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playgroundlover22695
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03 Mar 2024, 10:20 pm

Today I went with my mom to BJ'S to buy food with my cousin. We spent almost 2 hours shopping in the store. Long story short, my mom was going to pay with her EBT card, but it was declined, despite having adequate funds on it. The store suggested that I call about it, but I didn't call today because no one is in the government office on Sunday. I am going to call tomorrow about it,but I had to put all the food back because I didn't have another payment method on me. It was just a really stressful situation.
Afterward, we went back to my house and order Chinese food and played some games with my cousin. It was really nice, but I couldn't stop thinking about what happened in the store. I kept thinking "Why'd I get out of bed today? This day was a waste and I'm so exhausted now. I just want to bury myself in bed and watch TV for the rest of the day."
As soon as my cousin left, my mom went to watch TV and I followed. I laid on her side and watched a movie with her. When I was cold, I covered myself in a blanket and my mom rubbed my back. This was 3:30pm. I stayed in the bed watching TV until 7PM, then I got something to eat and I went back to watching TV for the rest of the night. I usually don't watch TV until 7 or 8PM. I just wanted a day off without stress, but sometimes I feel like stress is my middle name. Is this a normal reaction for anyone or do you think it's due to autism and mild episodic depression? :roll:



bee33
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03 Mar 2024, 11:05 pm

What happened to you at the store would be a major stressor for anyone. I don't know if autism and/or depression made it worse, but your reaction does not seem unusual.



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04 Mar 2024, 12:08 pm

If my card had been declined like that, I'd have been pretty worried about it until it was cleared up. I'd probably have attacked the problem full-on, overthinking it and putting way more energy than most into solving it. The Sunday problem - can't phone them - would have stressed me out. I'd probably have started imagining that I'd never get access to my money again, and that my entire life would collapse into a string of trouble over unpaid bills. Then, as soon as it had been fixed, I'd have recovered. But I'd remain kind of wary and vigilant for a long time - perhaps forever - that those things can happen without warning at any time, and I'd have a sinking feeling that next time might be fatal. It probably wouldn't affect my functioning much at all, but it would be there inside me as a nagging sensation, and it would spoil my ability to be happy, to some extent.

But I don't think I'd have been too embarrassed at having to put the stuff back in the store. I'd have felt a bit of that, but I'd have been a lot more concerned about why my card had stopped working. After all, cards do stop working, and it's not usually the owner's fault. There are at least 2 self-checkout machines in Walmart that don't work with my bank card. Most other machines do. Nothing wrong with the card, nothing wrong with how I use it. It's somebody else's fault.



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04 Mar 2024, 12:17 pm

I can understand the embarrassment and frustration of any card being declined, especially if there were a line of people behind you. (its happened to everyone at some point, no matter what type of electronic transaction it might be.) The EBT system has people available 24/7 to deal with transactional issues, so it would have been cleared up quickly.

I's sorry you didn't get more help, The store manager, or someone in customer service, should have assisted your mother with an offline transaction at the very least. That is the usual procedure with there is a glitch in the EBT system. Basically, you take the register receipt and your EBT card and process it manually. Everyone is entitled to use their benefits when they need them even if there is a system outage. I'm sorry your store "dropped the ball" on this one.



playgroundlover22695
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04 Mar 2024, 7:27 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
If my card had been declined like that, I'd have been pretty worried about it until it was cleared up. I'd probably have attacked the problem full-on, overthinking it and putting way more energy than most into solving it. The Sunday problem - can't phone them - would have stressed me out. I'd probably have started imagining that I'd never get access to my money again, and that my entire life would collapse into a string of trouble over unpaid bills. Then, as soon as it had been fixed, I'd have recovered. But I'd remain kind of wary and vigilant for a long time - perhaps forever - that those things can happen without warning at any time, and I'd have a sinking feeling that next time might be fatal. It probably wouldn't affect my functioning much at all, but it would be there inside me as a nagging sensation, and it would spoil my ability to be happy, to some extent.

But I don't think I'd have been too embarrassed at having to put the stuff back in the store. I'd have felt a bit of that, but I'd have been a lot more concerned about why my card had stopped working. After all, cards do stop working, and it's not usually the owner's fault. There are at least 2 self-checkout machines in Walmart that don't work with my bank card. Most other machines do. Nothing wrong with the card, nothing wrong with how I use it. It's somebody else's fault.

This was an EBT card with cash benefits on it. They just told me that they were unable to process the transaction and tried several things to make it work, with no success. I did call the animated line and the funds are still on there, so that's no longer a concern for me. To be honest though, that was never a concern for me in the first place because I knew the balance before entering the store. The embarrassing part was when they kept asking me over and over again if I had a credit card or some other way to pay for all of the food, which I didn't. I now know the lesson here is always bring 2 payment methods, but who would think of that? The whole experience just made me feel drained and that's why I laid around the rest of the afternoon. I just felt like getting out of bed was a waste and I just wanted to curl back up under the covers and not talk to anyone. A lot of times that's what I do when I've had a really stressful day. I either lay next to my mom and she rubs my back while we watch tv, or I'll go lay down in my own bed and give myself a soothing belly massage while I watch tv.



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05 Mar 2024, 2:23 am

I can't help but want to say your mom sounds really nice. You're very lucky. :) I don't think my mom has ever rubbed my back. 8O If that happened to my mom and me in a store we'd probably argue all the way home, and she would complain about it all night.

Don't feel bad. I'm sure it happens all the time in grocery stores. There was nobody there who knew you and strangers wouldn't care. Get the card sorted out and forget about it.


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05 Mar 2024, 5:19 am

Don't stress over situations you have no control over. There's nothing you could have done to avoid that.



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06 Mar 2024, 1:28 am

You did the best you could to handle the situation.


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06 Mar 2024, 1:33 am

I usually carry several credit cards so if one line of credit is declined I have a spare.



playgroundlover22695
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06 Mar 2024, 6:54 pm

cyberdad wrote:
I usually carry several credit cards so if one line of credit is declined I have a spare.


I am going to do that from now on, but you wouldn't think to do that if you had state food assistance to pay for the food and you KNEW that you had sufficient funds on the card because you called it ahead of time. I did the best I could for my situation. The bottom line is the store screwed up and locked my mom's card for 24 hours. I have a friend who is a manager at that store and she said she would talk to the other manager and see to it they don't do this again to people. It's a very stressful situation to be in and that's an understatement. :(



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06 Mar 2024, 6:56 pm

playgroundlover22695 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
I usually carry several credit cards so if one line of credit is declined I have a spare.


I am going to do that from now on, but you wouldn't think to do that if you had state food assistance to pay for the food and you KNEW that you had sufficient funds on the card because you called it ahead of time. I did the best I could for my situation. The bottom line is the store screwed up and locked my mom's card for 24 hours. I have a friend who is a manager at that store and she said she would talk to the other manager and see to it they don't do this again to people. It's a very stressful situation to be in and that's an understatement. :(


People offering solutions seem to miss that it shouldn't have happened, you did nothing wrong.

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playgroundlover22695
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06 Mar 2024, 8:20 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
playgroundlover22695 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
I usually carry several credit cards so if one line of credit is declined I have a spare.


I am going to do that from now on, but you wouldn't think to do that if you had state food assistance to pay for the food and you KNEW that you had sufficient funds on the card because you called it ahead of time. I did the best I could for my situation. The bottom line is the store screwed up and locked my mom's card for 24 hours. I have a friend who is a manager at that store and she said she would talk to the other manager and see to it they don't do this again to people. It's a very stressful situation to be in and that's an understatement. :(


People offering solutions seem to miss that it shouldn't have happened, you did nothing wrong.

Yes, solutions might exist, but it's not your circus so they're not your clowns.


I agree. I don't mind having solutions offered, but hindsight is always 20/20. It wasn't really my responsibility nor my mother's to think of a solution. We tried thinking of different solutions to get the card to work with no success. Plus, who would want to put that amount of money on a credit card when they have EBT. People who have EBT don't usually qualify because they have the ability to pay for food easily with many different payment methods?



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07 Mar 2024, 1:25 am

funeralxempire wrote:

People offering solutions seem to miss that it shouldn't have happened, you did nothing wrong.

Yes, solutions might exist, but it's not your circus so they're not your clowns.


Im not sure if north Americans have Scouts? but there is a mantra we were taught called "always be prepared". Debating the ethics after the event doesn't resolve the embarrassment when a card is declined.



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07 Mar 2024, 3:40 pm

Well of course it's good to be prepared, but IMO it's impossible to be prepared for every conceivable curveball that the world can throw at people. No matter how many bases you painstakingly cover, somebody will find some damn thing that you didn't think of. I think it's important to bear in mind that many of these problems are the fault of service providers and businesses. It might ease the embarrassment a bit, though in this case, I guess the fear was that other customers wouldn't have known it was the shop's fault. A more confident and assertive victim might have politely but firmly blamed the shop in a clearly audible voice, and been more shameless about the whole matter, but it's no easy matter to become a more confident, assertive person.



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07 Mar 2024, 5:28 pm

I grew up on food stamps, the predecessor to EBT. We were so poor my mom would send my brother and I through the line with a food stamp dollar to buy something that cost 25 cents so she could save up the other 75 cents in cash. This was in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Sad.

I think it's kinda messed up to put people on the spot asking over and over for alternate payment methods. If you were brimming with money you wouldn't have an EBT card, now would you? Why embarrass people further?



playgroundlover22695
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08 Mar 2024, 7:29 pm

SocOfAutism wrote:
I grew up on food stamps, the predecessor to EBT. We were so poor my mom would send my brother and I through the line with a food stamp dollar to buy something that cost 25 cents so she could save up the other 75 cents in cash. This was in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Sad.

I think it's kinda messed up to put people on the spot asking over and over for alternate payment methods. If you were brimming with money you wouldn't have an EBT card, now would you? Why embarrass people further?


Thank you for this response. This is exactly what I was thinking. I mean at home I have my credit cards for emergencies, but generally speaking, we use EBT for food because my mom is disabled and doesn't work, nor does my dad, so the EBT really helps with rapidly rising food costs (thank you Bidenomics :-P ) since my dad and I cover all the bills with his retirement and my income from one job. I really can't get another job because one full time job in front of children all day makes me very tired by the end of the days and weeks. I really need the weekend to rest up and do errands to get myself ready mentally for Monday morning. So, to add to what you said, I'm not poor. I'm middle class, BUT, that doesn't mean I can afford to use credit cards for food every week. Therefore, no the store should not have tried to embarrass us like that. P.S. I'm going back to a different store tomorrow and using EBT.