How to Push a Button

We have a new gadget. A portable card payment machine.Cash Register. Image by  SuperTechnoGirl

Over the last few months I’ve started to receive an increasing number of calls from people who would like to buy our books from us directly but prefer to pay by card over the phone. In addition, sales at our Roaming Store would probably increase if we could accept card payments.

The machine arrived a couple of weeks ago. Jennifer, our Roaming Store lady, and I were very excited. After all, we felt like proper booksellers now. And I proudly decided that whenever the machine isn’t out with Jennifer at the store, it should live by my side on the desk. If the phone rings I would be ready to take the order and receive the payment.

Only, the phone didn’t ring. For two weeks it remained totally silent. Then last Wednesday a customer called. She wanted to buy books and pay by card. I tried to wake up the payment machine, but couldn’t remember exactly how. It was too long since I had read the manual.  Eventually I remembered the blue button. The screen remained blank. I pressed the button again, long and hard. I apologized to my customer for the waiting, then I laughed nervously and finally I had to admit defeat. When I put down the phone, the Nymph looked at me disapprovingly: ‘Well, you definitely blew that sale.’

I rang up the service line for the machine and complained bitterly. ‘Have you pressed the blue button?’ ‘Yes I have, I have also read the manual’ I replied defensively. ‘Try again, just press it briefly.’ The machine switched itself on. I had pressed it for over a minute before.

Peirene simply shook her head. ‘I think it’s your age.’

‘You can’t talk,’ I retaliated. ‘You are ancient Greek.’

However, Jennifer clearly didn’t have that issue. She’s been accepting card payments at the stall without any hiccups. On the other hand, I know I can do it. It took me nearly three months to get used to the SatNav. Now I can’t live without it any longer.

And, by the way, I didn’t lose the sale. The customer was kind enough to purchase the books through our website online.

Image by SuperTechnoGirl.

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