This has been bugging the crap out of me for some time, so I thought I would put the question out there and see if anyone can give me some sort of a reasonable explanation. Does anyone else think that the number of buttons you have to push to make a credit card purchase in a retail establishment is ridiculous?

Here’s what I mean. I’m at the register, making a purchase. I slide my card, and a number of choices come up: Credit, Debit, Cash, Gift Card, Food Stamps, Wooden Nickels, Goats…whatever payment options are accepted by the store, Credit and Debit are always among them, right? I select Credit. In nearly every store in which I have ever shopped, the machine then proceeds to ask me for my PIN. I am then forced to try and decipher where on this particular machine the “No, Asshole, it’s a Credit Card, there is no PIN” button can be found. If I am lucky enough to not push the button that cancels the entire transaction (I have been known to do this by mistake a time or twelve), I’m THEN asked to confirm that I wish to proceed as a Credit transaction before finally being allowed to sign for my canned squid and tampons and get the hell out of there.

I just don’t get it. If I select Credit as opposed to Debit in the first place, why can’t we just skip all the dramatics and go right to the signature part? Why ask me to make the distinction if you’re still going to make me jump through the hoops? Who writes the software for these machines? People who suffer from Dependent Personality Disorder? Men with commitment issues?

Can anyone explain this to me, please?

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