Monday, August 23, 2010


So while we are selecting out incompetent store workers, lets talk about the cashiers.  If you hand me my change on top of my dollar bills, I will make you walk the plank.

            In fact, I think I will create an entrance exam for admittance to the ark, and it won’t be like the college exams, which have become increasingly easier in order to jack up the schools’ attendance and thus profitability, it will be a real exam created with the intention of weeding out everyone but the most deserving.  Remember, this is my ark so I get to decide who is most deserving.  There will be no politically correct couching here; you either pass or fail. And on the basic customer service skills portion, if you put my change on top of the paper bills, you fail.
            This, like grocery bag packing, is not a difficult one.  Common sense should prevail here.  If you place a pile of coins on top of a pile of bills in a person’s hand, it is
likely to spill when the hand is moved, unless you are a master at stacking coins and the recipient has an exceptionally steady hand, and even then, why?  If you are counting back your change the way you are supposed to (I know, it is like grocery bag packing all over again, no one knows how to do this any more) you have to count out the coins first anyway. (To those of you for whom this is news, check out this website).  So place the coins in the palm of my upturned hand and then count back the dollars and place those on TOP of the coins.  It is much easier this way.  I can put the bills back in my wallet before having to go for the change purse, and nothing drops on the ground and rolls under the counter or half way across the floor so I either have to look like a fool chasing after it, or walk away from my money.
            And while we are at it, can you please learn how to make change without relying on the cash register?  Again not difficult, anyone old enough to work should have the basic skill of subtraction.  That is all change is you know, subtracting one number from another.  If you can count to one hundred and subtract, you ought to be able to make change without a cash register.  If you can’t do both of the above things, you ought not to be hired, at least not as a cashier.
            So lets go over this for the intellectually challenged teenager working at my local drug store. If my total comes to $13.47 and I give you a $20, all you need to do to get started is subtract 47 from 100 to figure out the coin part of the change. 100-47 is 53 so you owe me 53 cents to start.  Count that out from your drawer and place it in my hand.  If you are really good, you can even count it back to me handing me the three pennies and saying “forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty” and then handing me the two quarters and saying “and fifty cents makes fourteen”.  If you are already confused, please don’t take a job working with money. 
            Now you need to figure out the bills.  This is even easier because you are only subtracting 14 from 20; my first grader can do that.  So when you hand back the $1 you say “fifteen” because now our total is up to $15, then you hand me a $5 and say “twenty.”  This completed, you have successfully made change for the $20 I gave you and distributed it back in the correct manner.
            It is simple subtraction, and it is subtraction that is likely to never go above 100.
            Finally the one that really gets them at the store is when I hand them a payment that allows me to get back fewer coins.  Like for instance, the time that I handed the teenager $20.02 when my total came to $15.77.  She could not for the life of her figure out why I handed her the two pennies.  First she told me I gave her too much money and tried to hand back the pennies.  I explained that I did that on purpose.  She looked at me like a deer caught in headlights and said “but it’s too much.”  I explained to her how the pennies allowed the change to be a quarter.  Still nothing. Eventually I had to walk her step by step through the exact change to give me and she hesitantly went along with my instructions.  It would have been amusing if it hadn’t been so pathetic.  I mean really, when did Americans get so dumb and why on earth are employers hiring these ninnies?  There is a recession out here you know.  There are plenty of intelligent people who can make change, smile, and exhibit genuine customer service all at the same time.  There is no need for you to hire the idiot that can’t do her job even with the aid of all her fingers and toes.
            So the standards will be higher on the ark. If you couldn’t have graduated high school in the fifties, you aren’t allowed passage (unless, of course, you are a child).  My flood is designed to get rid of all the rude, selfish, and entitled people, if you can’t bother to learn subtraction you aren’t serious about survival of the fittest and we will be just fine without you.


  1. Well, I hate to admit it- but I might get kicked off the ark...
    Math was always my weak subject and I struggle with numbers even today.
    Do we get points for knowing how to read and write? lol

  2. I believe this has always been a problem - the inability to count change and do basic math - but I have been perpetuating the problem. I never carry cash and pay for everything with my debit card. Therefore, the cashiers never get any practice with currency. So when you walk in with cash (probably because you are a practical budget-minded mommy who keeps track of her expenditures), these young'uns look at you like you are handing them beads and shells, the currency of choice in the pre-Christ era. So maybe you won't allow me on your ark?!?

  3. No you are both allowed on the ark. I don't believe Rae that you couldn't make change for a $20 and Fiorella, there is no harm is using a credit card. In today's economy it is smart because you get the points! I suppose the real issue is with the employers. If someone can't do basic math don't hire them as a cashier. If someone is not outgoing and friendly, don't hire them to work with the public. Lets play to our strengths people.

  4. I sucked at math but I still learned how to return change. Fiorella has a point. Some of these kids think life springs from a plastic card. The schools are too busy teaching them to analyze the reason for the math instead of teaching basics and the employers are letting them rely on the machines. I give my kids cash so they get the idea of how fast it can go away.

    There is a trick to the change on top. You fold the bill with your thumb and forefinger and slide it off like a chute. I never really thought of it until you brought it up but I have been doing that for years.

  5. Hehe, I'm with Mom...I prefer the change on top, because I can easily slide it in the change pocket of my wallet, before I put away my bills. Otherwise I get all fumble fingered with it, and hold up the line.

    And the thing I don't get about the change... with most machines, if you put in the amount the customer gives you, it does the subtraction for you. If you're too stupid to figure *that* out, then yes, it's the plank for you! :o)

  6. Hahaha! I thought I was the only one who was totally annoyed by the change on the top of bills! I like your idea of the entrance exam, too. You are awesome!