Rounding Off Against Rounding Up

, , , , , | Working | February 14, 2020

(I go to a convenience store with an attached deli for lunch one day. While the cashier is ringing up my items, I watch the PIN pad in preparation to pay with my debit card. After all my items are scanned, my total is something like $7.03. The cashier pushes a few buttons on the register, and suddenly my total is $8.00.)

Me: “Wait, where did that last 97 cents come from?”

Cashier: “What 97 cents?”

Me: “My total after you rang all the items was only $7.03. Now it’s $8.00. That’s a 97-cent increase. Why did that show up?”

Cashier: “Oh, we’re participating in a donation drive for [Local Charity that runs a one-week fundraising drive every year], so we’re rounding up everyone’s total to the next dollar as a donation.”

Me: “Well, I really can’t afford to donate almost an entire dollar right now. Please take off the donation.”

Cashier: “I can’t. The register rounds up every purchase automatically.”

(We go back and forth a few times before I ask for a manager. The manager arrives and asks what’s going on.)

Me: “Somehow there was a mistake, and my total got rounded up for [Charity]. I can’t afford to make a donation right now, so I would like the donation taken off my total.”

Cashier: *before the manager can say a word* “I tried telling him that it’s an automatic donation, but he doesn’t get it.”

Manager: “What do you mean by automatic donation?”

Cashier: “Well, last week you said that we’re supposed to round up everyone’s order as a donation.”

Manager: “[Cashier]… I said to ask every customer if they want to round their order up. How many customers did you round up without asking?”

Cashier: *staring at the floor as she realizes her mistake* “Um… all of them?”

Manager: “Okay. Well… head back to the stock room for a while, and I’ll re-train you on the register later.”

(The manager proceeded to apologize for the cashier’s misunderstanding and fix my total. At the end of the fundraiser, [Local Charity] had an article in the local newspaper thanking all the businesses who participated. [Convenience Store/Deli] was named as the largest donor. I wonder why.)

1 Thumbs