I have to admit I’m on the run from the long arm of the law at the moment. I am on the run from a debt of $5 from a well-known national franchise. My wife tells me it is a condition known as Grumpy Old Man-ism. I tell her it is just frustration with businesses that don’t listen and understand what their clients want.
I can see myself telling the story to the judge. “You see, your honour, it was a testing time. It had been a long day and my child was sick and vomiting and needed to keep some liquid inside her body. I walked up to the counter of a shop in a busy shopping mall. After lining up and finally reaching the front of the line, I ordered the drinks I needed. Total cost was $11. I pulled out my magic piece of plastic that allows me to shop all over the world. You know the one – the ads tell me ‘for everything else there’s MasterCard’. Surely I can use this to pay for some drinks in a thriving metropolis.
“But no. I was told that it was cash only – but to help me out the pimply faced teen pointed to an ATM and helpfully told me that I could get some cash from there. I looked at the long queue at the ATM and the queue that had now formed behind me – and I refused.
“I checked my watch and asked the young employee if my watch was incorrect or were we in the year 2011? Surely in 2011 in a modern shopping mall in Australia I could use my plastic. So, instead of meekly slinking away to line up at the ATM I emptied the $6 cash I had in my wallet and I told the now confused underling that I needed the drinks and, if he isn’t going to accept my credit card then I can only give him $6.
“He didn’t know what to do. He looked to his fellow assistant for guidance but he simply shrugged.