Not In The Top Percentile, Part 2

, , , , , , | Working | January 3, 2018

(I buy some leggings that are 50% off of the original price of £8. There is something wrong with the tills, so the cashiers have to work stuff out on calculators. I am dumbfounded when the girl starts using her calculator to figure out 50% of £8.)

Cashier: “Um… That’s £7.84, please.”

Me: “No, that’s not right.”

Cashier: “50% off is £7.84.”

Me: “No, it should be £4.”

(The cashier takes her calculator and shows me how she worked it out. She divided 800 by 50 and took the answer, 16, off the £8.)

Me: “That’s not how you work out percentages. 50% is half; half of 8 is 4.”

Cashier: *pauses* “I think you’re right, actually. Sorry. That’s £4, please.”



Not In The Top Percentile

Ten Out Of Ten For Effort

, , , , , | Learning | December 20, 2017

(I overhear this conversation between two four-year-olds at snack time.)

Child #1: “Did you know that five plus five is ten?”

Child #2: “Oh, yeah? So, you know what one plus one is?”

Child #1: “Um, I don’t know. I only know that five plus five is ten.”

Something Else On Their Mind

, , , , | Learning | December 19, 2017

(I am wandering around the school with some friends after lunch.)

Friend #1: “I’m so not ready for my math test.”

Friend #2: “What period do you have math?”

Friend #1: “My math class is next period.”

Friend #3: “Uh-oh, we’d better quiz you.”

Friend #2: “What’s 7+63?”

Friend #1: “69.”

Me: “Are you serious?”

([Friend #1] realized what she said and immediately face-palmed.)

Being Fairly Mathematical

, , , , , | Right | December 18, 2017

(I’m a manager at a store and I answer the phone one day.)

Me: “Thanks for calling [Store]! [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I was in earlier today and have a question about my receipt. You guys are having a sale on your shorts now, right?”

Me: “Yes, we are. They are buy one, get one half-off.”

Customer: “Okay, I bought a pair of shorts for [amount] and another pair for [cheaper amount].”

Me: “All right, you should have gotten the [cheaper amount] one for half-off.”

Customer: “Right, I should have gotten [half the cheaper amount] off. But my receipt only says I got [different amount] off.”

Me: “Oh, well, we ring in our buy-one-get-one-half-off a little different. Instead of ringing it through as half off one pair, we take the amount you would get off, divide it in half, and take that off each item.”

Customer: “Well, that isn’t fair. The deal said, ‘buy one, get one half-off!’”

Me: “You are paying the same price as if you had half off one; we just ring it in differently.”

Customer: “That’s not fair.”

Me: “If you bought a pair of shorts for $30 and a pair for $20, you would get $10 off the one pair. We take the $10 and instead take $5 off each item. It is the same price you would pay if we just took half off one.”

Customer: “That isn’t fair. It said half off one, not 25% off!”

Me: “And you are getting half off one. If you add the two amounts you got off, it would be the same price as if you got half off. We just have to ring it through this way because too many people were returning the full price pair and keeping the half-off one. So now we have to take the half off amount off each.”

Customer: “It isn’t fair.”

Me: *sighs* “I’m sorry, but it will be the same price. Our associates rang it through correctly. If you have a problem with how it is done, contact customer service. They can help you more.”

Customer: “I don’t have a complaint.”

Me: *confused*

Customer: “It just isn’t fair.”

(After going in a circle for ten more minutes, I told her I would not be able to help her further and ended the call.)

Need A Pi In The Face

, , , , , , | Learning | December 18, 2017

(I am in a calculus class in college, a class I already took in high school. It has been a long week and a long day, so my head is definitely not all there. Our teacher assigns us to work with partners on a problem. We quickly realize that neither of us can remember the equation for the area of a circle.)

Teacher: “Are you two stuck?”

Partner: “Yeah. We forgot the equation for the area of a circle.”

Teacher. “Oh, that’s unfortunate.” *he’s not known for being the most sympathetic* “Would you like me to ask the class?”

Me: “No.”

Teacher: “Would that embarrass you?”

Me: “Yes.”

(I have social anxiety, so, yes, it would very much embarrass me. Suddenly, a quiet voice from behind me speaks up. It is a boy who I have several classes with and chat with on occasion.)

Classmate: *to the teacher* “Say I’m the one who’s asking.”

(The teacher moved to stand by him and asked the class. The class provided the answer. I turned to look at the boy, who smiled and gave me a thumbs-up. Thank you for easing my anxiety and asking the question!)

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