Let’s pretend you’re a cashier at Jon’s Sandwich Shoppe for a minute. You’re in your late teens, early twenties, possibly daydreaming about cosmetology school and earning riches from your very own kitchen. None of that is really any concern to me since I’m just here for my sandwich. You seem nice, so instead of pretending you don’t exist, I smile. I order my sandwich and a drink to go with it, and you tell me what the damage is. I hand you my card, you swipe it, wait for it to do its thing, then hand it back to me so I can put it back in my wallet before you hand me seventeen feet of wholly unnecessary evidence of deforestation featuring such things as my total and your company’s entire satisfaction policy along with some coupons. This is in addition of course to the eleven inches of contract that I have to sign authorizing the purchase. I then throw away the giant wad of thermal printer paper because I sincerely don’t give a fuck about your coupons or your satisfaction policy. I came in here for a sandwich. I have my sandwich and my card, and I will leave now. This is good. This is how it is supposed to work. Fast, efficient, and compatible with those of us who have two hands and a wallet.
Now lets pretend you’re Mr. Douchbaggo at The Golden Pissbucket Bento Bar. I’ve been standing in line for what seems like millennia when I finally get to the counter. I tell you I want General Tzo’s chicken and some fried rice because quite frankly, the General often has better chicken than the Colonel. I have yet to be disappointed at the Golden Pissbucket due to their terrible food. He rings me up and rattles off the total which naturally comes to something more than I’d like to pay. This isn’t Starbucks, Captain Fancyass. I hand him my card anyway because I’m an adult in the US and this is how we do things. He swipes the card. I can see that it was approved, but he hangs on to it. I already know what he’s going to do. I just stand there helplessly holding my wallet in one hand waiting to put my card back in it, but he won’t give it to me. I get this look from him as if he knows something is about to happen. What’s happening? Are you going to hand me back my card? Are you going to hang onto it even longer? I can respect that you want to make sure it clears first. After all, I’m a white male in my thirties and this involves money. But am I going to have to crowbar your face and wrestle it from your twitching hands over the course of our seemingly imminent aggressive negotiations? Oh, wait. No, please don’t do that. No. What the fuck is wrong with you? Why are you handing me my card, seventeen feet of tree-corpse ferociously laden with irrelevant dribble, a pen, a table number, and a cup all at fucking once?
You sir, are a sadist. And you hate me personally, as if I was somehow responsible for your entrapment in this hellish retail career of doom in which you have found yourself stranded. You are standing not even three feet from me and you can’t seem to decipher that I am not a motherfucking octopus-man with eight motherfucking hands each standing ready to do whatever it takes to clean up after your thoughtlessness. I’m standing right in front of you with one hand suspended in mid air and the other holding a wallet. What does that mean to you precisely? Is it somehow possible in your personal spacetime continuum for me to handle all of that shit with one fucking hand? Should I simply stuff it all in my pocket like a four-year-old does with the bullshit Jesus scene he colored in Sunday school? Give me back my fucking card so I can put it away first. Then I will sign your retarded legal contract and then you can hand me my cup. Because human beings have two hands. Not eight.
It is the little things, people, that make a sale transaction painless, possibly even pleasant. Sales associates please try to remember and consider the number of appendages your patrons present. Thank you.