30 Questions for the Way Too Aggressive Card Chip Reader at Target Last Night

Illustration for article titled 30 Questions for the Way Too Aggressive Card Chip Reader at Target Last Night
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1. When I was done making my purchase yesterday—a Wilton Icing Writing Black Pen and three Sterilite Clearview Latch Boxes with purple latches—was it really necessary to say “Remove your card ... NOW?”


2. Don’t you know that putting “NOW” in there was overkill?

3. And also rude as fuck?

4. What happened to “Remove your card, please?”

5. Or maybe just “Remove your card,” and without the “please?”

6. Who told you that you can talk to me like that?

7. Especially when we’re dealing with my motherfuckin’ money?

8. You don’t think the beep when it’s done is already disrespectful enough?

9. Especially since that beep sounds like some sort of error sound?

10. Like I got a question wrong on a Telemundo game show?

11. Which always makes me fear, for a split second, that my card got declined?

12. For real though, why the fuck do you have these error-sounding beeps instead of more pleasant sounds—like maybe a bell ringing or even a recording of Naomie Harris saying “Hello, there?”


13. Are you trying to give broke-adjacent niggas like me acid reflux?

14. Is that your plan?

15. Do you secretly work for Nexium?

16. And is the “NOW” just there because you’re just annoyed that I actually have enough money now to cover my $27.56 purchase?

17. Ha, that’s it, isn’t it?

18. You remember that time in 2010 my card got declined while buying some bite-sized Snickers, don’t you?


19. You even remember me lying to the cashier about how “this must be a mistake” and that my card only got declined because “I have some sort of anti-fraud protections on it and need to call Citizens Bank to lift them” huh?

20. And then me making the brokest walk-of-shame ever as I took the bite-sized Snickers all the way back to the candy aisle in the back of the store?


21. You were just waiting to roast me again, weren’t you?

22. Are you aware that, on average, white households have nearly 6.5 times the wealth of black households?


23. And that roasting me about my money makes you a racist?

24. Do you happily embrace racism, card chip reader?

25. Does racism run in your family?

26. Are the scanners at the self-checkout aisles secret bigots too?

27. Anyway, did you know I have full-sized Snicker money now, bitch?

28. And also that I’m from East Lib?

29. And that we mush bitch-ass card chip readers in the face where I’m from?

30. Have you ever been mushed in the face by a Pittsburgh nigga with (newly) sufficient funds?

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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Look. That machine gets cards shoved into it’s slot hundreds of times a day. And in dozens of cases each day those cards pull out too soon and no one is satisfied.

You arrive and the card machine is in a surly mood from repeatedly not finishing the right way, so of course the machine is going to be just a little snippy, even if you satisfied the slot.

The slot is still sore.