Shutdown For Being Efficient!

Like The Miles Professor, I like to be as efficient as possible. I have a route that I follow. It looks complicated like the Tokyo subway map, but once you get into the groove it’s quite efficient. I make my bill payments as easy as possible for the clerks. I bring in the credit card to be paid, the remittance stub, and my debit card. On the stub, I fill out the payment amount and leave my phone number so it’s as fast as possible.

Today, I met a new clerk and was completely taken aback by how well I knew the system. As soon as she asked to see my ID and debit card I knew it was trouble. I gave her a Visa Buxx and passed her muster. This part was by accident, I had insufficient funds on the Visa Buxx and I asked if  can I use a different debit card. She said OK and inspected the next card, which did not have my name. She told me I couldn’t use the card because of it.

For the next time, I’ll have to play down my knowledge and let her “do her job.”

While some cashiers would love the fact that you know the system and can help out, that has happened at my favorite store, but some cashiers like today don’t appreciate it. There’s no right or wrong answer, but you’ll need to play the cashier and see how they would react.

There’s a code that you can tell the Walmart cashier (I can’t remember off the top of my head on source) on how to handle your prepaid card loads that would help with the process. So you’ll need to see what type of cashier they are before you let them know how to reload your card. You might be stonewalled like I was if you know too much.

10 comments… add one
  • Action code 70

  • I’ve had similar run-ins with new cashiers. I tend to do a pretty strategic “break in” with them. I have a goal–usually to unload $3k a day at WM and then spend more on ST/UFB. With my usual cashiers this is no issue. When a new employee starts at the money center at that point I go into break in mode.

    Break in mode is to do the exact opposite of what I usually do, and looks something like this:

    Day 1
    “Hi, I’d like to load my bluebird for $742” All one swipe, with a real (Name on it) Debit card. I’ve even used my Charles Schwab debit card earning absolutely nothing for this in the past. This introduces the idea that I have a card which has my name on it, and that I spend larger amount than a normal customer.

    Day 2
    “Hi, I’d like to load my Bluebird for $811. Oh, and can I split this? $500 on the first card, and the balance on the second.” Again I use cards with my actual name on them. I sometimes mention the first card has a daily limit of just $500.

    Day 3, repeat Day 2, and add:
    “Can I also get a money order, two actually for $975.00?” Again split $500 and the balance. Here I’ll liquidate a GC and pay the balance in full with another card.

    Repeat Day 3 procedure as needed until a pattern develops:

    Day 4-5-6
    Depending on how well you’ve talked up the cashier at this point they’ll usually say “oh hi, how much today?” Then you know you’re in like flynn… and can start using all gc’s and add in a bill payment, MO’s, RR, etc..

    New hires rarely work the same shift two days in a row–WM managers love to screw them over and change their shifts daily, so they’re not there every day anyway. But I always have a plan for a new cashier ready in case I need to think on my feet. And I’m always ready to walk away without liquidating anything if I get a bad vibe about the cashier.

    Robert De Niro in Heat:
    “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.”

    • Thanks for the tip Sam! That’s really smooth, I like that method. I’ll need to use that for the future

      • Terrific strategy, Sam, and thanks, CTP, for introducing the topic and sharing your experience. We learn a lot from reports of glitches!

  • Yay, efficiency 🙂 At least 50% of the battle is social engineering. I usually end up getting away with lots of knowledge of how registers work, doing 5 way splits, cards without my name on it, even with new cashiers… because I just look so completely innocent and non-suspicious that people rarely think twice. I guess the lesson to be learned is… if you’re going to MS, better to send women!

    • Totally saw that last line coming 🙂

    • Sounds like I need to enlist pretty ladies!

  • And there is the ‘phone call’ that allows you to let the person behind you go ahead of you. It is the polite thing to do.

    My Walmart has one associate that always seems to be one of the two working money services, so I use my phone to create an excuse to get the other person.


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