Friday, January 25, 2008

One Plus One is...Wait, I Need to Get My Calculator

Before I forget...I stumbled upon a new blog that I really like, called Suz Life & Times. I like it so much that I've added it to my favorites list. Suz has a great sense of go pay her a visit.

She and my friend Judy both had some very funny...and scary...recent posts about how dumb challenged some folks are when it comes to things like simple logic and arithmetic.

This morning I had an experience that reminded me of both their posts. I started posting a comment to Suz, but it got so lengthy I decided to post it here instead.

As I write this I'm sitting in Starbucks. I ordered my first coffee from a cashier in her 50's. It cost $3.56, so I gave her a $5 bill and 60 cents. Now, not to get off track here, but if you're thinking it absurd to pay that much for a cup of coffee you should know that decaf triple-tall semi-dry cappuccinos don't come cheap. Anyway, back to my story. It took her all of about 3 seconds to come up with (in her head) how much change I should get back.

Now, today being Friday, and me being the adventurous, risk-taking old fart soul that I am, I went all out and treated myself to a second coffee. This time the cashier was in her 20's. Same price, $3.56, so I gave her a $20 bill and 60 cents.

Has anyone ever seen the proverbial 'deer caught in the headlights' look?

Well, that would be her. All movement stopped. She didn't even blink for a good 30 seconds. My first inclination was to tell her how much change I should get back, but I decided to treat this as a little research project so I patiently waited to see how things would play out. Finally, there was movement. Her lips began to tremble. Then she looked at me. Then she looked at her cash register. Then she looked at me again. Just when that first whiff of burning wood hit me, she got that 'Oh, I know how to do this' look. She figured out how to have the cash register figure it out for her.

I couldn't when I took the change I looked at her and asked, accusingly, "Are you sure this is the correct change?"

Her response? Well, let's just say that I've already seen two deer and it's not even 10:30 in the morning yet.

Badaboom Badabing...

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kenju said...

Thanks for the link, Badabing! I have seen that deer in the headlights look more times than I care to remember. Young people are all too dependent on calculators (and I guess I am too) but at least I can come up with correct change without one....LOL

Suz said...

amazing isn't it?? If it wasn't so darn scary it would be funny. I remember when I was a kid and my parents would say,"these kids today...I don't know what's going to become of them...etc." but we freakin' well knew how to count back change without the need of a cash register.....It's nuts....I think I'm just getting old...
Nah....we're in trouble....

Hale McKay said...

Just think it was the 4 cents that threw her off - that 60 cents to cover the 56 cents blew a circuit. It wasn't nice to expect her to both add and subtract in the same transaction.

So I ask you, were the decaf triple-tall semi-dry cappuccinos really worth itto you?

(It was to us, for we got a funny post out of the deal.)

I am familiar with Judy (Kenju and I are fellow native WV folks) and I checked out Suz' blog. You were right, she is funny. I too am adding her to my blogroll.

bobbie said...

Thanks to Judy Kenju I found you, and thanks to you I found Suz. I like how this works.
These kids who can't do arithmetic without a calculator are beginning to scare me. I had one look over my shoulder while I was on an electric typewriter, who said, "Gee, it works almost like a computer." Do we really have to throw the baby out with the bathwater? An occasional glance into the rearview mirror couldn't hurt.