"The machine ate your card Mom. I don't know why."
"Could it be you took longer than 3 seconds to get the card?"
I went to the bank two days later (I didn't have time on Tuesday), thinking they would have my card and I would just pick it up. No can do. I had to order another one. Great. Do you know how much I use my debit card? TOO MUCH!
But I struggled through the weekend without it, using cash instead -- a foreign concept to me, and low and behold the FedEx man showed up on my doorstep this morning with a delightful package. My new debit card. It was all new and shiny although minus my crappy picture that was on my old one. Truth be told, the old one was almost expired and very worn. I had worn the signature and code on the back of the card right off. So looking at my new shiny card, I decided that this worked out well.
What can I say? I like new, shiny objects.
The card had one of those stickers that tell you to call and activate it, which I did and then listened ever so
I've trained Ryan and Emma well. They like Costco because they get dinner and a show. Well, lunch in this case and the show is first. All big screen TVs and Christmas trees and outdoor lighted items are right at the front of the store so we wander around looking as Ryan gets all excited and points to the trees and shouts "Lights" or something sounding close to that. But I know what he means. As we meander towards the back Ryan starts looking around for the samples. He's 2 and he's smart. Emma's 16 months and just along for the ride. When food presents itself that's when she makes herself known to everyone. Today the samples were sparse and there seemed to be a Mexican theme. They each got part of a breakfast empanada and half of a taquito and part of a fruit juice box squeezed into a Dixie cup.
We headed for the checkout lanes and started loading my completely filled cart onto the conveyor belt. When the total appeared on the display screen I slid my new, shiny debit card into the machine, entered my PIN and saw the message.
Assuming this had to be some kind of mistake, I entered it again. And again. I looked at the cashier and told her it was a new debit card and I had just activated it that morning and I assumed they gave me the same PIN. Costco only takes debit cards, American Express (which I don't have), and cash. I didn't have enough cash on me and apparently my debit card was useless. Our appearance wasn't lost on me either. My hair was frizzy. I had no makeup on. The kids have colds and I had run out of tissues so they had snotty noses. We looked like Hillbilly White Trash and my debit card was acting the part.
"Did you use it in a ATM yet?" another worker asked. "I had to use mine in an ATM before I could use it anywhere else."
There was a ATM by the food court (I use the term loosely) and I tried twice to get some cash and was declined. At that point I called the 800 number on the back of the card. After an eternity of number entering and waiting I was finally connected to a live human being. In the meantime, I was holding wiggly Emma, standing next to the full, neatly packed cart and trying to coerce Ryan to stay in the cart all the while trying not to block the newly checked out shoppers. I was a bit conspicuous. You think I would be used to it by now.
The live person told me that my new card had a new PIN. I could either take it to the bank and change it in person or wait for them to send me the assigned PIN. She couldn't fix it on the phone. Ugh!!
I told the cashier that I had to go to the bank, which was kind of across the parking lot from Costco, to fix the PIN but I would be back as soon as I got if fixed. She told me they would hold my cart.
So out the door, into the freezing cold we went. I loaded the babies into their car seats and drove over to the bank and told them my tale of woe. The bank employee told me he could change my PIN. Thank you! He pulled up my account, told me to enter the new PIN twice and told me I was good to go.
"My debit card will work now?"
"Yep, you're set."
"Ok, I'm headed back over to Costco to pay for my stuff."
Back into the van, buckled up car seats, drove to Costco, unbuckled car seats and carried Emma and half drug Ryan back into Costco where I couldn't find the cashier who checked me out. So I told another Costco worker what happened, that my PIN was fixed and did I need to check out again? The answer was Yes.
So I moved the cart to another lane, and reloaded all the items onto the belt. They babies were somewhat happily entertained. They got suckers at the bank.
What can I say? These children may not have been born to me but they are my children.
All the items were scanned and I swiped my shiny new debit card.
Credit card machine say what? (Yes, there has been a Hannah Montana overload at our house.)
That couldn't be right! So I swiped it again, and again. Getting the same message. I apologized profusely to the cashier and he seemed very understanding. I "assumed the position" (took my cart to the same place at the front as before) and called the 800 number. After waiting on hold even longer than the first time I finally spoke to Human Being #2. My PIN was changed and she couldn't see what the problem was. I was put on hold and when she finally came back she told me that they had put a hold on my card for 24 hours since I had used my invalid PIN too many times. It was something they couldn't change. It was something to do with the system.
I was feeling deja vu here. What were my choices again? Oh yeah, go back to the bank.
Out the doors, into the cold, buckle up babies, drive to bank, unbuckle babies and go inside. I went to the counter and
Surprisingly, Ryan and Emma took all this activity pretty well. But what can I say, they like suckers. We could do this all day as far as they were concerned.
Back to Costco, unbuckle, out of the van, into the cold and back to the registers. No cashier. But I did see the assistant manager who had made an appearance on the last round and I waved my hand full of cash at her. No more debit card mischief.
They had saved the receipt so I only had to pay and not be rescanned. Then out the door with our cart full of food, and a wreath as you can plainly see from the photo above. Our one hour Costco excursion had turned into a 2 hour ordeal. On the way home I looked in the rear view mirror and saw this:
Emma had fallen asleep. Notice the sucker stuck to her coat and the sticky sucker juice all over her face, as well as dried snot. Lovely. Even better was the fact that my daughter had fallen asleep after a lunch of empanda, taquito and 2 suckers. I feel a Mother of the Year Award coming soon.