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    You’re Just Compounding The Issue

    , | Kitchener, Ontario, Canada |

    (A customer had purchased a few items and was double-checking her receipt after the transaction went through. She had a membership card at the store, so she got a 10% discount.)

    Customer: “So I got my discount on this?”

    Me: “Yep, see there on each item it says ‘Member 10%’, and it shows what you saved.”

    Customer: “Wait…is it 10% off each item, or 10% off the total?”

    Me: “10% off the total. Well, it works out the same either way.”

    Customer: “I thought it was supposed to be 10% off each item. I should be getting a bigger discount on the total.”

    Me: “No, you got your discount! 10% off each item adds up to the same amount as 10% off the total.”

    Customer: “No, I got 10% off the first item. Then 10% off the second item, so that’s 20%. And 10% off the third item; that’s 30%!”

    Me: *pause* “No, that’s…that’s not how percentages work… I can show you on a calculator; it works out the same. You are getting the right discount.”

    Customer: “No, it’s all right. But I know I won’t be getting this card again. I was told I was going to be getting a 10% discount on each item, and this really isn’t fair.”

    (Maybe I should have mentioned to her that I’m a math major…)