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.


Boy on a bike said...

Me, standing at checkout at Bunnings. I have 10 screws at 12 cents each.

I plonk $1.20 on the counter. The checkout loon punches numbers into the calculator-thing and expresses wonderment that I had tendered the correct amount.

12 years of education at $17,000 per year (public school) for that? Sheesh!

kae said...

Maths has never been my strong subject, however, I learnt that I'm not so bad when I worked for four days at Dad's fave sports club, which he organised in 1988.

I don't understand how people can't work out money in decimal currency, they've never realised that you count back. Without the amount tendered facility they're stuffed.

At the sports club I was quite pleased with myself that I managed to have the till perfect, except for un-rung post mix two afternoons (30c), and one afternoon when I was $1.25 over (a schooner I'd not rung up).
One day a punter arrived and presented me with $10 for his drink order. Then he insisted that he'd given me $20. I was positive he'd given me a blue note. He challenged me after he'd walked away and I'd served a couple of other customers.
Not sure what to do I asked my colleague to take over on his/her register, shut mine, and went to the gaming manager and explained my problem.
He came over, spoke with the customer, and told the customer he'd sort it out. He shut off the till and proceeded to ring off the till, printing out the total of the till. Then he added all the money in the till and subtracted the float and lo, the till was correct.
Meanwhile, the punter had disappeared.