Meljean's Tips for Getting Your Debit/Credit Card Out of the Weighing Scale on Your Local APC Machine
Tip #1: Do not give your four-year-old child your debit card to hold while Mommy finishes up her business.
Not even if you’re there on a Saturday because she’s been sick all week, making it difficult to get to the post office, and she still kind of looks miserable and tired, and she says, “Can I hold that?” and she’s so unbearably cute that you think you can’t resist anything she wants.
You can resist. You must. (And it’s good practice for later, when she’s sixteen and has her eye on a special edition of a Preacher graphic novel.)
Tip #2: When, less than two seconds later, you see your debit card sliding into the tiny space between the scale and its frame, try not to shriek.
Shrieking makes the four-year-old jump back, yelling, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!” and then you have to calm her down and let her know it wasn’t her fault, because Mommy didn’t follow the advice of Tip #1.
Tip #3: Do not try to use your fingers to get it out. It doesn’t work. Nor does sticking the edge of an old receipt down the little slot, trying to give it a nudge, because the receipt folds.
Tip #4: Calmly finish your business, glad that you chose the “credit” option instead of the “debit” option, because with a credit card you can do multiple purchases at once, but with a debit you have to swipe after each purchase. Give your child the blank rectangular stickers off of each stamp, because she needs to be cheered up and is easily pleased.
Tip #5: Plot.
Not the good kind of plotting, the kind you (try) to do in books, that eventually leads to the bad guy getting killed and the whoopie being made. No, this is the “what’s the best way to break open that scale without being caught?” kind of plotting. The “what sob story can I tell the bank so that they rush a replacement to me at no charge?” kind of plotting.
Tip #6: Explain to the child that even though Mommy made a bad decision when she gave her the card, that does not mean that a four-year-old should try to stick something slender into the first equally slender slot she sees.
Tip #7: Think to yourself, WWMD?
What Would MacGyver Do?
Tip #8: Keep an eye out for other postal customers and/or postal employees. You do not want them to see what you are about to do, and they probably don’t have the same appreciation for MacGuyver.
Tip #9: Find a Change of Address card. They are made of cardstock and sturdy.
Tip #10: Steal the excuse-for-a-sticker back from your child. Stick to the edge of the Change of Address card, making certain that about 1cm of sticky part is hanging over the edge.
Tip #11: Look around again; prepare to run as fast as you can if a postal employee shouts, “WTF are you doing?” or if the machine breaks or if anything gets permanently stuck, gumming up the works.
Tip #12: Back away as fast as you can when someone comes in to check their postal box. Look innocent. This is where the miserable-looking-child is an asset.
Tip #13: After they’ve left, quickly insert the sticker/card into the thin slot. Nudge the card, just as you would set a hook.
Tip #14: Pull out card. Tell child that she’s so smart and such a good girl for having stickers!!
Tip #15: Buy milkshake with card (you have to make sure it still works, after all.)