'The Coins Don't Matter'

21 June 2016  
Great smile. Not-so-great math skills.

My daughter and I stopped for a couple of our favorite ice ladened drinks during the heat wave. The total bill was $7.45 and I gave the rollerskating fast food pro a $20 bill. (Honestly, I don't remember the actual amount, but we will use $7.45 as an example - this really happened).

The food skater began to squirm a bit. As I continued to observe our roller derby pro, I have already come to the conclusion this person can't add very well, but I didn't say anything. I just smiled patiently as the eight-wheeled roller skating hard drive spun at breakneck speeds attempting to unlock the encrypted code (or in this case simple math to determine the correct change).

"Let's see," Skater says, "I owe you....(long pause), wait, what did you give me?"

I look over at my iPhone-addicted 15-year-old with a smirk on my face. Phone Princess gave me her subtle, "OH MY GOD" look that only a father - daughter understand.

"I gave you a $20," I said politely.

She responded,"So, I owe you $13.65 ..?" (I wasn't sure if it was a question or a statement.)

"You sure about that?" I asked.

"Ah, the coins don't matter, don't worry about it," Skater said.

I look over at Phone Princess, who is now Phone Queen as she just conquered another level Widget Master - or whatever. Under my breath, I whisper, "A boss's worst nightmare."

Phone Queen's "OMG" look is now not so subtle, and she whispers to me,"It's $12.55," as she simultaneously attains a super level on Widget Master. I am so proud of my little multi-tasker. :)

"I think its $12.55", I said. (Note: I didn't know what the change was either, I wasn't paying attention because I knew I had my little IBM Mainframe, Phone Queen).

Food Skater replied abruptly,"Ok, whatever."

I don't think Food Skater meant to be rude. I think it was an embarrassment. Nevertheless, this all makes my own hard drive spin uncontrollably. First off, I HATE "whatever" as a response. It is a way for someone to say, "You're right, but I am too stubborn to admit my weakness and humbly ask for help so I'll be rude instead." Second, what a nightmare for all the bosses in the world that deal with this. Imagine this happening 20 times per day multiplied by 365 days per year, multiplied by millions of skaters around the world! It is obvious that skaters have a huge negative impact on our economy. And finally, it's these skaters that want $15 / hour minimum wage. Funny how they pay attention to math when it comes to their compensation, but the coins don't matter otherwise.

Guy Roginson