Friday, August 15, 2008

Those Visa commercials...

...the ones that show busy retail and service establishments humming along nicely until someone starts to pay with cash, causing everything to grind to a halt...shocking customers and employees into stunned, then irritated silence as the poor, out-of-touch cash-user sheepishly forks over the coin of the realm...yeah, those commercials.

Well, they're true. Totally accurate. I'm traveling with my 81-year-old mother. She likes to pay her own way and she insists on using cash. She never learned to use a debit card, refuses to use her credit card, and doesn't believe for one moment that anyone outside her immediate home area would ever accept her check (she may be right about that one)...AND she always...ALWAYS wants to use correct change. I work hard to not display irritation or impatience, and most service personnel are genuinely polite and patient with her, but it's a marked interruption in the usual flow. Customers behind us are usually polite, but I have occasionally heard loud, long-suffering sighs and an occasional young person with no home training says something out loud. Fortunately, Mom is usually too engrossed in counting out the 47 cents for her purchase to notice, though her hearing is sharp enough.

The Visa commercials probably don't help the situation much. They paint the cash user as out of touch and the root of all evil in the race to get-and-go. Maybe a commercial that shows an old person frustrated by technology they don't understand just trying to buy some milk and bread, one that zooms in on trembling fingers and a mind that doesn't always click like it used to, would be better.

Patience, people...patience.

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