Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Throwing me a change-up

We all have those wonderful people that come through our lines and want to "round off" that 21.98 by giving us two pennies. I'm all for that. If you don't stand there digging around in a purse large enough to hold provisions for a family of four crossing the Australian Outback, plus a can of hairspray, snacks, keys, a cell phone, a beeper, receipts from every store you ever shopped in the last eight months and a baby's pacifier. Which inevitably gets slopped across my counter as you hunt for those blasted two pennies. LET ME GIVE YOU THE CHANGE. We've got a whole freaking cash office full of it.

But I digress.

I had a perfectly lovely woman - comes in to shop all the time - spends a ton of cash at the Wal-Mart - give me reason to absolutely loathe her and her little daughter too Sunday.

You all know how I feel about Sundays - especially when I'm trying to run the Service Desk by myself.

So this woman and her kid were trying to avoid the lines out on the registers. Her daughter wanted to buy a couple of toys and a some Fruit Roll-Ups. I scan the stuff and give her the total. I remember it VIVIDLY. It was $18.98. And she looks at her daughter and says "Get out your money."

The daughter puts her My Little Pony backpack on the counter, reaches up, unzips it and brings out a grape jelly jar of dimes, nickels and quarters. It was just raining fun this Sunday!

She handed the jar to me and I was thinking "Oh no, I don't want to do this here." There were at least six people in line, all starting to shift from leg to leg and get antsy. What could I do? It IS money.

I dumped it out and started counting.

There were only eight quarters in the whole jar. So that makes $17 dollars in dimes and quarters. I made little piles and then had to double-count the whole thing. OH MY GOD. I swear I don't know what was worse -- huge money orders in small bills or that whole episode. And she still had a good handful of change left.

I finally get done and give the little girl her two pennies in change -- and she asks me "Can I get the rest of this in bills?"

I'm like "No sweetie, I'm all out."

I wish we would get one of those CoinStar machines just to avoid disasters like this.


Anonymous said...

OMFG...I think the best part is when she asks if she can have the rest in bills...

Does your Wal-Mart have a bank in it like ours does where they could have enchanged their change for bills?

j-yo said...

As a mom, I have to tell you that when my young kids save up for something they want to buy, I try to make them pay with the money they've collected so they can make the connection between what they've saved and what they're purchasing. However, having worked in the service sector myself, I would NEVER do that with a line behind me. If the store is busy, I just pay first and have my kids pay me back later.

Our local store has a Coinstar and it is a lifesaver, even with the service charge! However, it's not a Wal-Mart, because we never shop there. Sorry.

Joey said...

That's so cute!

I mean hey, sucks to be you, but OMG that was so ADORABLE! Screw those other morons in line, that little girl is buying her very own My Little Pony and Fruit Roll-Ups!

Seriously dude, sucks to be you, but at the same time this could have been a hilight of your day. That line's never EVER going away. Might as well enjoy it when something like this comes along.

team gingerbread said...

I'm one of those people who likes to round off change, but I have a change purse for that express reason, and I always have it handy and mentally try to calculate just how much change I need to give so it literally takes a millisecond.

I don't care if people do this so long as they're organized about it.

That being said, I remember when I first worked as a cashier at a major grocery chain, this dude paid for his grocery bill entirely in change (his bill was over $80). I was pissed to say the least.

That's called abusing the system

FARfetched said...

Closest I ever came to that was in junior high school. I'd saved my lawn mower money to buy a Polaroid camera — I paid for a $25 camera with ones.

But yeah, the mom should have had enough sense to take the kid to their bank and get the change jar converted. They have a machine that can do it almost instantly.

genxer said...

Ah just stumbled across this blog by accident and it really takes me back.

It seems like a lifetime ago I was a Wal-Mart drone and dept manager while attending college. The guy showing up with a 10 year old hose that literally cost $2.97 (he had a receipt) and wanting an exchange
... The odd fellow who hadnt showered in days... The pervert in a trench coat flashing a 12 year old.... The guy stealing and then drinking a gallon of Listerine...
or I do recall being at work the day ol' Sam died. Back then we made time and a half for Sundays. It went to an extra $1/hour. Bet it's an extra $0/hour now.

At any rate she should have either
wrapped the change or gone by the bank.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to having kids roll the money at home? Lesson in money and counting.

peggy said...

It's been a while since I worked behind a register. I feel your pain because I worked in a pharmacy/drug store in an upperclass suburban town where parents thought their kids were so smart, so cute as they painfully (and most times, erroneously) counted out the change one coin at a time. And don't you DARE suggest they move aside for the next customer! What a personal insult ot the darling angel!

Keep up the great blog!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I pay for stuff with change, but I roll it at home. At the gas station last weekend I paid for a few food store items with a roll of dimes. The manager (who rang me up) said, "Cool - I could use some rolled coins. Got any more?" But yes, they were rolled and it didn't take any more time to pass them across the counter than paper currency.

Anonymous said...

Um, if the total is 21.98, they'd have to give you 3c, not 2c to clean up the coin portion of the exchange.

Math skills optional.

Marc said...

"Math skills optional."

Missing the point of the post: priceless.

Huge fan!

Anonymous said...

how does 21.98 + 2cents not = $22?!?!
i know my math is pretty appalling but its not this bad surely?