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You’re Not Making Any Cents

, , , , , , , , | Working | January 18, 2022

I go shop at a grocery store. At checkout, the total is $31.69. I pull a $100 bill out and ask the cashier if this is okay. He says yes and takes the bill. The receipt prints. He counts out sixty-eight dollars and then turns to me.

Cashier: “I don’t have the 31¢ in my drawer for your change. I’ve paged a manager; when she gets here, I can give you your change.”

I get 69¢ from my pocket and hand it to the cashier.

Me: “No problem. Here’s 69¢; now you owe me a dollar, which you can give me for change.”

The cashier looks at the 69¢, takes 31¢ from the 69¢ — which I just gave him! — and tries to hand it to me!

Cashier: “Here is your 31¢ change, sir.”

Me: “No, I gave you 69¢. You now owe me one more dollar, not the 31¢.”

Cashier: “Sir, I owe you 31¢.”

Me: “Nooo, you said you could not pay me the 31¢, so I gave you 69¢, so now you owe me no coinage but you owe me an additional one dollar.”

The cashier points at the change due on the receipt: $68.31.

Cashier: “See, I owe you 31¢. Do you understand now, sir?”

Me: “Noooooo, you could not pay me the 31¢, so I gave you 69¢ to round it up to a dollar that you now owe me.”

The cashier points again at the change due on the receipt: $68.31.

Cashier: “The receipt says I owe you 31¢. Do you understand now, sir?”

Just then, the manager, who was paged due to the empty change drawer, comes over.

Manager: “I’ll bring change for your drawer in a minute. What is the problem here?”

I explain it to her. She looks at the receipt and counts the bills in the cashier’s hand.

Manager: “Did he give you an additional 69¢?”

Cashier: “Yes.”

Manager: “Then you don’t owe him the 31¢ change, but you do owe him an additional dollar.”

He still looks uncertain but gives me a total of sixty-nine dollars in change.

Me: *To the manager* “Thanks for your help. Sorry I confused your employee.”

Manager: “Have a good night, sir.”

Shouldn’t an employee who is handling money all day long be able to do second-grade math?!

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