Category: Math & Science

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


Should Have Cashed Out Early

| Indianapolis, IN, USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money

(I’m a customer in line for an ice cream fundraiser. There are three teenage girls in front of me and one cashier. Ice cream is $3.)

Girl: *to friend* “Hey, do you have change for a five?”

Cashier: “You need change?”

Girl: “Yeah, do you have five ones for a five?”

Cashier: “You’re buying ice cream…?”

Girl: “Yeah, but I need five ones for a five.”

Cashier: “I can just… You want me to keep three of them?”

Girl: “No! I want five ones for a five.”

Cashier: “Okay… here you go.”

Girl: “Thanks. Ice cream is $3?”

(The girl takes three of the ones the cashier just gave her and hands them back to the cashier.)


The Gift Card That Keeps On Taking

| Boulder, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money

(I work in a grocery store as a cashier. I am ringing up a customer and we get to the end of the transaction.)

Me: “That’ll be $5.17 for you today.”

(The customer swipes his card and it gets declined. At this point I notice that it’s a Visa gift card.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry… It didn’t seem to accept that amount. Do you know the balance that’s left on the card? It’ll probably go through if I type in the specific amount.”

Customer: “I don’t know. You check.”

(He shoves the card at me.)

Me: “Oh, unfortunately our system is only set up to check the balance of our store gift cards. I don’t have a way to check the balance for you. Sorry about that!”

Customer: “You check. You should know the balance.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, like I said, our registers are only set up to check balances on store gift cards. That’s a Visa gift card, so I have no way of checking the balance on your gift card.”

Customer: “Why are you making this so difficult? It’s your job to know my balance, not mine.”

Me: “As I said before, I unfortunately have no way of checking your gift card balance on my register, since it’s not a store gift card.”

(Finally the customer takes out a crumpled receipt and tosses it on the counter along with the gift card, which has the original balance written on it.)

Customer: “You do the math and figure it out.”

(I type $3.15 into the register and hit the debit button.)

Me: “Okay, so $3.15 is going on the card and I just need you to swipe one more time.”

Customer: “I already swiped it before. I shouldn’t have to do it again.”

Me: “Oh, you just need to swipe it one more time since it didn’t go through the first time.”

(He finally swipes his card. I thank him and tell him to have a good night.)

Customer: “You should learn to relax.”


Getting Loony Over A Loonie, Part 2

| Winnipeg, MB, Canada | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money

(I ring a customer’s transaction and everything is going well…)

Me: “Your total comes to $11.02.”

(She hands me $20.02.)

Me: “Oh, it’ll round down.”

(I give her back the two pennies and her $9.00 in change.)

Customer: “Oh, I want a straight $10 bill.”

Me: “You have to give me a dollar for that.”

(She tries to give me a loonie from the change I gave her.)

Me: “I gave you your change, so for you to get the $10 bill you have to give me $10 in change.”

Customer: “I want the $10 bill.”

(She tries to give me the $5 in addition to the loonie.)

Me: “No, I gave you your change.” *points to receipt* “You gave me a $20 for an $11 purchase. The change would be $9.”

(She motions to the loonie.)

Customer: “That is why I give you this. I want $10 bill.”

(This exchange went on for about five minutes before she got fed up and called me stupid.)

Getting Loony Over A Loonie


Well He’s Certainly Not Calling Out Their IQ

| San Antonio, TX, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Math & Science, Popular

(My mother and I stop at a local fast food restaurant, located across from the high school. The high school has varying hours for students, and during this time, only AP students are allowed off campus. We place our order and get in line behind two teenagers to wait for our food. Our number is quickly called. While eating, we notice that the teens are still waiting for their food.)

Server: “Order 219, your food is ready.”

(The server had been calling this number since before we ordered, and we are now halfway done with our food.)

Server: “Last call for order 219.”

(One of the teenagers turns to the other.)

Teen #2: “Are you sure that’s not our order? We’ve been waiting a long time.”

Teen #1: “I’m sure. He’s calling 219 and our number is two-one-nine. See?” *shows friend the receipt*

Teen #2: “Oh, yeah. Well, I hope they hurry with our food. I’m hungry!”

(I fear for the youth of our nation.)


Hexed The Decimal

| Foley, AL, USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money, Popular

(A woman approaches my counter to purchase a washer. I ring her up with no problems, until we reach the very end.)

Woman: “Hey, did you take off my 10% discount? This is on sale.”

(I’m somewhat baffled, as this is the first time she’s mentioned a discount, but I look anyway.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am. The computer does it automatically.”

Woman: “Okay.”

(The customer then pays with a gift card, three credit cards, and $50 in cash. I finish the transaction and send her on her way. Ten minutes later, an angry gentleman approaches my counter.)

Man: “Hey, girl! You ripped my wife off! There’s no way this cost that much!”

Me: “Sir, I’ll happily look, though I’m fairly sure this is correct.”

Man: “No! It isn’t! You didn’t take off my discount.”

Me: “Okay. Do you want me to break this down, so you can see?”

Man: “Yeah, if you CAN. You cashiers use the computer so much that I doubt you’re capable of basic math!”

(I’m annoyed, but instead of remarking on it, I write down the original price of the item on a piece of paper and, by hand, multiply it by 0.9. )

Man: “Wait! Why are you doing that? It’s a ten-percent discount!”

Me: “Yes, sir. Which means you’re still paying 90%, right?”

Man: “Duh! I’m not stupid! But you multiplied that by a decimal! Not a percent!”

Me: “Well, sir, they’re the same thing. 90% is the same as 0.9.”

Man: “No, it isn’t! God, why does [Store] hire such stupid people?”

Me: “Sir, if you let me finish, I assure you that we’ll know if this receipt is correct.”

(The customer huffs but says nothing. I calculate out the rest of his purchase, with tax, and subtract his payment methods. My result is exactly the same as the one on his receipt.)

Me: “See, sir? I assure you it’s correct.”

Man: “No! I don’t think you know what you’re doing! That math is just insane! I want to speak to a manager!”

(To my surprise, my manager doesn’t understand it either, so I have to repeat myself to him. The customer still claims we’ve cheated him.)

Me: “Sir, I assure you that this is correct.”

Man: “Well, it’s clearly not, if your manager can’t figure it out!”

New Customer: “For God’s sake, I’m a math professor! Let me look at this!”

(The new customer comes around and looks at it.)

New Customer: *to Man* “Well, sir, I regret to inform you that this ‘stupid cashier’ is absolutely correct. If there’s something wrong with the math, it’s definitely yours.”

Man: “Well, I… well, she didn’t explain it right!”

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