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    Category: Math & Science

    Everyone needs basic math and science skills to survive. However, these customers were definitely sleeping their way through class!

    Count On This Customer To Be Considerate For A Change

    , | Omaha, NE, USA | Math & Science, Money

    (A woman in her thirties comes in with her young daughter, and they order two meals to go. The total is just over $18 and she hands me a twenty.)

    Me: “Out of twenty?”

    Customer: “Oh! Oh! I have the change. Is that okay? Do you want the change? Is it okay if I give you the change? Will it mess you up? Will you have to re-ring it?”

    Me: “No, it’s fine. Thanks.”

    Customer: “Are you sure? It won’t mess up the till?”

    Me: “No. Actually, we have no way to enter in how much customers give us. We just have to use math to figure it out!”

    Customer: “Really? Oh my gosh. There’s really no way to figure it out?”

    Me: “Nothing but counting.” *I hand her the change* “There you go. That’ll be right out.”

    Customer: *in awe* “Wow!”

    Acting Odd Over Even

    | Canada | Math & Science, Money, Top

    (I’m cashing out a customer and her total comes to an even number, $14. The following exchange takes place.)

    Me: “That will be $14 please.”

    Customer: “How much?”

    Me: “$14, please.”

    Customer: “Ugh, no, how much EXACTLY do I owe?”

    Me: “Um, the total is $14 even, ma’am.”

    Customer: “No! I want to know the EXACT total, right to the penny! Stop rounding it up or down. I’m on a tight budget and I need to know the exact amount. I’d like to pay in exact change.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, you misunderstood. Your exact total IS $14… an even, round $14.”

    Customer: “Look, get me your manager, please.”

    Me: “Okay, I’ll call her up.”

    (I call my manager on the intercom and she comes right up.)

    Manager: “Yes? What’s the problem?”

    Me: “Well, this lady here—”

    Customer: “NO! THIS lady here is trying to scam me out of money. She keeps rounding up my total so she can keep the change!”

    Manager: *to me* “Is this true?”

    Me: “No, her total is exactly $14. That’s what I told her. Here, look at my screen display…”

    (My manager looks, and sure enough the total is $14 even.)

    Manager: “Well, ma’am, I know it’s rare but it does happen that sometimes with the right combination of items we get a nice, even total like this one. But you do owe us $14. She isn’t rounding it up. Here, just look at the price display screen.”

    Customer: “BULLS***! This is ridiculous! No total is ever an even amount! I demand that you fix this immediately! Re-scan everything yourself! This little b**** rounded up my total!”

    Manager: “Okay, first, don’t insult my employees. Second, you are agitating my other customers with your language. There are young children close by. Third, I will gladly re-scan everything for you, and after I do, I expect you to pay the $14 that you owe us or leave my store with nothing.”

    Customer: “Just scan my s***. D*** son of a b****, I’ll use whatever language I want in the f***ing store. These kids hear worst language at home when their parents are f***ing!”

    (The manager voids the transaction and re-enters each item as he goes. He hands the customer a pen and paper and has her write down each amount as he goes. He then gives her a calculator to figure out the tax and they add it all up. It comes to exactly $14.)

    Customer: “Well, I don’t know what you did, but this still can’t be right. No amount at any store anywhere EVER comes to an exact amount. You guys are scammers!”

    (The customer pays and leaves. Unbelievably, the next customer in line had a total of $7.77. He saw it as a sign of good luck and tipped me a toonie!)

    A Penny Saved Is A Penny Spurned

    | Freeport, ME, USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money

    (I’m shopping in a store where they are currently running the following sale: Buy 1 item, get 10% off; Buy 2 items, get 20% off; and so on… all the way up to 50%. I’m buying two expensive items and realize that if I buy three cheap items as well, my total will be less then with the two items alone. I go up to the register and am second in line; the cashier is explaining the sale to a middle-aged customer.)

    Cashier #1: “If you buy three more items you can get 50% off. Why don’t you take a look at some of our cheaper items such as—”

    Customer: “Stop it right there! I only want these! That’s it!”

    Cashier #1: “Okay, but I would just like to mention that we have a sale—”

    Customer: “I told you no! If you say anything else, I’m just going to walk out and not buy anything!”

    Cashier #2: *to me* “I can help you right over here!”  

    (I go over to the other register when the customer turns to me.)

    Customer: “Don’t you hate all these add-ons? They’re always trying to get you to buy more!”

    Me: “Yes, that does happen sometimes, but the deal they’re having right now is great.”

    Customer: *under her breath* “Sucker…”

    (I ignore her comment. Almost simultaneously, both cashiers read out our respective totals.)

    Cashier #1: *to the customer* “Your total is $40.”

    Cashier #2: *to me* “Your total is $30.”

    Customer: “Wait a second!  What makes her so special?  How come I can’t get a discount?”

    Me: “Seriously?”

    Cashier #2: “Ma’am, she bought five items, so she gets 50% off of her total.”

    Cashier #1: “Yes, and since you only bought two items, your discount is 20%.”

    Customer: “Then how can I get 50% like her?”

    (The cashiers and I are grinning at each other and trying very hard not to laugh.)

    Cashier #1: “As I was trying to say before, if you buy three additional items, you will get 50% off of your total purchase.”

    Customer: “That makes absolutely no sense to me. Buy more… but less? That’s not mathematically possible!”

    (By this point I’ve paid for my things and start to walk away.)

    Customer: “I don’t know what witchcraft this is, but I don’t want any part of it! I’ll just pay for what I have!”

    Education Is Bacon For Granted

    | Virginia, USA | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Pets & Animals

    (We are a college bookstore that sells fetal pigs that biology students must purchase and dissect for their labs. Students usually come in knowing whether they must purchase a male or female pig.)

    Student: “Hi, I need to buy a fetal pig.”

    Me: “No problem. Male or female?”

    Student: “What’s the difference?”

    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 8

    | Somerville, MA, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Math & Science, Money

    Customer: “Can I get two pounds of potato salad? The one on sale.”

    Me: “Sure thing!”

    (At our store, the salad containers come in three sizes. The largest one holds roughly two pounds of salad. I fill the large container for the her and it weighs slightly over two pounds. I print out the price label.)

    Customer: “Wait a second, you are ripping me off!”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “How the h*** can it be over 6 dollars? It’s on sale!”

    Me: “Ma’am, the salad is $2.99 a pound on sale. It’s slightly over two pounds, so that’s why it’s more than six dollars. Would you like me to take some salad out?”

    Customer: “Bulls***! It’s only $2.99 a pound. That’s just over two dollars a pound. How can it be that much?”

    Me: “Ma’am, ma’am… please, hear me out. It’s $2.99, right? That’s almost $3. If you add 3 and 3 together…”

    Customer: “Do I look stupid to you? You add $2.99 and $2.99…”

    (Suddenly, there is a look of realization in her eyes. She takes the salad from the counter and briskly turns away without saying another word.)

    Related:
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 7
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 6
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 5
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 4
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 3
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 2
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up


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