Today at work I was verbally insulted and abused by a customer. As the sales associate I am allowed to do nothing, but stand there and smile politely.
However, as this man continued to yell at me I realized that this was an act of anger due to a lack of knowledge; a lack of knowledge of technology.
This issue was his chip on his credit card did not work, our store policy and payment system does not allow us to override chips due to security reasons. This man swore that it would work and I was not listening to him and I should believe him that it would work. However, he was not listening to me in my telling him of the way our system works. But that is besides the point. This man was mislead about the technology.
This had me thinking - I understand the technology of chip readers and magnet swipes and the payment systems, but all because I work in retail. If I didn't I would know how they work, but not really understand how they work.
This is a piece of technology used everyday, for many of us, multiple times a day. Yet, what do we really know about it? What do we know about how the payment system responds to our card? Reaches the bank? We all just stand there waiting for that "Approved. Remove Card" message.
How are we supposed to learn about this technology, or fully understand this technology?
I cannot fault that man for yelling at me, I am sure he is a lovely guy. He was just arguing for something he believed in and the way he thought the system worked. He did not know any different, or understand why we, as a store, cannot do what he was asking and override his chip.
I find this relates back to a comment I made earlier about teaching our students about social media. They all know how to work the machine, but they don't know how the machine works. Technology is something that needs to be taught, to everyone, at any age.