quarter roll.

i got some groceries yesterday from the pcc. the clerk was new, therefore, she was an idiot. "cash back?" she asked. "yeah," i said, "can i get a quarter roll?" it was laundry day. baffled, she looked at her screen. "okay," she said, "just swipe your card, and then we'll do that." i saw that the total was still $41.03, and that she hadn't added the ten dollars cash back to the total. "don't you need to add ten to the total?" "no, just swipe your card," she said. she was confident in her stupidity, so i went along with it.

"katie," she said, speaking to the clerk across from her, "how do i do cash back?" "just have him swipe his card, and then hit 'cash back,'" katie said. "i've already swiped my card, so should i just hit okay?" "yes, just hit okay," the clerk said. i did as i was told because ignorance is infectious. after the transaction had gone through, her cash drawer popped open. she pulled out the quarter roll. "do you have ten dollars?" she asked. "no," i said, "that's why i wanted cash back."

"go ahead and swipe your card again," she said. "don't i have to buy something first?" "no, you can just swipe your card through." was this woman flat-out retarded? when has anyone ever been able to get money from a cash register just by swiping a card? the whole concept of "cash back" does not equate an automatic teller machine. i swiped my card. the machine read: transaction error. "yeah, it doesn't work," i said. "i'm sorry," she said. "just forget it," i said, "i'll go to the bank. don't worry about it." "i'm so sorry," she said again. my friend reminded me that it was sunday, and that all the banks were closed. "whatever. i'll go tomorrow," i said, taking off in a huff.

back in the car, my friend analyzed the situation for me. "i think you were so upset because she obviously wasn't listening to you. you knew how to do it, and she wasn't paying you any attention." "i am the answer to all the world's problems," i said, "and no one will listen." "she was so confident too, and she kept making all those facial gestures." i thought back to the facial gestures she was making. there's nothing worse than a wrinkly old woman making facial gestures. you know, the kind where they squint their eyes and crinkle their nose, to show distaste or to offer an insincere apology.

maybe i made too much out of it. all i wanted was to do some goddamn laundry.

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