Lent Project Day 13: Of Technology and Treats

Close up  view of a box of chocolates

Yesterday, I asked my gentleman associate to drop me off at (*le gasp*) the mall because we need some handsoap for the kitchen and the bathroom. They’re on sale and I could stock up now so we don’t have to do this again for months. He was headed toward the chiropractor, so he could drop me off, I could do a tactical strike – in and out in the 20 minutes while he was getting adjusted.

While I was there, I thought that I could (in the spirit of spending the gift cards that I have) go to Laura Secord and get some chocolates. Seems like an easy enough mission, right? How hard can buying chocolates possibly be?

Alas. Harder than you’d think, yesterday at least.

When I had dutifully and gleefully picked out my chocolates, I handed her my gift card. It wouldn’t process. So she called her IT guy who, of course, wasn’t answering his phone. So she called the number on the back of the card to see if it was showing a balance. Yep. $25, as expected. So she called again. She  could see the balance, but the card was not active. Then maybe we can use my not-active-but-with-a-balance card to buy a brand new card, and buy the chocolates with the new card. So we loaded the card and [some magical way that I don’t understand] paid for a new card with the not-active-but-with-a-balance card. And when we tried to use that card, it also wasn’t active. Even though we just 17 seconds earlier, activated the card. There were bits of paper with transactions popping out of the point of sale register. She’s frustrated. She calls back. There was a power surge two days ago, and yesterday the modem was replaced, and maybe the surge caused something. The IT guy remotely connected to the point of sale, so she was stuck looking at whatever he was trying. She calls back again. He suggests trying the *other* till. So she grabbed the pile of receipt papers and my box of chocolates and the phone and we moved to the other till at the back of the store. And success. The gift card was accepted. Oh frabjus day, callou, callay. The balance owing (because taxes) was a few dollars, so I handed her a $20. But there’s no cash drawer even in the second till, so we had to move back to the first till. The IT guy has remotely connected and she can’t open the drawer while he’s running whatever he’s doing. She’s more frustrated. So she kept trying to sneak a local point of sale transaction into his whatever he was doing remotely.

Something that should have taken 3 minutes took more like 20. She apologized to me several times over the course of the whole thing. She was frustrated, she was sorry.

But you know. I wasn’t. This happens. It wasn’t her fault. Why would I be mad that the Big Daddy gremlin showed up to wreck havoc on her sales workflow? But she expected me to be frustrated too. Last night, as I considered my delightful box of chocolates and savoured the first of my chocolatey booty, I thought about the Laura Secord saleswoman. I understand that anyone who works in a customer facing industry wants their clients to have the best possible experience, and our interaction earlier in the day was certainly not ideal. But she learned some troubleshooting and I ended up with my chocolates either way, so no harm, no foul.

This Lent, may grace be stronger than frustration, and may I remember to be kind to those who are struggling – no matter what their struggle.

Extra Credit:

I’ve created landing pages for the last 2 years of Lent Project. You can access them from the Reflections Projects option in the menu bar. Happy reading, friends!

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