# Thread: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

1. ## Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

I never cease to be amazed at "cashiers" that cannot make change correctly. In the general sense, a cashier should be a person who receives payment from customers and makes change as needed in a transaction. Today a cashier is nothing more than a cash register operator. Without the cash register to add up the price of all items, calculate sales tax and display the correct total today's cashier is completely helpless.

I remember in 5th Grade Math (or was it called Arithmetic in the mid-'60s?) how we learned how to use coins in a transaction. Part of what we learned was how to give a cashier coins from your pocket so you would receive fewer coins in change (and have less coins in your pocket at the end of the transaction).

Example: Your bill is \$4.67. If you give the cashier a \$5 you will receive \$0.33 in change - most likely a quarter, a nickel and three cents for a total of 5 coins. But suppose you have some change in your pocket, not quite 67 cents but at least 17 cents. So now you give the cashier a \$5 bill and a dime, a nickel and two cents (4 coins) for a total of \$5.17. Your change will be 50 cents - probably two quarters. Now you have two less coins in your pocket rather than 5 more - a difference of 7 coins.

Today's cashiers have no idea what I am doing when I give her coins with currency unless it exactly equals the "cents" portion. Most hurriedly enter the currency amount before I can pull out my change which further confounds the situation so I now try to hold the currency until I have tendered the coins.

Today I returned two audio books to Cracker Barrel. (I like to listen to books on CD when I drive long distances and I just drove back to Colorado from Georgia.) The deal is you buy the audio books for full retail price and return them at another Cracker Barrel down the road after you listen to them for a full refund less a modest rental fee. (I'm sure they are hoping you will eat with them both times.) My credit for the two audio books today was \$61.95. Since I had paid cash for the audio books I was due the refund in cash. I really didn't want an additional 95 cents in coins in my pocket so I pulled out a nickel, handed it to the cashier and said, "Here, this will make it easier."

WRONG! She pulled out \$61 in currency and started counting out coins. I stopped her and said, "You owe me \$62.00. No change." She said, "I owed you \$61.95 and you gave me a nickel so now I owe you \$61.90." I corrected her by saying, "You owed me \$61.95. I gave you 5 cents more. Now you owe me \$62.00." She gave me the \$62.00 but I don't think she understood the transaction.

I guess schools don't teach practical uses of math any more. It's really a pity.

Does anyone remember when vendors used coin changers like the one shown below? Today's highschool grads wouldn't have a clue what to do with it since it does not come equipped with a built-in computer.

2. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

Bruce,

She just needed more "Pictures on That Cash Register."

My pet peeve is the way your change is handed back. Bills.Receipt,Coins on top.

Wallet in hand and they hand you "packet of mixed currency and purchase in bag.

So you have to put something down to put bills in wallet,coins in pocket(with out them sliding off receipt) replace wallet and retrieve purchase.

3. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

Yeah, that's another pet peeve of mine, too. When did this start (coins on top of currency and receipt)? I don't remember this practice 30 years ago but most cashiers do it today. It's so prevalent that you would think it is taught at "Cashier School".

4. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove
Yeah, that's another pet peeve of mine, too. When did this start (coins on top of currency and receipt)? I don't remember this practice 30 years ago but most cashiers do it today. It's so prevalent that you would think it is taught at "Cashier School".
Bruce,

Time and motion study( 87 registers 6 cashiers). Assembly line practice applied to Retail.

5. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

While getting it all (change etc) at the same time can be cumbersome, I do prefer it to the old method of the guy slamming it down on the counter and having to pick up several coins scattered around.

I usually put it all in my pocket and sort it out later.

Just had a flashback, and not sure where it came from....

Put your dime in the coin slot, then grab the top of the Coke bottle and slide it thru the slots (and ice cold water) to the lift out gate and have it jam because the machine ate the dime.
JF

6. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

I use debit a debit / check card for every transaction I can. I hold some cash in my wallet just for those vendors who don't take plastic in any form.

My purchases go through quickly, and all I have to pay attention to is the amount the cashier rings up in the first place.

7. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

What ever happened to cashiers saying "Thanks for coming in"? Now it's ALWAYS "Have a nice day." No appreciation shown for showing up. The other night at Penera Bread one of the sandwich makers was complaining about his job by saying "This job sucks" - right in front of me while I'm standing there waiting for someone to switch the dirty spoon that I was given. He completely ignored me.

Makes you feel like an old fart. We didn't use to get treated like this by stores.
Employees in the chain stores don't care if you come in or if you buy anything, they get paid regardless of your business.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Who started this thread? Now I'm on a tangent!!!

8. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

Originally Posted by Billy Stephens
Bruce,

She just needed more "Pictures on That Cash Register."

My pet peeve is the way your change is handed back. Bills.Receipt,Coins on top.

Wallet in hand and they hand you "packet of mixed currency and purchase in bag.

So you have to put something down to put bills in wallet,coins in pocket(with out them sliding off receipt) replace wallet and retrieve purchase.
The reason is the cash register now tells them what the change is. The register will tell them 3.50 change. So they give you the 3 dollars and then the change on top. In the old days you would have to count back the change first then dollars. Thats my story and I am sticking to it.

9. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

My pet peeve is credit and debit cards. Why do I need to scan them? Aren't they the employees? That would be their job. Now Lowe's and Wal-Mart have self-checkout. Why do they have employees at all? Not for their helpfull service. If Home Depot goes to self checkout I won't have any big hardware stores left. (Life without Wal-Mart is much easier, trust me)

10. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

Originally Posted by Brian Cooper
My pet peeve is credit and debit cards. Why do I need to scan them? Aren't they the employees? That would be their job. Now Lowe's and Wal-Mart have self-checkout. Why do they have employees at all? Not for their helpfull service. If Home Depot goes to self checkout I won't have any big hardware stores left. (Life without Wal-Mart is much easier, trust me)
Hate to break this to you, but Home Depot DOES have self check out lanes too.

And I prefer them for most purchases - it is faster which fewer people in line (you will be standing in line before I go to self check out and still be waiting in that line while I am in my car driving away).

11. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

"And I prefer them for most purchases - it is faster which fewer people in line "

Yeah, just don't do like I did, the first time I used one, buggy full of stuff. Doesn't work that way.

12. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

I like self checkouts and use them whenever possible. Once at Home Depot one of my items would not scan so I took 3 steps to the attendant to get her to enter the item. In the split second I had my back turned an inconsiderate jerk zipped up to my self checkout machine and scanned his box of screws. That led to a heated discussion about common courtesy and caused a delay while the attendant figured out how to undo this idiot's action.

At my Home Depot self checkouts you must first select English or Spanish for the transaction. What's up with that? I thought we spoke English in this country. Colorado is not exactly a border state.

13. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

Originally Posted by David Banks
The reason is the cash register now tells them what the change is. The register will tell them 3.50 change. So they give you the 3 dollars and then the change on top. In the old days you would have to count back the change first then dollars. Thats my story and I am sticking to it.
David,

Does the Register also tell them to insert that slick piece of paper between your change?

14. ## Re: Basic Math Skills Becoming Rare

I was in a Long John Silver (fast food/ seafood) last week. I placed a simple order to go at the inside counter. 3 other people and me waited forever, I waited 35 minutes myself. I had already paid and didn't want to risk having my food spit in, otherwise I would have walked out.
While waiting I counted 6 people who were actually dining, 2 seated and also waiting for food, along with the 4 of us waiting at the counter.
Computers weren't down, lights were on.
12 customers total with 4 people behind the counter. What on earth would they do if they ever had a crowd?
On top of all that, no the girl at the register could not count change properly.
They offered me a free slice of pie for my wait. Well, I took it but I didn't order pie.
I try not to rush through life, but I don't wish to waste 35 minutes of it waiting for proccessed fish and cold fries.

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