I shouldn't be surprised, but still....

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Aliceacc, May 21, 2012.

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  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 21, 2012

    I went to the drive through at Wendy's tonight. The total came to $11.48.

    I gave the cashier $22.

    He was totally clueless. He had no idea why those 2 singles were there. He gave them back, then gave me my 3 singles and 52 cents.

    Sad. And frustrating.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    May 21, 2012

    sounds like he shorted you in the process too.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oops, I forgot to mention the $5 bill :p
     
  5. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    YES! I've managed at a fast food joint before, and I literally have to teach the employees why some customers do this (even the 20+ year olds!) Consider it a teachable moment.
     
  6. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I'm ashamed to admit I'd always get fumbled up when customers would be like "Wait!" and hand me more coins/bills after I hit the button on the register to tell me how much change to give.

    It's not that I can't do it in my head, it's just that I'm trying to get the line going and I'd just get thrown out of wack.

    I'm a bad math major :p.
     
  7. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I'll admit - the first time someone handed me extra singles, I had no idea why. I stared at it, dumbfounded; started to hand it back to him; and the very kindly, older gentleman said, "Sweetheart, it's so I can have a $5 bill instead of those nasty singles." Then he winked at me and all was right with the world again. And I then got really, really good at mental subtraction.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    But couldn't he just type in $22.00 as payment received and it would tell him the change? I've never worked in the food industry but I would think it was pretty common for people to pay more to get a certain change or not want to break the dollar.
     
  9. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    That irks me too! But I agree with Mike- I worked retail for years, and even though my math skills were decent, it all goes out the window when there are anxious customers waiting and you are on the spot. As soon as someone handed me change when it was too late to put it in the register, I started blushing and fumbling for a calculator.
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    It is very sad. I can actually calculate change quicker than I can type in what they gave me on our touch screen registers. I always hit the $100.00 button (one button versus at least four).
    People are always amazed that I can calculate their change that quickly. I am always amazed that many can't do it at all.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I did a math lesson a few months ago on a paper bag for a cashier at Trader Joes.:dizzy:
     
  12. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Agreed with some of the earlier posters about this happening to pretty much everyone. If you've ever worked a cash register, you tend to turn off your brain and work on autopilot during a long shift. I'm great at math but occasionally became momentarily confused if someone handed me unexpected bills during my first job as a teen, especially if I'd already typed their total into the register. There was nothing worse than the older adults who would clearly berate or judge me for it.

    Plus, confusing workers with change is actually a very common scam that even smart people fall for, so sometimes they are taught to be VERY wary. Sometimes overly so. http://www.ehow.com/how_2124296_spot-quick-change-scams.html

    We all have brain farts now and then. It doesn't mean we're dumb. :)
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 21, 2012

    I cashiered for years and was very good (I got awards, people! :p), but I would also be taken off guard when given extra money. I of course learned quickly the reason, but if someone gave it to me after the fact, I was stressed... I have a very hard time with math, and it doesn't help students or adults that they're viewed as sad, pathetic, and dumb because of it.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 22, 2012

    I'm sure he's a very nice person. He was very pleasant. I'm sure he's beloved by his family, friends and boss. He may be writing a future Pulitzer Prize winning book, and maybe someday he'll win the Nobel Peace Prize. I would be perfectly content if he moved in next door to me.

    But he's working the register, and doesn't know how to make change. There was no one behind me at the drive through window; it was a rainy night and the parking lot was pretty deserted. I was pleasant and non confrontational. I didn't berate him or show my dismay at his inability to deal with those 2 singles. I'm not to blame if he feels less than adequate.

    I just think that the person working the register should be able to make change.
     
  15. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    The disturbing thing, even beyond the fact that ignorance is so prevalent in society, is that it is so in vogue, even mandatory, amongst the educated, even among academics. This fad here is driven in part by ideology's insatiable greed for unreflective agreement, in part by a misplaced egalitarian impulse (unto adoration) re dimwits, and part by the embrace of a nicey-nicey coffee klatch ethos in settings where one might expect something more rigorous. So it goes. I certainly hope that I have not been ideologically unattuned, or overbright, or rude in my post.
     
  16. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 22, 2012

    I've worked the register in a fast-food restaurant many times and I've had to stop for a moment and figure out why the person was giving me extra singles or extra change. If they did after I had already entered the amount they were giving me, then yes, I've taken a moment to make sure I'm re-calculating their change correctly.

    If you've worked a retail register, you've probably had the same experience at one time or another. If you haven't worked a retail register, then just understand it's like any other job (including teaching), no matter how skilled or experienced you are, there will still be times when you're caught off guard by something.

    As for finding the situation "sad", I am much more discouraged and disillusioned by the numerious grammar, spelling and subject/verb errors I see on a forum of professional educators every day.
     
  17. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    May 22, 2012

    Cerek... I agree with you... I know working at a register makes you become better with experience. I remember being so nervous that I would give the wrong amount back. I have never worked fast food (retail), but fast food you are to do it fast. Things do catch you off guard, but sometimes if the person would make a comment like "Geesh sorry for my brain freeze." Might make the situation a little less tense.
     
  18. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    When I worked in fast food, I often shocked customers and coworkers alike by my ability to make change in my head AND that I was willing to repeat orders back to the customer for verification before I totaled. Although making change is a pretty basic skill and I was able to do it very quickly, many of my coworkers couldn't... they had just never been all that good in math. It didn't really matter in the long run, they could just use a calculator.

    With that said, being given extra change after I had begun to calculate the difference always threw me for a loop.
     
  19. 1cubsfan

    1cubsfan Companion

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    When working as a cashier, it would take me a minute to figure the proper change. But when a customer gave me an extra single or two, I knew why. I could quickly tell that I needed to give them a $10 or $5 and then had to mentally go through the coins.

    However, as the OP said, the cashier didn't even catch that she intentionally gave him a few extra singles.
     
  20. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    May 22, 2012

    Agreed.
     
  21. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I was in line at Forever 21 the other day, when the girl in front of me had a total of $20.76. She gave the cashier $25, and then said, "Wait, I have the penny." The cashier went across the register area, opened a drawer, got out a calculator, and brought it back to figure out the change. It took her about an extra minute to figure it out. I understand being on autopilot, but I thought this was a pretty easy one to figure out...
     
  22. Jinkies

    Jinkies Rookie

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    I know that when I worked as a cashier sometimes it would take me a second if someone handed me their money, I typed it into the cash register, and then they handed me more money. Sometimes you do just go into autopilot mode and it throws you off, but I do remember one of my managers being surprised that every day my cash register had the correct amount of money. I was amazed, I had no idea that it was that common for cashiers to have inaccurate cash registers.
     
  23. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I can talk science but mental math kills me. As a teen I used a register and I would need a calculator. I'm not dumb, I just have a different skill set than others do.

    [You're lucky he was at least giving you some eye contact and not just texting on this phone and ignoring you. That's what I normally get when I'm at Wendy's :( ]
     
  24. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I agree with you. I worked at Kmart in high school and it did sometimes take me a moment to figure out if I was giving the customer the correct change when they gave me extra money.

    And I wholeheartedly agree with your last paragraph.
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Thanks for the input, all. I certainly learned a lot.
     
  26. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 22, 2012

    I was at a store the other day that actually told the cashier what bills to give back in change.

    I must be old, but I remember when a cashier had to count back the change.
     
  27. SportsFanTr

    SportsFanTr Companion

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    I actually had to read what you wrote twice, because I couldn't figure out what he could get confused on from $11.xx to $22, then it finally dawned on me he was only used to getting $20 and giving the change.

    I have really worked on mental math challenges with my class this year, so I gave this as a mental math problem today, and I was very proud that 5/6 kids figured it out within the 30 second time limit!
     
  28. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    I was just about to mention this. I was a cashier for three years and we were told that if we ever got confused once the register was open, just close it and call a manager. It rarely happened,but I remember a customer getting angry because they kept handing me singles and coins after the till was open and I lost track of what I was given originally so I closed my register and called the manager. It wasn't that I couldn't do math. I was halfway through college and maintaining a 4.0. I just got tripped up.
     
  29. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Slightly off topic but I miss the dollar bills. Here bills don't start until the "10" bill (1000 yen). I remember mostly counting quarters and bills to get an estimate of how much I have in my wallet. Now the coins add up to more than the bills do most of the time.
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Taking a moment or pausing to reconfigure change is one thing. Needing a math lesson on a paper bag to understand why you need to give more change because I gave you a fifty, not a twenty, is something entirely different. As was the situation in the op. Let's not glorify ignorance. We are teachers. We understand the difference between 'wait time' and not getting it.
     
  31. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    As a previous poster said, some people deliberately keep giving you singles or extra money to confuse the cashier regarding how much change they have given and how much they are still owed. The owner of the McDonald's I worked at always warned us about this, especially when we had a traveling fair in town.

    Just to show how easily a person can go on "autopilot", we had 3 tour buses one day, all carrying team players and family members from another school district. We were VERY busy for about 30 minutes trying to get all the orders filled. Later, at the end of the shift, the owner was counting the cash drawers and suddenly burst out laughing. One of the cashiers had accepted a $3 bill for an order. The total of the order was just under $5, so the kid handed her a $3 and two $1 bills. That might seem like a blatant mistake, but this was in the early 80's, right after the $2 had just been put back into circulation. The girl who took the bill was mortified, as you might imagine. The owner, however, thought it was so funny that he framed the $3 and kept it on the wall of the office for several years after that.

    If you've worked a register at a fast-food restaurant, department store, convenience store or any other setting, then you understand how easily it can happen. If you haven't worked a register in a public job for an extended period, then don't think it could never happen to you until you've tried it.
     
  32. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Alice, yes, the people these days at drive-thrus are really something!

    Speaking of drive-thrus, I've got a really good for ya! I like Jack in the Box & there's a few locations in my area. On the menu, they sell egg rolls in either 3-piece OR 1-pc orders. (In past yrs, they used to sell 3 & 5 pieces). I've ordered 5 pieces numerous times before & it just baffles these employees. They always ask, "So you want a 3-pc & 2 singles, right?" I'm saying, "Yes", but thinking in my head, "Duh!!!" Why they can't figure out to punch the 3-piece button & then the 1-piece button TWICE is beyond me! Outrageous! :eek:

    Any BTW, I've worked fast food & several other retail jobs in my day too & gave great customer service & was fast & accurate. I had those customers in & outta there, no problem.
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Ms I...in the past they've offered five piece egg rolls (I'm hoping those are small egg rolls...I can barely eat one regular size !) ...I'm sure the order taker is just clarifying and confirming your order...most fast food places around me do that regardless of what you order...kind of different than not knowing how to make change.
     
  34. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I don't think anyone is glorifying ignorance. Many of us are just pointing out how easily something like this can throw you off when you aren't expecting it. I still remember the very first time a customer came through the drive-thru at McD's and gave me two or three extra singles. It took me a minute to figure out WHY they gave me the extra one's, when they obviously weren't needed. It just never occurred to me the customer wanted a $5 back rather than a couple of $1's. After the first time, I was used to it and didn't get stumped by it.

    Also, even though it wasn't busy when Alice went through, we don't know what else the worker may have had going on. Maybe it was getting near the end of his shift and he was trying to get his station restocked before leaving. Maybe something was going on with between him and a coworker, or maybe not. We just don't know why the kid got stumped, but I (for one) have been in that situation before, so I know it can happen to the best of workers.

    That is why I mentioned the numerous errors I see on A-to-Z posts almost every day. If we want to eliminate errors and mental mistakes, this is as good a place as any to start. If we are willing to excuse errors here because we don't know what is going on with the poster that may have caused them to make the mistake, then the same principle applies to other situations as well.
     
  35. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Right, I said how in the past, they used to sell them in 3 or 5 pieces. I guess they could be verifying, but it's still strange to me how they all do it at my locations. They are a pretty good size though & taste better than a lot of restaurants!
     
  36. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Maybe it's a company policy...:rolleyes:
     
  37. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I use a lot of coupons when I grocery shop. The store near me makes all coupons worth a dollar, but the checker has to add in the extra amount manually.

    I had a checker a few weeks ago that could not do the math to make $1.00. She'd hold up each coupon, and I had to tell her the amount to add in. We're talking fairly rounded numbers here - most were 25, 30, or 75 cents. Thankfully she could at least do the 50 cent ones on her own!
     
  38. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I have done a lesson on order of operations when answering a skill testing question.
     
  39. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    You're asking for a size they no longer offer. Chances are, the 5-piece deal (when it was offered) was cheaper than buying a 3-piece and 2 1-piece meals. Also, it was company policy to repeat every order back to the customer to make sure we had it right. So the clerk is just repeating the order and verifying that you want 3 different meals (one 3-piece and two 1-piece meals).
     
  40. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I've never been to Jack in the Box but I've almost always had my order repeated back to me at non-sit down restaurants, just to make sure it's correct.
     
  41. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Just because I have nothing really useful to add to this thread, I'm throwing out how I know when people are repeating my order back to me without understanding 90% of what they said. It sounds like someone clapping. A question has the rise pitch and a more definite pause. Unfortunately it doesn't help me if it was repeated wrong because I will just say yes.

    Back to regular programming.
     
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