I read Tera's rules for going through the check-out line at the store, and I thought that I usually do pretty well by those standards. But tonight I believe I added a new rule:
#35 - If you have a cart full (I mean FULL) of groceries, don't wait until after the cashier has rung up everything in the cart to realize that you can't pay for any of it!
Yep, that was me tonight. I went home after the ward Christmas party, got the kids settled in bed, and left Aaron there with them so I could make a more peaceful trip to the store. It was a pretty big shopping trip, since I needed snacks for the kids, a few things for regular meals, everything for a big Christmas dinner, etc. So I had a very full cart. Of course, the only lane they had open for my overflowing cart was the express lane. So as the cashier is ringing up all my purchases, the line is stacking up behind me. Two, then three, then four and five people all waiting (more and less patiently) to check out with their one or two items. None of them even had a basket, let alone a cart full of groceries.
So trying to be proactive and do my part to finish this transaction quickly, I swiped my club card and my debit card, keyed in the PIN and was ready to go as soon as she handed over my receipt. I even had my coupons ready and handed them over ahead of time in accordance with rule #25. Of course, I had completely forgotten the fact that I had to cancel my debit card yesterday.
In looking at my bank account online, I'd seen that someone had hacked my card number and made a couple of donations to DNCBARACKOBAMA.com. Who knows if this was a politically-minded hacker who was actually stealing my money to give to Barack Obama, or someone who had set it up to look like the money was going to Barack Obama (presumably in the hope that I would think that was something I'd donated myself?). But at any rate, I knew I hadn't donated that money to Obama, so I called the bank and they cancelled my debit card.
I knew they'd done it. I'd thought it through earlier in the day and knew I would have to write a check at the grocery store. In retrospect, I should have removed the card from my wallet right away. But when it came time to actually go to the store, the whole situation completely slipped my mind. I just went on as usual until the card denied notice flashed across the screen.
Oh how embarrassing! I tried a fumbling explanation, but I could tell that the cashier 1) didn't really care, and 2) probably didn't believe me. (See rules 20-24) However she graciously agreed to put my full cart aside and hold it for me while I ran home to get my checkbook. I really wanted to explain to all those people behind me that I was not a deadbeat. I really did have the money to pay. I was just the victim of a faulty memory! But I think that they also didn't really care, other than to be annoyed that after waiting all that time for my cart to be rung up, now I didn't even have a way to pay. "What an idiot!" I could just feel them all thinking that in my direction.
I went home and back as quickly as possible. And I was still completely embarrassed when I got there with my checkbook. I apologized about ten times for my mistake. But I still feel like an idiot!