Monday, August 5, 2013

Lick the plug ...

Marlene Terry
"There's always a learning curve for everyone in any job," said my sweet hubby as he tried desperately to cheer me up following one of the worst days ever for me at work.
Thank goodness it's just a part time job. Because if my brain were subject to that kind of stress on a daily basis? ... KABOOM!

Haven't worked retail for eons. And I do remember the good things, like meeting wonderful people and making good friends. The current situation has that for sure. But it's also accompanied by modern day technology that includes at POS, a fancy name (point of sale) for a computerized cash register that is connected in the cyber world we live in, to corporate headquarters thousands of miles away. 

Everything went smoothly until about 3 p.m., when a lady although very nice, had the audacity to pay for her goods with a check. Been there over two weeks and this was a first for me.
I glared at her paper document and remembered the days when that would have been no problem. Just check the ID, write a few notes on the front, punch in the amount on the cash register and Voila! The sale was complete.
Now though, my mind was in overdrive trying to remember the process where, "it hardly ever happens that someone pays with a check," I was told, I would only have to look over her ID. After that I just needed to follow the prompts on the POS.

Right! Enter the amount, run the check through the franker ... what I call the machine that reads the code on the check and let's you know that it's valid. And after you've completed 10-15 other "simple steps," you need to run the check through 'the franker' once more in order to print needed information for depositing the check to the bank.

... And with all that technology, wouldn't you'd think the POS would have the smarts to warn you when you're placing the check in the machine upside down?

Sure wish that had been a possibility because between me trying to first, yank the check from the franker, then reinsert it, plus opening and closing the cash drawer a few times hoping that would help, a message soon popped up on the monitor. "CRITICAL!!! Close the cash drawer to continue."

"What? It is closed," I yelled.

Didn't take long to exhaust every instruction I'd been given to resolve problems in a high tech way. And I had no choice but to try what I remembered from the olden days machine fixes. 
No. 1: Unlock the cash drawer manually and close it quickly and then slowly. Repeat the process with your eyes open and then closed.
No. 2: Rearrange all cash into neat flattened piles. ... And when all else fails ... 
No. 3. Unplug the power cord, give it a quick lick and plug it in again. 
... Hey! It always worked back then. However this time, my efforts were useless.

Suffice it to say the solution didn't come until later in the day after I was walked through how to unfreeze a complicated POS system on the phone by a very smart technician ... who by the way, laughed more than I thought was necessary over my 'lick the plug' idea!

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