Please Wait! Help is On the Way!

Nantucket Historical Society
Nantucket Historical Society

There is a sign at each self-checkout machine at my local grocery store. It says “Scan Your Membership Discount Card Before Scanning Items!”

No one reads the sign. They just start scanning their bread, beer an milk and then try to scan their membership card.

The machine locks up, will not allow them to continue their transaction or leave, and simply starts to chirp in a computer voice, “Please wait! Help is on the way!”

They look around in exasperation. Since I am an experienced shopper at this particular grocery store, I calm them down and inform them that shortly one of the managers of the store will be on their way.

Even though they are filled with frustration and impatience, this news tends to calm them down. Sure enough, within a few moments a manager appears out of nowhere and swipes her magic manager card somewhere on the machine, and it suddenly begins to work.

The customer finishes the transaction and leaves smiling.

Let’s think about what happened here: A person had a problem, and a machine said in a cheery voice “Please wait! Help is on the way!”

It repeated this message over and over until a stranger with a magic card appears, swipes her card over the machine with a grand gesture…

And suddenly the problem disappears!

I’m sure Uber and Lyft and AirBnB are all useful services. But I want a service that like the magic manager card. You have a problem, you are stuck, and a voice says “Please wait! Help is on the way!”

Suddenly a person appears out of thin air, swipes a magic card over the problem and it disappears.

There are so many situations we could use this service:

— Can’t get tickets to the big game? “Please wait, help is on the way!”

— The car dealership is not budging on their outrageous price for the car you want? “Please wait, help is on the way!”

— Your significant other is nagging and complaining about everything you do, and won’t let you go out bowling with your friends? “Please wait, help is on the way!”

Don’t worry! A mysterious woman who looks remarkably like a manager at a grocery store appears out of nowhere, swipes her magic manager card and your problem goes away. Now that’s a service I would pay for.


About Joe Ditzel

Joe Ditzel is a keynote speaker, humor writer, and really bad golfer. You can reach him via email at [email protected] as well as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.