Home > Entertainment > I’ll be your cashier when you’re ready

I’ll be your cashier when you’re ready

Something that I really dislike about our American society is having the waiter/waitress be “my” cashier. The vast majority of the times when I go to a “nice” restaurant I’ll finish with my meal and want to leave. I’ve eaten and I usually have some place to go. At this point I sit and wait and sit and wait for the waiter to bring me the check. Then when they hand me the check and before I can hand them a payment card, they disappear. It takes about ten seconds to scan over the receipt and see that everything is correct. Why they disappear between handing me the check and me pulling a card from my wallet is beyond me?

Five minutes later (during which time I can only think about how dumb this is and get angrier at the waiter) the waiter comes back, grabs my card and goes back to some cash register somewhere. I’m told this is a uniquely American custom. The reason why is because some stranger now has my payment card and I can’t see what they might be doing with it. Apparently in most countries they bring the credit card reader out to the table because someone paying with a credit card does not want a stranger to be copying down their credit card information; for nefarious uses later.

Then when the waiter finally comes back – way later than what should have been necessary – I can finally sign the receipt and leave. Is this system really desirable? It causes me to hate going out to eat at “nice” places; it seems to waste a good portion of the time it takes to go out to eat. Would it really be so hard to get the check and pay as we leave? It would be a lot faster? Would it really be that hard to bring a credit card reader to the table? It sure would be more convenient (and safer) for customers.

How can I go about getting this American custom to change? The only way I can think of would be forcing me to enter a pin with the transaction. That way it would be quite burdensome for the restaurants to take my payment card away from me. They’d either have to take me to the back, bring the payment device to me, or let me pay on my way out. I’m happy with any of these options.

Sadly I don’t see change on the horizon, forcing me to be stuck in a bothersomely slow and inefficient system. Grrrrr.

Categories: Entertainment
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