I’m sure some cash registers are super-awesome. But in my experience, they’re tricky little devils. A few days ago, I mis-typed an amount and it told me that I should give this lady $190 in change for her $10 fine which she’d paid with a $20. Whoops!
I redid the transaction correctly, but I had to call a manager and give her the info so that she could verify the void the next day. Very embarrassing.
Here’s the thing about cash registers (in my experience): you can’t tell what you just did. And Clear often only takes you back one step. So if you made two mistakes, you’re screwed. Or if you don’t realize your mistake until later, you’re screwed.
What I would like to see in a cash register:
- For starters, I wouldn’t mind using a calculator and a ledger. That might be simplest. If you mess up a line, you can just draw a line through it and start over.
- But if I’m going to use a cash register, I’d like it to have a mouse and a backspace key.
- I’d like a screen where I can see the whole transaction and not just the last line.
- I’d like to be able to go back and correct things. Because on the nifty screen, I could have seen that I accidentally typed in $200 instead of $20 (what I hit was 2 00 00 instead of 2 0 00). So I could have used arrow keys or the mouse to simply find the line, hit backspace, and change it.
- Actually, making it look like a simple spreadsheet (where the same keys you normally use on the machine fill it into a spreadsheet but you can go back and correct it) would be really nice.
- It could work a lot like the ones I’ve used before, just show more info in case you screwed up…it wouldn’t need a keyboard.
- And if such a paragon exists, I’d like someone to donate them to every county library ever. Thanks!
It just seems like we have the technology to make cash registers a hundred times easier to use. They don’t need a lot of bells and whistles—they could actually stand to be dumbed down as long as they reveal more information and allow for easier correction.