It's totally the employee's fault. They violated the store policy in exactly the way that you're saying. I'm not agreeing with, or condoning it. I knew enough not to make that mistake, but knowing what I know about the pressures put on you as an Apple salesperson, I was saying I can totally see how someone less experienced or who didn't give a shit would do that.
I'm totally not disagreeing with you at all. If you've spent any time in Retail, you'll know that 90% of the time, Customers really have no idea what they want or what the rules are. Most customers are pretty dumb. Hell, I couldn't even trust them to remember a password that they JUST created minutes before. They are the absolute WRONG source of any useful information - especially about transactions.
Now, when the payment device asked for an Override code, it was the job of the EMPLOYEE to got to the back and call up the bank. We're provided special numbers to call and special codes we have to type in. It's a horribly clunky and long process which everyone hated to do, but that was it. So, this is completely the employee's fault - albeit it's really a training issue and the blame rests with Apple. I can totally see why an employee would
#1) Not want to go through that process when they need to get to the next sale
#2) Possibly be new and not completely understand the process
#3) Be susceptible to some clever social engineering - ie: There are some cases where the customer must call the bank. I need an override code from the bank to process this. The customer is calling the bank, so that means I don't have to!
So it's a big f-up, but I can totally understand how and why it happened.
As part of that, cars are looking like they're going to be robots that are significantly more competent at driving than we'll ever be - but they'd make horrible robots to help an old lady go the bathroom in a nursing home, or any number of tasks not related to driving.
They're not competent in their ability to be "Bishop" from Aliens, but they are/will be plenty competent in driving.
And there's always that guy somewhere. It's uncanny.