Tuesday, August 11, 2009

very unstimulating day

Just got home from work and whew..., its been a long day. Today some kind of stimulus package for parents on food stamps who had children in school. Those parents got $200 a per child. I had one lady who claims she got $1000 for her kids.

When I was a kid food stamps were given out as paper money, today its done on whats called and EBT card. The cash was given to the parents on those EBT cards, and an unforeseen side-effect occurred because of this.

People with those benefit cards came to my job with one mission... to get that money off of those cards (do you see where i'm going with this???). A a customer with these cards can go to our ATM's with there cards, because they accept QWEST, and those benefit cards are QWEST cards. The only problem is that over 70% of these people had cards that had damaged magnetic strips, so they couldn't swipe them in our ATM's. So they did the next best thing. They went through our lines and bought an item (gum, candy bar, etc.), and got $50 over off there card. This however wasn't just being done at our store. This was being done at every Store in the greater Rochester area, and in turn our EFT (Electronic funds transfer) machines went offline. While this happening I was helping a customer who was trying to get her fifty dollars. I had to hand type her number in. When I did my register told me that I was offline and I couldn't complete the transaction. Funny thing though, the damn register DID process the transaction, and took $50.54 from her account. I had to call to get some help from our corporate office. Had to fill out some form and call and give them the info. It took almost an hour to get a person, and 10 minutes to finish giving them the info.

When I was finished I got a call from the assistant office manager telling me not to process anymore cash transactions from EBT cards because we were nearly depleted of money. People were coming in just for the money stimulus money.

My co-worker and I think that the whole idea of this stimulus package for school students was pointless. The parents aren't going to spend the money on there children. Lets be real here, yes some of them will, but not all of them. I had one lady buy a pack of cigarettes with her money. Someone bought a case of beer. Its very very frustrating. Governor Patterson had good intentions, but people are going to take advantage of it.