Sometimes, on the way to work in the morning, I must stop for a breakfast wrap. As I anxiously glance at the clock on my dashboard, I deliberate.  Do I have enough time, or will I be late if I stop now and get something?

Invariably, when I am running late, I get behind someone in line at the convenience store who is taking all day. They go back and forth over which scratch-off ticket to buy or are unsure if they want the sausage or bacon in their wrap.

Then, after that excruciatingly frustrating spectacle, it comes time for them to swipe and check out. They can't get their card to go through.  Clearly, they don't know how to swipe the card correctly.

Card swiping technique is apparently a bigger problem than most of us realize. A Walgreens employee is going viral on TikTok, documenting how bad card swipers hold up the checkout line in the store where she works.

@layyayaa has racked up nearly 3 million views documenting this issue.

In TikTok, she is demonstrating her frustration.  It is important to note that she did not actually call someone the B-word in the video.

Many retail workers sympathized with the frustration. Some note that Walgreens' card machines are tough to use.  The card machines that ask a million questions are particularly frustrating. I once had this exchange with a card machine at a convenience store.

Insert card. Please leave the card in the machine. Is this a debit card? Enter the PIN. Is the amount correct? Do you want cashback? Would you like to donate a dollar to St. Judes? Do you approve the final amount? Do you want a receipt? Remove your card from the machine.

If this card machine would have asked, "Are you having second thoughts about even beginning this process?" I would have probably tapped "yes."

For anyone who may be "swipe" challenged, OpenAI's GPT-3.5 model recommends some of these steps to ensure smooth swiping.

1) Orient the card correctly.  Make sure the magnetic stripe or chip is facing the appropriate direction.

2) Swipe smoothly. Avoid swiping too slowly or at an angle.

3) Follow the terminal instructions, no matter how long and involved they may seem to be.

4) Keep the card secure.

Beware of "Shoulder Surfing." This new trend involves thieves watching as you enter your PIN, then following you until just the right opportunity to accost you and steal your card.

It's nice to know that ChatBot knows so much about the right way to swipe a credit card. Never mind, Terminator-style robots destroying mankind.  The real worry might be armies of Chatbots destroying our bank accounts by correctly swiping our cards when we're not looking. I digress.

Discover Card has some tips if you need help learning proper swiping techniques.

Don't forget there's always cash.

Too bad my favorite convenience store doesn't offer "cash only" lines for people like me who are trying to get a quick bite or some coffee before another boring work meeting. Although, something tells me some people could mess that up too.


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