Monday, June 30, 2008

Can You Make Change?

In this day of calculators, computer aided cash registers, and kids who can subtract in their heads, people just don't know how to make change.

I went to the local grocery store yesterday afternoon to pick up a couple of things. When I got to the register, one young man was training another to check groceries.

I laid my stuff down, the trainee scanned my items and asked if that was all. I politely said yes, and he hit the total key. My purchases came to $4.17. I gave him a $10. The somewhat arrogant trainer(although they looked to be about the same age)told him to hit the $10 button, which I assume would tell him how much change to give me, but he evidently didn't hit it hard enough and my change came up $.00.

The trainer huffed, walked over to the cash register, opened the drawer, counted out $5.82 and as he told the trainee what he had done wrong, tried to hand me the money. He laid the change on the five and attempted to hand it to me.

I asked him to count it to me. He said $5.82 cents. I said no, count it to me to make $10. He said he didn't owe me $10. I told him I was well aware of that, but I wanted my change counted back to me. He said he didn't know how. I said then how do you know this is the right amount of money. He said he subtracted it. I said where? He said in his head. I told him I didn't trust his head and I wanted it counted back to me.

He couldn't. I smiled at the trainee, he was smiling too. I felt the trainer had belittled the trainee when he became huffy. Mr trainer got paid back. He assured me it was correct, that he had subtracted it correctly. I assured him that he was probably right, but I didn't want to be cheated, and I felt sure his employer didn't want to be cheated either.

He again tried to hand me the money. I said not until you count it back. I wasn't being ugly. We were all laughing(mostly at the trainer), but I made him hold out his hand in which he held the change, and counted the money back. 3 pennies made 20 cents, a nickel made 25, and 3 quarters made $5. The $5 bill in his hand made the $10.

I explained that my money was mine, and I didn't want to be short changed. Neither did I want any money that wasn't mine and that he needed to learn to count money before someone cheated him. He didn't think it was funny, nor did he think it was necessary. But you can bet, any time he checks me out, I will pay with cash, and I will make him count it back.

My Dad taught my brothers and me that if we didn't take care of our money, we wouldn't have it long. Now, I can certainly let enough of it slip through my fingers, but, I'm not going to let some wet-behind-the-ears kid cheat me out of it. Plus, it was fun seeing the trainee get a laugh at his superior's expense.

I know that sounds like I was mean to this young man. He probably has a much higher IQ than I, but he's still got a few lessons to learn. And everyone needs to know how to make change. Sometimes the fancy smancy computer cash registers lose power, crash, or someone just happens to accidently hit the wrong key.

If you can't make change without aid, then you should learn. You might need to run a yard sale or help your children learn to count money. I'd rather not know how to read as to not be able to count money.

I had an uncle that couldn't read a word, but he could count money. It should be second nature.

I'll get off my soapbox now. I guess this is a pet peeve of mine. Do you have one? If you do, tell me about it.

Otherwise, have a great July 1st. Do something silly. Make someone laugh.


IzzyBeth said...

I used to be really bad at counting back change - and I hated that I couldn't get it right. But too many years in retail taught me how to do it! :-) I agree that everyone should still have to know how to do this.

And good for you!!

Amy said...

LOL... that is my soapbox too!!

I want my money counted back to me...I use to have to count it back when I was a teenager working at JC Penny, and I expect the same from whatever pimply faced kid is giving me my change. I don't care if the cash register tells them how much they owe me... it's just the principle of the thing! Ya' know?

Tara Smith said...

Ooh Ooh...I can! When our computers would go down at Hasting's I was the only one who could seem to still check people out.

Memaw's memories said...

Tara can make change, because I taught her how when she was very young.

Beckynsc said...

I can make change with the best of em'.
One of my pet peeves is the mess that people leave in public bathrooms. Do they do that at home?
I was thinking of doing a pet peeve post in a few days. You beat me to it! Hahaha

Lisa J said...

Wellllll, actually if your purchase was 4.17, then your change should have been $5.83, not 5.82, and that may have been what you meant. But that is a big peeve of mine too. If you can't make change, at least COUNT the change back to me that you owe me. If the cash register tells you how much you are owed, then they should at least count it back and not just hand it to you. And I hate it when they don't say....

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