A Cents-less Amount Of Confusion

, , , , , , , | Working | March 20, 2018

(I supervise the registers at a popular home goods store. One day, two employees are running the customer service registers, where people can also check out, and I’m directing traffic and basically cleaning up the messes that are everywhere. My two coworkers are [Cashier #1], a 19-year-old who has run a register for six months or so, and [Cashier #2], a 30-something who has worked for the company longer than I have and is technically my peer, though I’m always teaching her things. I’m finishing up with one customer when I realize that both my coworkers are standing by the same register.)

Me: “What’s going on? Maybe I can help.”

Cashier #2: “I can’t figure out the change to give her. I put it in wrong.”

(I look at the receipt that’s sitting on the counter. It says that the customer bought one item, the total was $6.28, and the customer paid $6.30.)

Me: “How much money did she actually give you?”

Cashier #2: “$6.35.”

Me: *not sure I heard that right* “So, she gave you five cents more than you put in the cash register?”

Cashier #2: “Yes.”

Me: “Then you give her five cents more than the cash register tells you to give.”

Cashier #2: *blank look*

Me: “Did you give her the two cents from the receipt?”

Cashier #2: “No, because I knew it wasn’t right!”

Me: “Okay, well, she gave you five cents more than the receipt says she gave you, so you give her five cents more than the register says to give her.”

Cashier #2: *same blank look*

Me: “Seven cents.”

(In the end, I have to reach into her register to pull the change out for the poor customer. After she leaves, the other cashier drops this line.)

Cashier #1: “I couldn’t figure it out, either, so I told her just to void the transaction.”

Me: “Wait, what? Did we re-ring it?”

Cashier #1: “I don’t know.”

(We counted the cashier’s drawer and, sure enough, it was over by $6.28. We still had the receipt from the return, so we were able to re-ring the purchase to even out her drawer and our inventory. The worst part is that not only did two grown women not know how to “fix” a five-cent mistake, but the older one is actually a teacher by day!)

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