Thursday, September 28, 2006

1 + 1 = ?


One of Mine Host's frustrations has finally boiled over.

Schoolteachers will believe me, but the rest of you: Get your heads around this:

The average time taken by driveway staff at the completion of their shift, to count out from the takings the $700 starting float is 15 minutes, although some staff regularly take 30 minutes, and one or two of them take up to an hour performing the seemingly simple task of counting to $700 (pictured).

I stress, that all they were doing was counting out the $700 starting float for the next shift to use, NOT counting the entire takings for the day. (Takings are counted by someone else)

Counting to 700 is not too difficult you say?

Sadly, only 1 in 3 people hired for driveway work are capable of counting $700 in cash into a pile.

Counting to 700 need not be done in your head, but by moving cash from one pile to another until 700 is reached. Very similar to dealing cards.

(Sounds simple doesn't it? In fact it is just like using those coloured rods to help with addition & subtraction in the early years of primary school)

To make it easier Mine Host gave them bank issue change pads, which have denominations, columns & everything all ruled out & labelled. (should make it really easy, HAH .. I should have known!)

This only made it more complex for them.

LESS than 1 in 3 staff are able to correctly fill out this change pad, detailing how they reached the total of (hopefully) $700.

As rare as it is for someone to actually count to $700 and get it right, it is even rarer for the amount they write on the change pad to match what they counted.

It is almost beyond the comprehension of Mine Host that people can leave school and be totally & completely incapable of counting out $700 from a pile of cash.

This is not calculus, this is not algebra, this is not working out the cubic metreage of earth removed for a dam, this is not measuring the cubic capacity of the wheat silos.

It is simple addition, there is not even any subtraction required (the concept of subtraction seems to be beyond many people)

The culmination of despair came one evening when Mine Host was showing a school leaver how to close up the shop, and at the part where we count out $700 the lad just stared in incomprehension at a pile of cash when Mine Host casually instructed "Oh, & while I do such & such, can you just grab $700 from the takings & put it back in the cash register"

Some 45 minutes of careful instruction later Mine Host realised that despite having moveable cash (chips to push around which measure what he has counted) this fellow was never going to be able to count to $700.

After years of persevering with trying to teach what must be the simplest of arithmetic to boneheads (i.e. how to count to 700) Mine Host has given up, and issued a directive that all driveway staff are to henceforth bundle up the entire contents of their cash register drawer, and deliver it to the cashier, (who is capable of counting money accurately)

4 comments:

Dirk said...

I once took ten kids to a swimming carnival on a minibus. As all the kids had performed above expectations I stopped at a shop in a little town to buy them each a Kit-Kat. The shop didn't have a register, only a cash drawer and the school aged kid working there (who knew the price of a single Kit-Kat) had to use a calculator to figure out the total cost.

steve at the pub said...

Thank you Dirk for the input, my secretary loves the kit kat story & has told it to everyone she knows.

Sam Ward said...

If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

FXH said...

my secretary

holy shit - business must be good.