I’ll Teach My Kids to Count Up!

Oh, boy. I just had a frustrating experience at sandwich shop next door. I experienced a pet peeve first-hand. Again. Here’s the play-by-play…

  1. The cashier rings up the total for the lunch. $15.73.
  2. I hand the cashier two $10 bills and 3 pennies.
  3. Cashier thinks I handed him a $10, a $5, and assumes the rest of the change is coming to get to $15.73.
  4. He punches in the amount he things he’s getting ($15.73) and then realizes, “Wait! This person gave me $20 + 3 pennies!”
  5. Panic sets in. He’s already rung up the total and now the cash register has no way to tell him how much money he should give back.
  6. Another employee is watching over his shoulder. I get the impression that the guy that took my money is new-ish and learning the ropes, so I’m willing to cut him lots of slack. I’m not one to dispense unwarranted anger, and I’ve been “new” before too…
  7. But…basic skills are still needed! The fact is, this young man should have been able to count the change up from $15.73 to $20.03 without the assistance of a cash register or a calculator.
  8. Thankfully, the person that was watching over him can save the day. She has a calculator! I sat down and wait for her to bring over my change. $4.10.

$4.10??? How does someone using a calculator type in $20.03 minus $15.73 and get $4.10?!?!? Now I have a primary pet peeve (“Can’t count up to make change”) that carries with it a secondary pet peeve (“Can’t use a calculator to make change”). I’m sorry, but that really bothers me.

Maybe it’s part of a rite of passage. I gracefully passed over the threshold into my forties last year. Does that give me the right to talk about “kids these days!?” Am I turning into some cranky old curmudgeon without even realizing it? Doesn’t matter. All I know is I’m going to make sure my kids have the ability to count up and make change without the aid of a cash register and/or calculator!

One Response to I’ll Teach My Kids to Count Up!

  1. Anessa says:

    DITTO. Same thing happened to me at McD’s. I gave the cashier $5.03 for a $3.53 meal.. Couldn’t do it. She gave me my three cents back.. then my change. I couldn’t give her my “two cents” she was older than me, must have been about 50 years old. Sad, just really, really sad.

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