The Struggle of American Credit Cards


An American Credit Card in Paris

If you haven't noticed by now, Parisians can have an attitude problem, and they're not afraid to let you know when they are displeased. It could be something as simple as a huff or an eye roll to show you how unhappy they are with the situation. So what happens when you're an American and pay with credit card. Let's just say I get huffs and eye rolls on a regular basis.

I should probably preface this with how credit cards work in France. Most people pay by debit card or cash in France, cash being the preferred method. But there are credit cards as well. However, instead of signatures, credit cards here have a code, just like debit cards. So when you pay for something, you have to enter in a code, just like you would with your debit card. I have to say that I like it. It goes faster and at restaurants they bring the scanner right to you and do everything right in front of you. You never have to worry about your card getting stolen. But in America, we don't have codes, so that means that when you use an American card in France, you have to sign for it rather than enter in the fast little code. Who knew that something so simple could seem to ruin some people's day. I'm not even exaggerating.

Enter me, with my American credit card. Every week I go grocery shopping and pay for things with the credit card, because you know, points for travel. Sometimes I try to warn them that its American and that I need to sign, sometimes I'm too busy trying to shove everything into my bags that I forget. Either way, the reaction that I get from the cashiers is priceless every time! All the cashiers have to do is move one item from one side, scan it, and put it on the other. Oh and they tell you to stick your debit or credit card in the machine. After that, they don't do much. So how do you ruin their day? By making them do more work of course! And what better way than to have to search for a pen, wait two seconds while someone signs something, and put it in the drawer. When they see that I have to sign the credit card, they immediately let out this sigh that sounds like a nonthreatening growl (a common way to express yourself). It is like I am making them do so much extra work because I just had to have a credit card that doesn't have a code. It is like I am forcing them to do something that is completely out of their job description. One time someone had to get up from their chair! Oh no they had to move in order to do their job! Enter eye rolls, comments, growls, and the feeling that you just ruined someones day. I know credit cards aren't always great, but you only spent two seconds dealing with it, sorry not sorry that my credit cards was you biggest problem of the day!

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