“I Didn’t Know I Had to PAY For That!”

The other day I was having a very pleasant lunch at a restaurant I like. I had a good book to read, my favorite salad and a large iced tea. This is one of the little treats I give myself from time to time, and I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

Gradually I became aware of a couple at the next table. They were complaining about the electronic doohickey that restaurants are starting to place at every table; you can pay your bill on it, listen to music, play games, and so on. I’ve never used one; I just give the waiter my card and ignore the doohickey.

The couples’ voices gradually grew louder as they became more indignant. The wife said, “Well, if I had KNOWN I had to pay for that little game I played, I never would have done it!”

Her husband grunted agreement, and said, “Yeah, that’s how they make more money off ya.”

The wife said, “Well, there should be some kind of sign somewhere telling you that these things are not free; I mean, how should I know? We’re older; we don’t know about all this techno-babble!”

The husband grunted assent and called the waiter over. The wife repeated her little ‘how should they know they had to pay’ speech.

I give the waiter credit for his patience and courtesy. He explained that, when you open up an application such as a game, the charge is listed on the screen. The wife sniffed and said that she didn’t see that. The husband grunted again about what a ripoff it was. The wife said indignantly ‘we’re older people, you know! We don’t do all this fancy-schmancy technology!’

At this point I was rolling my eyes. The waiter said kindly that, since they didn’t know, he would comp the cost for them this time (which I believe was a whole $1.99). They grumped once again about how those screen messages could be clearer, ‘so that a person would KNOW.’ I don’t believe that I heard a ‘thank you’ to the waiter, though.

The kicker? As this couple left, she pulled out her top-of-the-line iPhone, and he put on his BlueTooth ear piece!!!

Just when you think you’ve seen it all….

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