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    Senseless & Centsless, Part 2

    | Michigan, USA | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (We’ve just installed a new Point of Sale system at work. It is painfully simple to operate. One of my staff members is nice but unbelievably slow and ineffective at her job. I am trying to teach her the basics of the new register while serving a customer.)

    Me: “Since your customer is paying in cash, hit the ‘Cash’ button.”

    Associate: *gives me a blank look*

    Me: “Top left.”

    Associate: *nothing*

    Me: “Very top button on the left.”

    Associate: *still nothing*

    Me: “Put your left hand up and touch the button that says ‘Cash.’”

    Associate: *continues to stare at the screen*

    Me: *pointing* “That one.”

    Associate: “Oh, okay.”

    Me: “Now, this new register has a neat function where it suggests likely forms of payment on the left, or you can just type in the amount. So, her total is $15.19 and she’s giving you $15.25. I think it’s easiest to type in 15.25, but if you want you can touch the amount on the left. It’s got exact change, $15.25, $15.50, $16.00, $20.00, the top seven amounts the register thinks is likely.”

    (The associate proceeds to touch the wrong button, selecting $15.50 instead of $15.25. Naturally, this alters the amount of change the register prompts her to return.)

    Me: “Okay, you hit the wrong button. Understandable, they’re really close together and touch screens are fussy. So instead of giving her 31 cents, just give her 6 cents back.”

    Associate: *stares at the computer*

    Me: “…Because you’re just pretending you didn’t ring that extra quarter.”

    Associate: *stares at screen*

    Me: “You just need to subtract twenty-five cents from what the computer is prompting, because that quarter isn’t there. So, it’s six cents.”

    (The associate turns around to use the adding machine on the counter behind her. Note: she can’t use the adding machine either.)

    Me: “Or, you figure the difference between 25 cents and 19 cents, which is still six cents.”

    Associate: *can’t figure out how to subtract on the adding machine*

    Me: “I assure you, it is 6 cents!”

    Associate: *mashes buttons on adding machine*

    (I look at the customer wide-eyed, give a small shrug of defeat, and hand the associate a handheld calculator.)

    Me: “Here, use the calculator. It’s quicker.”

    Associate: *finally figures the change and gives the customer her six cents*

    Customer: *mouthing to me* “Good luck!”

    (The kicker? The associate has a Master’s Degree!)

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    Senseless & Centsless