Category: Math & Science

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A Brainy Comment

| AB, Canada | Bosses & Owners, Math & Science, School

(While pursuing my master’s, I’m working at a grocery store to make ends meet. One day I’m struggling to get a pallet jack working. The visiting regional manager is watching me, and growing frustrated. Finally, he decides to chew me out.)

Regional Manager: “Come on, you dumb s***. It’s just a tool. It’s not rocket science!”

Me: “I’m studying for my master’s in physics! ROCKET SCIENCE, I CAN DO!”

(Since I am having a rough day to begin with, my response is a little louder than he expects, and he is quite taken aback. But I must have had an effect because the next time he’s chewing someone out, this happens.)

Regional Manager: “Come on, this isn’t rock…” *trails off as he sees me* “THIS ISN’T BRAIN SURGERY!”

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You’ve Been Through Thick And Thin Together

| KS, USA | Employees, Math & Science

(I find the label of the ham I want at the deli counter, but there is no actual meat on display behind it.)

Deli Worker: *standing behind the meat slicer* “Hello! Do you know what you want?”

Me: “I want this [Brand] Black Forest ham, but I don’t see it in the case. Are you out?”

Deli Worker: *she has not yet approached the counter* “Have you made up your mind?”

Me: “Yes. I want [Brand] Black Forest ham; do you have it in stock?”

Deli Worker: “I don’t know. Do you want some?”

Me: “Yes.”

Deli Worker: *steps to the counter, retrieves some ham from below the display area and takes it to the meat slicer* “Do you want it thin for sandwiches?”

Me: “On the thicker side, please.”

Deli Worker: “Thin?”

Me: “Thick.”

Deli Worker: *slices a very thick slice* “How’s this?”

Me: *not wanting to try and refine the size further, lest the conversation continue another five minutes* “It’s fine.”

Deli Worker: “How much would you like?”

Me: “One-third of a pound, please.”

Deli Worker: “Is that point-seven-five?”

Me: “No… It’s point-three-three.”

Deli Worker: “Ha ha. That’s right. I always have trouble with fractions.”

Me: “…”

Deli Worker: *cuts four slices and sets them on the scale, which reads 0.44. Then she goes and cuts two more slices*

Scale: “0.65”

Deli Worker: “How’s that? It’s a bit over.”

Me: “Um, yeah, can you take some off please?”

Deli Worker: *removes one slice, bringing it to 0.54* “How’s that?”

Me: “Still a bit much.”

Deli Worker: *removes another slice* “Are you sure? It’s under point-five.”

Me: “Yes, but I need point-three-three.”

Deli Worker: “Oh! That’s right!” *removes two more slices*

Scale: “0.33”

Me: “Perfect!”

Deli Worker: “Anything else?”

Me:No, thank you!”

Deli Worker: “Have a great day! There are free samples on the counter; help yourself!”

(The “free samples” consisted of four different deli bags with bar codes ripped off the labels, each containing a 0.5 to 0.75 pounds of meat or cheese. I think I know now what the deli does with the extra slices customers don’t want or need, and I have a clue as to why there were so many that day…)

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Lottery And Petty And Cash, Oh My!

| USA | Math & Science, Money

(Our drawers only start with $75 in them. One of my first customers of the day gets a cash return for $63. I borrow the money from the store’s petty cash and put a note to pay it back when I have more bills in my drawer. Not long after that, somebody goes through the money transfer process and receives $100, which I also borrow from petty. About an hour and zero customers later, I’ve finished counting down the morning drawers and swapping out their smaller bills for any twenties, fifties or hundreds. The largest denomination left in my drawer or petty is tens. Almost immediately after, a man in his early 20s comes to my counter.)

Customer: “I’d like to cash this check, please!” *hands me a $362 check*

Me: *inwardly panics as the acting manager walks in. Our check cashing fee is hefty and usually a deterrent* “Um, the fee is two percent of the check. Is that okay?”

Customer: *cheerfully* “Oh, yeah, it’s always like five or seven bucks.”

Manager: *knows what I’ve been through at this point* “Can you borrow again?”

Me: “There’s no big bills left in petty; they’re all in the night deposit.”

Manager: “Hmm… let me check the lottery machine.”

(We have a machine on the floor across from us where people can buy scratch-offs or instant tickets. She empties the machine while I awkwardly stand there with the customer. She counts the smaller-than-hoped amount.)

Manager: “Only $258. You’ll have to borrow $100 from petty and take the difference from your drawer.”

(Eventually I get it straightened out and by the end of the night, everything is even. The next day, a different manager is working, and trying to piece together a weekly lottery audit he isn’t totally familiar with.)

Day Manager: “Hey, do you know by chance just how much money [Manager] pulled out of the lottery machine last night?”

Me: *in the process of helping a customer* “$258.”

Day Manager: “$258…?”

Me: *nods, finishing up with that customer*

Day Manager: *stares for a second and then laughs* “Okay, RAIN MAN.”

Me: “Hey, if you had to pull cash from three different places for ONE transaction, you’d remember, too!”

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Won’t Speed Up For A Dollar

| Concord, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Math & Science

(My friend and I are standing in the fast food line during lunch. There are two lines, and we are in the one with the cashier who is notorious for being slow.)

Friend: *holding dollar bill in front of cashier*  “Can I get a [Sports Drink]?”

Cashier: “No. You only have $0.25 on your account.”

Friend: “How much is a [Sports Drink]?”

Cashier: “$1.25.”

Friend: “If I give you this dollar, I should have enough.”

Cashier: “No, you won’t.”

Friend: “A dollar plus twenty-five cents is $1.25.”

Cashier: *skeptical* “We’ll just see about that.”

(She accepts the dollar, but doesn’t admit she was wrong. She gave him a bottle of water. At least now we know why that line is so slow.)

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Slicing Salami But Talking Baloney

| Tallahassee, FL, USA | Employees, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

(I am getting some sliced meats and cheeses at the deli counter, and the woman working is pleasant enough but very slow. After a few minutes, she calls over another, just-off-break worker to take over my order, which was (at this point) slicing a quarter pound of salami. The following exchange ensued as part of the process:)

Second Worker: “A quarter-pound? I don’t know what that is!”

First Worker: “Zero-point-two-five.”

(Externally I remained The Thinker, but internally I was performing The Picard Facepalm.)

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