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$20.75 - 10.57 = Panic!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
We went to see the new Harry Potter movie this afternoon. The popcorn and drink for our daughter was $10.57. I gave the guy a $20 bill and said, "Wait, I have some change," but he was ringing it up as I spoke.

I gave him the $20 and three quarters. He got a panicky look on his face and said, "I can't accept the change!" Since I wanted a $10 bill back instead of a $5 and two to four loonie and/or toonie coins and .43 in change, I asked, "Why not?" He called a woman over, and she looked alarmed and said, "We can't accept it because it's already been rung up!"

Suspecting that they had no idea how to figure out the change, I asked, "Do you want me to tell you the change I should get back?" and the woman said, "No, we can't accept it because it messes up the register."

How lame is that? They had no idea how to figure out how much change to give me. Kind of sad when you think about it. A similar thing happened at Subway the other day, too. I had to tell the woman behind the counter how much change I should get back.
post #2 of 17
I cannot do math in my head to save my life. Literally. It's really embarrassing. Give me a pen and paper and I can figure it out, but trying to deal with those number in my head just doesn't work.

Although I did figure out a few tricks to quickly give the correct change while I was working in retail...

P.S. How was Harry Potter?
post #3 of 17
Happens all the time...

I am not a math whiz at all, but I learned a long time ago to count change (back in the stone age when I was a sonic carhop )

Anytime you give someone an extra nickel or some other change, they can't figure it out unless they ring it in like that sad!
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pekoe & Nigel View Post
...Although I did figure out a few tricks to quickly give the correct change while I was working in retail...

P.S. How was Harry Potter?
Really, it's not that hard. .57 is three cents away from .60, and .60 is fifteen cents away from .75. You just add 3+15 and I should have gotten $10. and .18 back. That guy should keep a pen and paper handy... you'd think between two of them they could figure it out.

Harry Potter was great! I love the books and movies. A little scary at the end for our nine-year-old, but she made it through O.K.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
Suspecting that they had no idea how to figure out the change, I asked, "Do you want me to tell you the change I should get back?" and the woman said, "No, we can't accept it because it messes up the register."
I sincerely hope this woman wasn't in charge!!! It does NOT 'mess up the register,' it simply changes the denomination of the change you receive!! the amount of the sale remains the same. She was just too embarrassed to admit she couldn't figure the change either. I am sooo glad my dad started teaching me those kinds of things before i ever started school!
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post
Happens all the time...

I am not a math whiz at all, but I learned a long time ago to count change (back in the stone age when I was a sonic carhop )...
I'm not great at math, either. But you are right, counting change back is easy and taught in third grade.

You count 58, 59, 60, then 70, and 75. Penny, penny, dime, nickel!
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post
I am not a math whiz at all, but I learned a long time ago to count change (back in the stone age when I was a sonic carhop )
That's not that long ago -- they still have them We have a burger joint here in my town that has carhops too -- even when it's -10*!!!!
post #8 of 17
I think these places hire the people who can't get jobs anywhere else.
I am a great at maths, in fact (not bragging) my maths teacher asked me to do my maths GCSE a year early.
But then again, I am hopeless at just about everything else.
It's nothing to be ashamed of!
post #9 of 17
I've gotten much better at doing math in my head since I often have to do calculations at work. So it works out either way! I would rather know because there are so many that can't without a calculator. What happens if the calculator breaks?
post #10 of 17
I really think its' a matter of practice -- I haven't done any serious money-handling in four years or so, and I admit I'm a little rusty on doing the math mentally, but give me a couple extra seconds and I CAN figure it out, for cryin' out loud. Once you've done it long enough it really is like riding a bike. Some people just become too dependent on the calculator/register.
post #11 of 17
They can't even get it right when you give them a set dollar amount, we stopped by Timmies for a tea and a coffee, $2.78. I gave him $3 and he sat there looking confused at what he had to give me back. I asked if he wanted the 3c thinking he was short of pennies and he asked me how much he would have to give back then
post #12 of 17
At some store while back, I fell in love with a $24.00 blouse, but it was missing half its buttons and it was the only one in my size... so when I checked out, I asked if they could give me any discount on it. The clerk asked a manager, who came over and authorized 10%.

The poor girl stood there for the longest time, staring at the register, and I knew what was wrong. After a minute, I said, "So that would be $2.40 off, right?"

But she shook her head, flustered, and said, "No, no, no, wait," and stared awhile longer. Finally, she called the manager back over and said, "How do I figure the discount?"

And the manager scrabbled around in a drawer until she found a pencil and a piece of paper, and the two of them stood there and huddled over the problem for a solid minute before they came up with an answer.

I'm notoriously bad at math. In junior high, I took one of those big IQ tests, and all my scores were off the chart except for math, which was below average. But... ten percent? Who can't figure ten percent?

post #13 of 17
As someone who worked for five years in that type of environment, it has very little to do with anyone not being able to count back change.....it has to do with the pace they are at and becoming conditioned to type in a number and get a response.... It is an 8 hour long cycle they're going through and if you disturb it, it can throw everyone off completely.

haha That may sound dramatic but I am really good at math and back when people would say "hey wait, let me give you a quarter", I'd get all thrown off because it wasn't part of the process.

I hope that made sense.
post #14 of 17
Yep unfortunately that's how we are grooming kids in school. They become so dependent on calculators that they can't think for themselves. Instead they punch in the dollar value given to them and the cash register does the calculation and all they have to do is count of the change, which many seem to have equal trouble doing.

It hasn't been all that long since I graduated high school (1980), but back then we weren't allowed to use calculators in math class until grade 11 or grade 12, when we started to work with Sine and Cosine and higher math. Now my friends are telling me that their kids have calculators on their school supplies list for grade ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scarey that our future is in the hands of these people!
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaniMarie View Post
As someone who worked for five years in that type of environment, it has very little to do with anyone not being able to count back change...

...haha That may sound dramatic but I am really good at math and back when people would say "hey wait, let me give you a quarter", I'd get all thrown off because it wasn't part of the process....
That might explain the guy having trouble, but not the woman he called to help him!
post #16 of 17
I'll admit that it wasn't until one of my last retail jobs I was finally taught how to count back change...but that was only because it was standard procedure where I worked (kind of like the customer auditing you on what they gave you).

Anyhoo, In your case though that was just plain stupidity and lack of simple math. No it never would have messed up the register because the sales that you make with the receipt should always equal the money in the register (plus any checks, credit cards, etc).
post #17 of 17
I was taught to count back change in a job in college. And while I didn't really like it, I could always adjust to whatever the customer gave me. One doesn't really have to add or subtract to give the change back. For the first time in years, I had someone count change back. She was so cute in counting the change back as she switched to Spanish in the middle.

As to calculators, you still need to be able to tell if the sum is even in the ballpark.
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