Friday, May 07, 2010

10 - 2 = ?

Kylie keeps her job by a most slender margin. Almost hourly Mine Host ponders the viability of dismissing her.

A customer at the bar has been served an order to the value of $29.80
He tenders a $20 note & a $10 note to Kylie.

This flummoxes her.

Kylie is 21. For more than 15 years cash registers have calculated change. Every sale she makes she uses the "Amount Tendered" facility on the Cash Register. Not this time.

She furrows her brow & gazes uncomprehendingly at the cash in her hand. She has no idea how much change to give.

She attempts to subtract $29.80 from $30.00 using pencil & notepaper. She becomes more & more panicky as she is unable to get an answer that is satisfactory to the customer.
She silences the customer with an icy glare (he is trying to tell her how much change he wants).
Her sums on the notepaper have revealed several different answers. The customers are telling her a totally different answer (0.20)

She knows the customer (motivated by greed) will be telling her an inflated amount, she knows the rest of the customers (motivated by malice, for their own entertainment they surely are trying to get her into trouble with the boss) will be telling her a wrong amount.

Why doesn't she press "30.00" into the waiting cash register? The current total on it is "29.80".
For reasons unfathomable, people do things like this, every day. anyone who has dealt with the entire spectrum of humanity will know.

Minutes pass, the other customers are waiting. She lets them wait, as she hasn't yet completed the transaction, and to punish them for telling her the wrong answer to her dilemma (0.20)

Finally she summons the bar manager on duty, her boyfriend Dave.

"Daaaaaaaaave" she bleats plaintively. The state of panic she has worked herself into means she won't be much use for a while.

Dave arrives, sends her on a 5 minute breather, and tosses a Twenty Cent coin to the unhappily waiting customer.

So continues life behind the bar.