Another clerk had worked his way out from the back of the store and was
handling the register to help Cute
with her sub purchases. She was still at the register when my sub
was finished so I stood in line behind her. The clerk looked perplexed over
what the register was telling him, then took Cute Girl's credit card to
another machine. This one had multiple levers on it, apparently to set the
price of the transaction, and he took out a carboned credit form. He
puzzled over the intracate workings of a credit card machine from the 70s
and after ten minutes decided that it too, must be down. He then turned
towards Cute Girl. “The computers, they are down.”
“It didn't accept my card?” she asked.
“The machines, they are down.”
“You know,” she said, digging through her purse for money, ”I could have
gone to the ATM and be back in the time that took.” He spent another five
minutes writing her order down on the back of an envelope and ringing up the
price on a calculator.
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