February 18th, 2004

buzzed, B&W

Credit Cards

Wow, that was painful. I just got back from Steak and Shake, where I tried to pay using my Discover card. Now apparently, their POS (that's point of sale, not piece of shit) system doesn't allow for them to void a transaction. Somehow, even though I handed them the right ticket for my meal, they ended up running my card through for the amount of my friend's meal. I assume this happened because the guy running the register didn't know what he was doing, and then the manager jumped in and pushed some buttons over his shoulder. Put, not knowing their POS system, I don't know how you bring up checks, so maybe the guy brought up the wrong one originally, and the manager just finished it. In either case, I then said I wasn't going to sign, that they should void it and run mine. They ended up showing the register to me, pointing out that their wasn't an option on their touch screen to cancel. I don't remember what the three options were, something with tip, something with finalize, and I don't remember the third. Anyway, I ended up paying for it and my friend gave me the cash, and then they ran my check through and I charged that as well.

The thing that really bugs me though is the manager's understanding of credit cards. He kept saying that my account had already been charged and that I'd end up paying my friend's check no matter what. I was saying that no, if I don't sign, I won't have to pay. He was right that Discover would automatically pay the amount, as that's what credit card companies do. They use their cash reserves to front purchases. Later when they'd have to validate the transaction though, they'd see I didn't sign, and I wouldn't be liable. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I figured that's why the whole signature thing exists, to verify that it's a valid transaction.

So, has anyone used Steak and Shake's POS system? Could they have voided the transaction? I thought about saying run it and then refund it, but my faith in the three guys there was non-existent at that point. It seems that their POS system is provided by Progressive Software who handle "Jack In The Box, Starbucks, Steak ‘n Shake, Golden Corral, Boddie Noell (dba Hardee’s), Ryan’s Steak Houses and many others and is currently installed in more than 14,000 restaurant outlets in the United States, Canada, and the UK."
buzzed, B&W

Competition Rather than Courtesy

"The permanent nature of matter in general means that when human beings fight, the victory ordinarily goes to those who have superior weapons, skill, and numbers, evn if their cause is unjust." That's how Mr. Lewis wraps up today's page, after he discusses how it's impossible for everyone to be happy all the time. Might over right.

The post talks about how we should accommodate others, that not everyone can be happy all of the time (in his words, as one person walks downhill, another struggles walking uphill). Reminds me a bit of the conversation I had last night about a friend I have who's very accommodating, perhaps overly so. I believe he gets walked over, and that he needs to start being assertive on some things, so he can find a purpose to life. Marquez would say this applies to me too, that rather than coasting through life, accommodating myself by keeping all the doors open, I'll have to "embrace something with passion."
buzzed, B&W

Livejournal Backup

So while I previously mentioned that livejournal has it's own backup/export tool, it's somewhat inconvenient in that it only does a month at a time. ljsm is a much more general purpose utility, written in perl. It spiders any users journal, and downloads all their posts and the related comments, and create a nice chronological index, that contains links to entries on both the actual livejournal, and also the local copy. Pretty nice.