Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Do you want to see something funny?

Not funny like the smelly drunk guy hitting on the hottest babe at the party. Funny like the smelly drunk guy getting pummeled by the hottest babes boyfriend. You know, the one that's funny, and hurts to watch.

Watch somebody at a fast food place try to make change.

Hoo boy!

I bought lunch the other day for myself. It wasn't much-a burrito, taco and Dr. Pepper. The total came to $4.57 . I hand the girl a $5 bill while I'm reaching into my pocket for change. I already had a pocket full and I didn't really want any more. She rings up the order and the magic math machine tells her to give me $.43 back. Before she can get the change out of the drawer, I hand her a nickel and two pennies. She looked up at me and smiled, and said "That's too much, you've already given me enough." I guess she thought she was explaining to a simpleton who couldn't count money.

I said "I wanted quarters back."
She said "I can't give you quarters for that. Would you like change for a dollar?"

I just stood there. She stared at me. I mumbled "No", and she handed me back my $.43 in change, and the nickel and two pennies I had given her.


My father was a school principal. He was also a member of the local Lions Club. I'm not really sure what all the Lions Club did, except that they ran the baseball fields in town, including the concession stand. Most of the members would take turns working in the concession stand for a week each during the summer while baseball was being played at night. There would be three or four men each night working. When I got out of elementary school, I went with Dad and worked too.

The Lions Club didn't have a cash register. I don't even remember there being a calculator. I was not only expected to be able to add up the purchases, but make the correct amount of change from the cash box, in my head.

Folks, it just ain't that hard. Here's all you do: add up the total amount, let's use the total from the lunch I spoke about above-$4.57
That's where you start counting. Say the gentleman give you a $5 bill to pay. You start at $4.57 and take three pennies counting 458,459,460, take out a dime counting 470, take out a nickle counting 475, take out a quarter counting 500. Done. Change made. If by chance the customer gave you a $100 dollar bill, or any amount, just keep counting back as you take out money until you get to the amount he gave you.

Some time back, my Mother and Father took my wife, kids and myself out for dinner. We went to a catfish restaurant. I waited as Dad was paying so I could help carry the drinks (Iced tea thank you) for the group. The guy that rang the order in the cash register, the old kind without the pictures of food on the buttons. Gave Dad the total, Dad gave him a $20 and a $10. The guy enters the amount and Dad hands him two pennies. Yes, two pennies to make his change come out to an increment of $.05.

I watched with a wicked smile on my face. The guy gets some money out, hands some to Dad, asks for some of it back, reaches in for more, puts some back in, looks around, gives money to Dad, looks around and says "Wait, this isn't right."

Boy what an understatement.

Dad was calm, and said "Let's start over." He takes back the money he had given the guy, gives him back the money he had given, and walks they guy trough counting change back. They guy smiled and said OK. Dad gave him the money back again, took his money back again, and said "Now, you do it."
Once again, Dad hands him the $30.02, and watches calmly as the guy counts back his change correctly. Dad asks "Is that alright?"
To which the guy behind the counter excitedly responds "That's neat!"

No, that's very very sad.

Mr Fixit


Ambulance Driver said...

That's because we are keeping the weaker animals in the herd and they're muddying up the gene pool, Mr. Fixit!

We need to let Darwinism work. ;)

girl Mark said...

wow, I just read through your other posts and you're a great writer. Keep it up!


Dave said...

They don't even get it when I ask if wearing sandles might be a career move. Dave