anyway.

Back to the story. Monday night, I have to help out instead of running the Service Desk. I simply do not understand where all these people come from. It was worse than Sunday night as far as lines go. We actually had more than half the registers open at one point, including three speedys, the eight self-checks and 10 of the big ones and there were 5 people lined up at each one with HUGE baskets. It was like that from 5-9 p.m. all night Monday.

We have to send the cashiers to lunch. They don't have to get their breaks on time when it is busy, so we just let them run. There wasn't anyone to put on the register anyway. Me and the other girl both took half-hours so we could help each other out.

As it was, I went through more than $2000 in change on the night and had no quarters, no tens and only two packs of ones left. It was just crazy. But that's not the best part.

Rich people are evil. I know it, you know it and everyone who has ever worked in retail knows it.

This evil man is at register 16. His credit card won't go through. The message comes up "CARD ISSUER DECLINED THE CHARGE." Now, this can mean any number of things, but usually, with older white people, it means they're traveling, have made a lot of charges and the credit card company thinks the card has been stolen. And of course, that's what it is. They're from Boston here on vacation and buying stuff to furnish a new condo (at Wal-Mart, so you know they're skinflints too!).

I try to explain this to the man quietly. I stress that it does not mean that his card was decline. I explain that we just need to call the company, explain that he and his wife are on vacation, and they'll let the card go through. OH BUT NO!

He starts screaming at me. Literally. "I'VE GOT A $15,000 LIMIT ON THIS CARD AND YOU'RE TELLING ME IT WON'T GO THROUGH?" "WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?"

Now, Wal-Mart has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with a credit card hold. It is done by the company solely for the consumer's protection when "suspicous activity" shows up. I've had my own card frozen at Christmas when I made a lot of online purchases and had it sent to 8 different addresses around the country. Some of my Christmas presents arrived on Dec. 27 because of it, but I was glad they cared enough to call. I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I try again to soothe the angered beast. Nothing but blood will satisfy him. I tell him I'm going to call the company. He snarls "AND I WANT A HAVE A WORD WITH THOSE FOOLS TOO." Jeez.

It takes me at least eight minutes to get a real person, in which time I do find out the amount of his credit limit AND the amount of his last payment. He is worth a bundle. When I finally get a person, they want to talk to him. Much screaming ensues. Everyone at the service desk, customers included, start to stare.

Apparently, they've been spending like crazy on the card for the past two weeks to furnish this condo/vacation home. Electronics, home improvement, whatnot. And since the bills go to Boston and all these charges are in Florida, the card company said "enough."

I move away to give him some privacy, although I do pity the poor person on the other end of that line who got such choice nuggets as "SO EVERY TIME I WANT TO USE MY DAMN CARD ON VACATION WE HAVE TO CALL AND CLEAR IT WITH YOU PEOPLE FIRST?"

And you know what is sad? If his card had actually been stolen, he'd have called and chewed them out for not stopping the activity on the card sooner.

9 comments:

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Perdita said...

Hey great spam!

Back to the grind...welcome back

FARfetched said...

Freeking spambags. Guess I'd better go check my blog to see if they're at it over there.

Anyway, I wonder if the long lines have anything to do with Tropical Storm Katrina, which looks like it will come straight across Florida & pay you guys a visit. Maybe people are getting smart and stocking up in advance... nah. If they were smart, they wouldn't be shopping at Wal-Mart, right? :-D

Yankee27us said...

The credit card company is protecting ITSELF, not the consumer. The card holder is responsible of $50 at most.

lisa said...

I don't shop at walmart (political reasons), so maybe you're woefully understaffed or something, but gee, a capacity crowd and you're surprised you have to open half the registers?

That credit card transaction should have been a simple matter of a voice authorization, a 3-minute call at most for any respectable card processor. I'm guessing it was only a big deal because "evil guy" made it a big deal.

You should post these over on misc.consumers. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...
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Melanie said...

but...wait....credit/debit cards are covered by FICA insurance. if your card is actually stolen and charges are made, you're not responsible for those charges. the charges are removed and the credit card company pursues the person who stole the card.

you may be inconvenienced for a day or three, waiting for a new card to come in the mail and waiting for the charges to be credited back, but when it comes right down to it...they ain't protecting you a damned bit with that freeze. they're protecting themselves.

right? am i missing something, besides the temporary inconvenience factor? i mean, i've had this happen to me three times online over the years, where my cc number was harvested and my bank account cleaned out. i was without money for about 48 hours each time, had to get a new card, and my checks bounced. however, the money was put back into my account, the bounced checks were covered and the fees were removed, and they pursued the thief themselves.