Friday, January 21, 2011

Local math, or shopping around Tyler

So, last week, the Better Half and I are out in the town. Our daughter is at her Pokemon League for a couple of hours, so we have some time to burn. We decide to visit one of the fine book retail establishments, specifically one that sells used books and media. Last weekend, they had a big used book sale, which is like catnip to a feline. We decide to stock up. I find a few nice graphic novel selections, and the Better Half finds some things for herself. After a while, we decide to go pay. This is where things get interesting.

The Better Half is getting rung up first by the nice young female cashier. She appears to be either a senior in high school or a freshman in college. Make note of this detail for it may be important in the narrative. I should mention that the sale is as follows: Get five (5) used books for twenty (20) dollars.

Young lady begins ringing up the purchase. The Better Half notices that the price per book is a bit high, not to mention the total will be a bit more (ok, a lot more) than twenty bucks. We proceed to point that out. The cashier then starts changing the prices manually. OK, we understand that programming a cash register may not be easy; the machine was not set to scan and figure out the sale. Cool, I can go with that.

However, we worry when she starts changing the price to five dollars per book. Again, we gently point out that the sale as stated in "get five books for 20 dollars." It is at this point that the young lady gets a bit distressed. What does she do?

She calls out to the cashier two stalls down, "hey Bob (the name Bob is used to protect the not so innocent), how much are books if they are 5 for 20 bucks?"

We had to gently do the math for her and explain that if you buy 5 books at 20 dollars, it means each book would cost four dollars each. Apparently basic math is not a requirement to be a cashier anymore. In fact, we even told our daughter about it, asking her, "hun, if books are 5 for 20 bucks, how much is it per book?" Daughter right away said, "dad, that's easy. They are 4 bucks each."

I don't know about the rest of you, but if that girl is the future of America, I am worried.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

or then there is my story of many years ago purchasing 5 gallons of kerosene at $1.50/gallon. The young man literally ADDED $1.50 five times on the calculator. JP