Friday, December 14, 2007

Spending Beyond Your Limit

It's been nearly six months since my last post. And a lot has happened since then. I'm almost finished with my first semester of grad school. And I'm starting to freak out about internships next year. Unpaid labor, but that's part of the training process. But on to my story of the day.

I went to a discount department store this afternoon to purchase some warm socks. I love hardwood floors, but can you say 'brrrrr' in the winter months? When it was time to check out, there was only one cashier working. But then another cashier dropped in and offered to help the next person in line, meaning me. The woman ahead of me was pulling out her wallet, so I told the woman behind me to go ahead and check out with the new cashier. Well, bad move on my part, 'cause the woman ahead of me starting counting out her bills and realized that she didn't have enough cash to cover her purchase. So, instead of putting one of her items back (like any sane person would have done), she asked the cashier to split the bill in two and paid for most of the items in cash. But then when the cashier swiped her credit card, it was rejected. So again, instead of taking that as a sign hat maybe she was spending way beyond her means and that she should put something back, the woman asked the cashier if she could write a check. If I were the cashier, I would've been thinking, what are the odds that she has enough money in her checking account to cover the balance? But I guess you can't really say that to a customer. Anyway, five minutes later, after two customers made it through the other checkout line, I finally made it to the cashier. The sad thing is that all I had was one item...a pair of warm slipper socks.

Anyway, that got me to thinking. Is it more embarrassing to have your card rejected or to put something back? If you were that woman, would you have tried various methods to complete the purchase like she did?