The woman strode briskly across the fuel center toward the kiosk where I was stationed. I already knew she was trying to use the credit card we didn’t accept. My POS (point-of-sale) system had told me so.
The woman was older than I am and had dirty blond hair. Her shorts and blouse were color-coordinated, and she wore fashionable sunglasses.
Hi! How can I help you today? I asked through the intercom. I typically waited for customers to tell me their problems, even when I was pretty sure I knew what was going on.
It told me to see cashier, she said referring to the screen on the gas pump. But I don’t want to see you, she whined. I want to do it out there.
I have to admit her saying she didn’t want to see me was a blow to my ego. It was a small blow, but a blow nonetheless. Like Sally Field, I want to know people like me. I’m very likeable. Well, I can be very likeable, when I’m trying.
I let her finish talking (and hurting my feelings) before I asked, Are you trying to use [the credit card we didn’t take]?
She said she was.
I’m sorry, I said. We quit taking [the card in question] in April.
But I didn’t live here then, she pouted. She looked so much like an unhappy child I thought she might drop to the ground and roll around in a tantrum. I don’t know why she thought the date of her arrival in town would possibly matter.
I’m sorry, I repeated, although by this point I was only sorry she was still standing in front of me.
She scrunched up her face as if she were furious and stomped back to her vehicle. I don’t know if she used another card to pay of if she simply left. I’d stopped caring about what she did when she said she didn’t want to see me.