It was supposed to be a simple thing.
All I wanted was to have a quick and delicious bowl of noodles at a nearby restaurant.
That was it. That was all it was supposed to be.
Armed with my Kindle and my American Express, it was a typical excursion in eating lunch on my own. Nothing was out of the ordinary that day; my food at my restaurant of choice arrived promptly and was delicious as always.
Then it came time to pay the bill.
“I’m sorry miss, but we don’t take American Express.”
I hadn’t taken my wallet with me; I had literally only grabbed my AmEx and ran out the door. (I can’t remember exactly why, but I think it was because my purse was jammed full with a bunch of heavy stuff that I didn’t want to cart around with me, and I was too hungry to deal with sorting it out before getting lunch.) Because I was eating on my own, I basically had no way to pay for my food. But I couldn’t leave the restaurant until I paid.
I tried logging into my bank account online to get my card number, but the system was having hiccups and the page I was trying to access was “unavailable at this time.” (OF COURSE.) In desperation, I called my bank. They were very suspicious of possible fraudulent activity, because it’s not every day people are legitimately calling the bank asking for a card number. As I hadn’t taken my wallet with me, everything that the bank representative was asking could only be answered by my memory only, without any forms of documentation nearby to assist me. By that point, I was so flustered that I couldn’t remember anything that was of help to the bank.
Meanwhile, the waiter was getting more and more frustrated with me, although he was doing his best not to show it. Thankfully, I had eaten on the early side of the lunch rush, so it’s not like I was taking up valuable space at my table. But still.
Eventually, my bank told me the card number and I gave it to the waiter. “Expiration date?” he asked expectantly as he punched the numbers into the system.
Oh, God. I hadn’t asked my bank for that.
I closed my eyes and tried to remember. “Um…” I faltered.
If the waiter hadn’t been impressed with me before, he certainly wasn’t now.
Luckily, I was able to remember it correctly and he rang up my transaction without any further problems. Then I ran out of there as fast as I could and vowed to myself that it would be a long, long time before I ever went back there for any meal, because my dignity could only take so much. And that if I ever decided to grab only one of my cards and leave my wallet behind, it would be my Visa, because apparently, life really does take Visa.
(This post is not sponsored by Visa or anyone else, by the way. It is brought to you only by my awkward experience trying to pay for my meal when dining solo.)