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Sunday, March 08, 2009


In my lifetime, I have been in charge of hiring and firing personnel, but I always tried during the interview process to place a person suited to the position. Life has become easier for most in the retail industry - as debit/credit cards are used far more than ever before, thus eliminating the challenge of MAKING CHANGE!

Today, after enjoying a birthday party for the middle grandson (turned 14 today), we stopped at Burger King on the way home. Follow close here, this is NOT complicated at all. The order came to $14.17. I gave this older woman a twenty dollar bill and 17 cents in change. She is giving me $5.97 back in change. I reiterated to her that I gave her the 17 cents, and this is the incorrect change. I get this blank stare and a jaw dropped to the counter.

Oh God, I'm going to have fun with this woman. Just a note, when she handed me the change it was all in singles - so I'm handing this money back to her and she takes just ONE dollar out of my hand and says "Thank You." Straight out of the comics, my head did the "double take", I looked at thedaughter - which garners a "don't strangle her mom!"

Now, I have to just tell her plainly - "I gave you a twenty and the correct change - you owe me $6." Stammering, she whimpers "I punched in the wrong numbers - I need ones." She then grabs a large amount of ones out of her drawer and disappears to the front of the restaurant. WTF?!?!?! She has a gazillion ones and "NEEDS" more ones??? The end result - I get five one dollar bills and 4 quarters back in change. ARGH!!!! I cruise up to the second window to get the order, and tell the girl - to please tell Kathy (the manager) that she needs to train her people HOW TO MAKE CHANGE! I get the cursory apology, and we go merrily on our way home.

I have worked with money and figures most of my life and making change has never seemed like a difficult task. My children have never had a problem in this area either. But I had a friend, an older woman, very intelligent - who admitted she could NOT make change. She said she would freeze if she had to make that computation in her head. I was truly amazed.

I guarantee that my grandchildren will know how to make change - even if it is never taught in school. Could you imagine if I had given the woman at the fast food restaurant (story above) a twenty dollar bill and a quarter? I might have been a lot richer when I pulled out of the lot.

Have to get thegrandson ready for bed - it's a school night...and thunderstorms are headed this way. I can't complain, the weather has been great for the past three days, and now it is going to cool off again. But I have my sandals on and that is where they will stay...till October or November.

Have a good one all.....Later............


Mnmom said...

RIGHT THERE with you on this one! I've been making correct change since I was 13! And you don't have to do any math in your head folks, just count it back "up"! These folks behind the counter have grown to dependent on the cash register's computations. Starting when I was 13, I quit doing that and learned to do it alone. Because some old woman (who is now me!) is going to fish four pennies out of her purse at the last minute and you'd better know what to do!

rennratt said...

I purchased GS cookies yesterday. Thinking it would make it easier on the girl(s), I paid $10.50 and waited for my change.

I thought that one girl was going to burst into tears. Her mom had to stage whisper "Honey, what's ten minus three?"

The girl scrunched up her face, looked heaven-ward and said, "Um? Eight?"

It wouldn't have concerned me if the girl was 8 or 9; she was closer to 13.

Needless to say, I drove straight home and began interrogating my daughter on basic math.

Chickie said...

I miss when the cashier used to count the change back to you to add up to what you gave them.

This probably started going away when cash registers started having pictures pasted on the buttons to enter what was being ordered instead of keying in prices.

Lisa said...

I like when they count it back, too, because then they had you your coins first. It annoys me to no end when they put your bills in your hand and then slap the coins on top where they're likely to fall.

Annette said...

Yes, pet peeve with me too... kids aren't taught this in school any more like we were. It's all done on the cash register I guess.. and then it's never counted back just an amount and usually dumped in your hand.

Nan said...

One of my pet peeves, too, especially if they key in the amount you gave them then the machine tells them what they should hand back to you.

Utah Savage said...

I am math phobic, but I can make change. Jebus! It's money! Yeah, I can make change. Maybe in the future making change will be the difference between a job and no job.

Kulkuri said...

If the power were to go out, even if the cash register were open, most could not make change because the machine wouldn't tell them what it was. I hate when they put the slip on the bottom and then the bills and then the coins. I don't want the slip in my wallet and I put the coins in my pocket, so it takes awhile to put the change away.