HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » From Counting Back Change...

Sun Apr 18, 2021, 05:26 PM

From Counting Back Change to Math Innumeracy. [View all]

When I was 16 years old, back in 1962, I started a part time job delivering milk for a local dairy. On Saturdays, I worked in the dairy. While doing that, I also had to work the window where people drove up and bought dairy products. So, the owner of the dairy taught me to count back change.

Now, I was a math whiz in high school and knew exactly what change was needed for any purchase, no matter what the customer handed to me. Instantly. I demonstrated that ability to the the owner of the dairy. He promptly explained counting back change to me. OK, I said, "I can do that, too," and showed him. He said, "Well, OK. I get that you can do the math in your head, but the customers need you to count back the change." "No problem, " I told him, and demonstrated with several trial transactions.

Today, cash transactions almost don't exist. If you offer cash to someone working the register, they get confused. They have to type in how much you are giving them, and the correct amount to give you back is on the cash register display. They are often confused by the coins. If the amount is $17.73, and you hand them a $20 bill and three quarters, good luck to you. You have put them into cognitive dissonance mode. You will be there for a while.

But, we don't even do that any more. Instead, we push our debit or credit card into a slot and the checker gives you a receipt. Most of the time. Heaven help you if you pull out your wallet and take a few bills out and reach into your pocket for coins. It's a cinch that you will hold up the line behind you, while the checker calls a manager, who also may not be able to figure out that transaction.

Do you have dollar coins, or a $2 bill. The police might be called. Really. It has happened.

For that reason, I have a debit card for a checking account I only keep enough money in for typical transactions. I transfer money from my primary account into that account, as needed. I do not have time for cash register operators who have zero math skills. I have given up on carrying cash except to pay my grey-haired barber, or to put in birthday cards for my great nieces and nephews.

I haven't written a check for weeks. I don't have cash in my wallet, except for a couple of $20 bills I keep in there for cash-only places or garage sales.

We are now officially an innumerate society. I have learned to deal with that.

29 replies, 979 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply From Counting Back Change to Math Innumeracy. [View all]
MineralMan Apr 2021 OP
leftyladyfrommo Apr 2021 #1
MineralMan Apr 2021 #2
leftyladyfrommo Apr 2021 #3
Leith Apr 2021 #4
MyOwnPeace Apr 2021 #18
Aristus Apr 2021 #5
rickyhall Apr 2021 #6
Mariana Apr 2021 #27
lastlib Apr 2021 #7
OneGrassRoot Apr 2021 #11
lastlib Apr 2021 #12
OneGrassRoot Apr 2021 #15
Ms. Toad Apr 2021 #19
brooklynite Apr 2021 #8
erronis Apr 2021 #9
captain queeg Apr 2021 #10
nuxvomica Apr 2021 #13
ret5hd Apr 2021 #25
onethatcares Apr 2021 #14
ripcord Apr 2021 #23
Leith Apr 2021 #24
PCIntern Apr 2021 #16
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2021 #17
AnyFunctioningAdult Apr 2021 #20
Crunchy Frog Apr 2021 #21
AwakeAtLast Apr 2021 #28
meadowlander Apr 2021 #22
LAS14 Apr 2021 #26
rownesheck Apr 2021 #29