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Glad it wasn’t a $20

What’s the use of having gray hair if you cannot complain about the younger generation once in a while?

That thought crossed my mind as I sat down to write this.

I made a small purchase the other day at a convenience store.

I owed the clerk $1.04.

I happened to have a quarter in my pocket from my lunch change earlier in the day, so I handed the clerk $1.25.

She seemed relatively new and was trying to do two things at once.

She handed me a dime and a nickel and said thank you.

Then after a second or two pause told me to wait.

I did.

She fished in the till and pulled out another nickel and said thanks again.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she still didn’t have the amount right. After all, it was just a cent short and she was fairly new to the job. At least I had only just started seeing her at the cash register as I usually manage to pass through that convenience store two or three times a week.

With everybody seemingly paying for everything by credit or debit card these days, there is precious little call for the old method of taking cash in and making change.

But I still pay in cash to see what is in circulation.

Unfortunately, the dime and two nickels I received in change were not the least bit interesting.

I know it is not easy starting out as a cashier. There is always some wise guy out there trying to push your buttons.

I was not going to be that wise guy.

Perhaps she was practicing rounding, which we will have to do if the cent is abolished. My $1.04 transaction would be rounded up to $1.05. In which case, she was absolutely right.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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2 Responses to Glad it wasn’t a $20

  1. hrlaser says:

    Don’t they teach math in grammar school any more?..

  2. jxosako says:

    This happened to me a lot when I used cash for small purchases. Most times, though, the confusion was when I provided the required number of cents so I would not receive any cents back. When the cashier would hand me an incorrect amount of change—regardless of whether I was shortchanged or overpaid—I would keep my hand out until the cashier realized something was wrong. Most of the time, they figured it out in short order, but once in a while, they’d take pen to paper or pull out their cellphone to use the calculator app.

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