Monday, January 21, 2013

The Gremlins in Register 6

   I thought that today would be an average day at work. Go in, talk to some customers, get annoyed at others, yak at my coworkers, and then go home to my daughter. I was not counting on the stress and aggravation that the check reader in register 6 would cause me. But when I went to take my first check of the day....
   We have old stuff. I know that some of you are used to the machines that read your check and then your checker hands the check back to you and the amount comes out of your bank account as fast as a debit charge. Ours are not those. Ours has to read the check info (routing number, account number, and check number) and then the reader checks this information against the bad checks in our system, and then if there are no matches to bad checks, the reader prints our deposit info on the back of the check. (At least, that is my assumption of how the reader works, but no one has really explained it, so I could be off). Well, the first check I tried to put through jammed, so I had to enter all the information manually. Then the reader printed the deposit info correctly, but took about two minutes to process that it had printed and to let my cash drawer open.
   So in the meantime, the customer was looking at me, and I was looking at the customer, and we were looking at each other, and since this was not a romantic interlude, all this looking at each other was really awkward. Then the check reader messed up on the second and the third, and all this looking at people, waiting so I can give them their receipt and send them on their way is really bugging me. Looking at all these people for these lengthy periods of time is making my skin itch, and I'm jamming on buttons and opening shit and repressing the urge to bang on the thing, but I'm losing my cool. So I call my manager, and he comes over and wiggles some wires and tells me I need to be patient. Patient!!! An indication of how little he really knows me; or else a nod to my acting skills.
   And so the next check comes along, and his tinkering with the wires has done nothing, so my customer is looking  at me, and I'm looking at her, and we are looking at each other, and I'm wishing that I had a sledge hammer, and see if I wouldn't show that printer at thing or two.
   And then I realize, I really do need a hammer, because the only explanation is that my register is infested with gremlins. Not those weird ones from the movies, but the ones that were rumored to mess with the engines in the airplanes during one of the World Wars (I am not good with all that history). They have left the planes and infested my freakin' register.  I know that this seems far-fetched, but that makes even more sense. No one expects them to be in the grocery stores infesting the old equipment. Fey little bastards.

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