Friday, April 18, 2008

Life Requires VISA, or, Cashierin' is a Hard Thing to Do

Our campus Starbucks operates not unlike this ad. Regardless of the length of the line, it moves quite quickly and smoothly. And like most of the patrons in the ad, I usually use my VISA check card to pay for my purchases.

But not last night.

I had some cash, actual cash, in my pocket when I went to pay for my banana nut loaf, total $2.19. I handed over a ten and two dimes, and after punching a few buttons and pausing, the cashier went all funny on me. She got this weird this-is-funny-no-it's-not look on her face, ducked her head and turned to the guy next to her. After mumbling, she left the register and he stayed to deal with me.

"How much money did you give her?" he asked.

"A ten," I said, thinking that perhaps she forgot which denomination of bill I gave her.

"Was that all?" he asked.

"Two dimes."

"Okay," he said, "so you get..."

But the young woman returned and interrupted, giggling. "I figured it out."

"...eight dollars and one cent," the guy said, handing me my change.


Brave Sir Robin said...

Yeah, that's one of my pet peaves. And then they treat you like a leper when you want to use cash.


Bitty said...

Somehow she just didn't know how much change to give me. Perhaps she punched in $10 and then realized she had $10.20 and didn't know what to do.

In any event, without the help of the computer/cash register, some cashiers can't make change.

Anonymous said...

The father of Missouri's attorney general once said to me: "Cash is the poor man's credit card." I thought it was funny, but it stopped being so when I realized that quite a few people seem to believe it. I've never had any problems paying for anything with cash, though.

As someone who toiled behind a register for many years, I must say that the extra change tossed in sometimes just makes your brain freeze. Not always, but sometimes.

Bee said...

FB was kind, but methinks that young girl needs to practice her mental maths!! (BTW, I always use cash at Starbucks. I prefer not to know how much money I've frittered away on coffee . . . although I do believe that coffee is a vital necessity!)

Do you teach summer school, too, or do you have a nice break over the summer? When does your semester finish? I have -- for most of my life -- attended, or taught, in some kind of school system. I love the beginnings and endings.