Some Questions That Make Life ‘Easier’

I.

As Americans, we essentially strive for convenience.  We have needs, and we would like to fulfill those needs as quickly and as painlessly as possible.  We would like faster service.  We would like better protection.  We want the quickest route from Point A to Point B. 

Is that so much to ask?

Yes, it is.

For instance, with many shops and stores, if your bill is below $25 to $50, you do not have to sign on the dotted line, or screen for that matter.  Take for instance:  Wegmans.  If your shopping excursion–it’s Wegmans, so it’s more than just an experience–allows you to somehow shoot under the $50 mark, you don’t have to sign.  When checking out, you are able to swipe your shopper’s card and your credit card before the cashier is done scanning your items.  You simply say ‘credit’ or ‘debit.’  However, if you purchase beer, or the cashier punches in a product code, you cannot operate the swiper.  You’ll have to start all over again.

These so-called conveniences are a double-edged sword at times.  As quickly as you want to get the hell out of a store on Christmas or the day/night before Thanksgiving, you have a whole other thing coming. You’re already irate for forgetting that one certain thing, having to go back into that God-forsaken store.  Being there, accumulating more items than you came for, and then having to check out will piss you off even more.  Then, on your way and before you get back to your car, you realize you forgot the damn milk.  At your highest frustration notch before driving the car into a ditch, you cool down before you get back home and try to pawn the task off on someone else.

Yet, when people ask for your ID and have three times the password protection on whatever it is, we are relieved.  Essentially, the requirement to sign over a $50 purchase falls into the same category.  If you forget a password on the computer for an account, you have all those lovely questions to identify you before sending a confirmation e-mail, asking you to change your password again with no ifs, ands, or buts. It’s simply an opinion of inconvenient placement. 

At least we don’t live in the same dream world as American Psycho:  we’d be feeding ATM machines stray cats.

II.

However, my gripe is with gas stations.  These places, due to the economy–blaaah! blaaah! blaaah!–will charge you an arm, a leg, a stray cat, or your grandmother’s soul for a gallon of the stuff that keeps us movin’.  It’s just all the damn questions that drive me crazy:

Welcome to Gas Station!

Pay inside?  Pay Outside?

Pay Outside:  Credit?  Debit?

Debit?  What is your pin?

Would you like a car wash?  Yes?  No?

What is your zip code?

Would you like a receipt?

Please press button for gas, lift handle, and begin fueling. 

Thank you for–WAIT!  We need to know more answers.

Are you Male or Female?  Press M or F.

What is your birth date (MM/DD/YYYY)?

If you used our bathroom:  Was it dirty?  Did you courtesy flush?

Did you return your mother’s call today?  Don’t do it now, you’ll be blown sky high.

What brings you to this gas station today?  Friendly service? Great gas?  ‘Lower prices’ than the rest?

Why are you here?  Gas light went on?  Running on fumes?  Gassing up before a road trip?  You actually have money in your bank account? 

What day is it?  Monday?  Tuesday?  Wednesday? Thursday?  Friday?  Sabbath?  Sunday Funday?

What time of day is it?  Morning?  Noon?  Night?

Morning:  Have you had your coffee:  Yes?  No?  Are you going to Grandma’s?  Going to the store?  Leave you alone because you have had little or no coffee?

Afternoon:  Are you on lunch?  Are you going to lunch?  Will you be eating or drinking lunch?  Are you running errands? 

Night:  It’s Friday/Saturday:  are you going to the bar?  How many drinks will you have:  Please use keypad.  Punch in your license ID and plate numbers.

Using the key pad, please punch in–on a scale of 0 to 9–how annoyed are you?

Would you like a receipt?

We forgot:  Would you like a car wash?  Yes?  No?

Would you like a receipt?

Please press button for gas, lift handle, and begin fueling.

Would you like a receipt?

Thank you for choosing Gas Station!

III. 

Welcome to The Abyss.

I know I wasted everyones’ time with this. You are not getting those minutes back, nor a receipt.

Thank you for reading.

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