Change they can’t believe
For many people, it’s about as scary as seeing a fin in the water coming towards you. 🙂
Beyond that, over time, it seems to have become an almost magical, arcane skill to many store clerks.
Oh, I’m not talking about calculus and quantum mechanic kinds of math..those are scary. 😉
I’m just talking about the simple subtraction that lets you round off a bill to an even amount.
For example, when I’m in a grocery store, I like to round it off. If the bill is for $22.84, I might ask for $17.16 in cash back…to round it off to $40 and give me some change.
When I do, though, some clerks look at me like I just made the cows go dry and the crops wither.
I recently had a situation like that, and the nice clerk (it was an upscale grocery store) asked me I wanted two twenties. When I equally nicely replied, “No, that would be too much change,” the clerk was stunned. I don’t think (hope) that it was the honesty…it took a few seconds for the clerk to figure out what had happened.
My Significant Other (SO) does this as well. Obviously, it’s not to make manual checkbook balancing easier…we’re not that math crazy. ;) It’s just fun. We also put our coins in to a piggy bank, and then, every once in a while, do a “Pig Day”…lunch and the movies, that kind of thing. So, we like getting the change back.
My SO said that when doing this in a different grocery store, the clerk was sort of annoyed. Apparently, you can ask the clerk to have the machine round it off to a certain amount…they don’t want you to do it.
I’m totally for technology, and I understand that there’s no real reason to learn to do this as a sales clerk. The machine will do it for you, and is less likely to make a mistake.
But do you have to look at us like we just used out telekinetic powers to fly things around the store in advance of the alien invasion? Are you afraid we’re going to pull out a lightsaber next? Believe me, I hardly ever use the phrase, “You fools! Soon I’ll squash you like insects!”* or “Quake with fear you tiny fools!”**
It’s just math…not magic.
*Gary Mitchell, Where No Man Has Gone episode of Star Trek: The Original Series
**Dr. Frank-N-Furter, The Rocky Horror Picture Show