2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Keyman » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:09 pm UTC

You'd think that wouldn't you? But once registers starting telling cashiers what the change is.... Nobody 'counts back' change anymore.
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby markfiend » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:21 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:farthings (¼d/quarter pennies, or 960ths of a Pound) pre-decimal

There were also half-farthings and quarter-farthings (used in nineteenth century Ceylon) and third-farthings (used in Malta somewhat later) that were technically "British coin".
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:48 pm UTC

Keyman wrote:For extra fun, do this bit with the change after the young clerk has punched your payment as "Cash - $20" into the register.
Yeah it's shocking that interrupting a routine action by adding a different amount of money than you first paid with will frequently throw them off.

If you change your order to a cheeseburger after they've punched the "hamburger" button, the pause isn't because the clerk doesn't understand what "cheese" means.
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:18 pm UTC

In Australia, the price you see is the price you pay but when you do pay and get a receipt, it will show you how much GST(Goods & Services Tax) you paid.
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Mikeski » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:40 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:What's the problem there? Would the cashier not be able to work out how that affects the change? That's not been my experience here, usually their reaction is "oh good".

Define "here"... I live in suburban Minneapolis. About as "Lake Wobegon" as you get, nowadays. ("[...] and all the children are above average.")

I had this happen, with these exact numbers:

Order food. The total is $5.25.

Hand cashier a $10 bill from my wallet, since I don't have a $5.

Try to fish a quarter out of my pocket.

Cashier enters "$10" on the till.

Hand cashier the quarter.

"Sorry, I already rang it up."

He was unable to do "10.25 minus 5.25 equals 5" in his head. Or "4.75 plus 0.25 equals 5". I can only assume his side of the till showed him four pictures of a dollar bill, and three pictures of quarters, since knowing how numbers work was not a job requirement.

I accepted the $4.75 in change, since I wasn't waiting for a manager to come void the transaction so he could start over.

At least I got the right food from him. But with that sort of knowledge at the age of (at least) 16, I'm not sure how much further he got in life. Hopefully he grew a lot, and now has a lucrative career in professional sports.

(Insert minimum-wage-versus-self-checkout/self-order-kiosks rant here.)

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:07 am UTC

To be charitable, I could see the cashier thinking "I already recorded the receipt of exactly $10 on this machine, I'm not going to fuck around accepting a different amount and making whatever change would make that work out and getting fired because I punched in that the customer gave me $10 but they actually gave me $10.25". Yeah, think that through for a second and you'll realize nobody would ever know about it and so no trouble would come about so long as the correct change is actually made (so the right amount of money is in the till at the end of the day), but the "already rang it up" makes me think his thought was not "I don't know how to make the right change" but "I already recorded the transaction this way, so we can't do it differently than that or else I'll have lied on a record at work".
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:17 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:To be charitable, I could see the cashier thinking "I already recorded the receipt of exactly $10 on this machine, I'm not going to fuck around accepting a different amount and making whatever change would make that work out and getting fired because I punched in that the customer gave me $10 but they actually gave me $10.25". Yeah, think that through for a second and you'll realize nobody would ever know about it and so no trouble would come about so long as the correct change is actually made (so the right amount of money is in the till at the end of the day), but the "already rang it up" makes me think his thought was not "I don't know how to make the right change" but "I already recorded the transaction this way, so we can't do it differently than that or else I'll have lied on a record at work".

A possibility.

Also possible he had a raging migraine going. Or just got dumped by his girlfriend in the break room. Or was running a psychology experiment.

But my father taught high school for 40 years, and there are a shocking number of people that manage to "pass" grade-school and junior-high math classes without being able to do single-digit addition...

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Heimhenge » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:30 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:
Mutex wrote:What's the problem there? Would the cashier not be able to work out how that affects the change? That's not been my experience here, usually their reaction is "oh good".

...
He was unable to do "10.25 minus 5.25 equals 5" in his head. Or "4.75 plus 0.25 equals 5". I can only assume his side of the till showed him four pictures of a dollar bill, and three pictures of quarters, since knowing how numbers work was not a job requirement.
...


Frikkin' hilarious image! But so sad and true ... I could see NCR providing that UI option.

For a real laugh, try this ... get 5-10 (US) $2 bills from the bank. Nice new crisp ones if possible. Then use a small amount of "glue stick" or whatever to join them at a corner in a neat stack. Next time you check out at a fast food joint, pull this unfolded outa your pocket and peel off the required number of sheets.

Cost: A few Jeffersons. Reaction: Priceless.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Mutex » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:00 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:
Mutex wrote:What's the problem there? Would the cashier not be able to work out how that affects the change? That's not been my experience here, usually their reaction is "oh good".

Define "here"... I live in suburban Minneapolis. About as "Lake Wobegon" as you get, nowadays. ("[...] and all the children are above average.")

I had this happen, with these exact numbers:

UK. I've had the cashier pause for a moment when I've handed them change but that's about it, basic arithmetic is the one skill cashiers are expected to have.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby markfiend » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:04 pm UTC

It's nice to see the xkcd echochamber completely free from sneering at low-income workers. Well done folks, deliberately making life more difficult for shop workers doesn't make you look like a bunch of entitled arseholes at all.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Mutex » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:17 pm UTC

Who's "deliberately making life more difficult for shop workers"? We're talking about literally doing the opposite.

EDIT: Well, giving change that makes the money back simpler is helpful, obviously waiting until they've rung up is unhelpful. But I think the point was that handling that kind of arithmetic should be something shop workers are capable of, if not the education system has failed.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby elasto » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:18 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:For a real laugh, try this ... get 5-10 (US) $2 bills from the bank. Nice new crisp ones if possible. Then use a small amount of "glue stick" or whatever to join them at a corner in a neat stack. Next time you check out at a fast food joint, pull this unfolded outa your pocket and peel off the required number of sheets.

Cost: A few Jeffersons. Reaction: Priceless.

I don't get it - maybe because I'm from the UK.

Are $2 bills rare so they wouldn't know what they were? What role does the glue stick play - makes the notes look more fake?

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby ucim » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:44 pm UTC

Yeah, sorta. And yes.

$2 bills are uncommon (too bad because they are the prettiest ones); many people don't know about them. People have been arrested for possessing them. The glue stick makes it seem like the bills come from a pad of paper (and are thus fake, because real money isn't "sold" that way). More effective of course would be to send a bunch out to be "padded" for real, making them into an actual pad of paper, but the glue stick (and maybe a backing) is close enough to get a laugh. Or an unwarranted jail term.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby somitomi » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:17 pm UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:In Australia, the price you see is the price you pay but when you do pay and get a receipt, it will show you how much GST(Goods & Services Tax) you paid.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:33 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Who's "deliberately making life more difficult for shop workers"? We're talking about literally doing the opposite.

EDIT: Well, giving change that makes the money back simpler is helpful, obviously waiting until they've rung up is unhelpful. But I think the point was that handling that kind of arithmetic should be something shop workers are capable of, if not the education system has failed.


Keyman did introduce it as "for extra fun".

I guess the point is that machines are many orders of magnitude better than humans -- even xkcd forumites -- at doing arithmetic. Somebody calculating change in their head all day is going to make mistakes. Having the till do the calculation for them is a way of reducing the magnitude of the error that accumulates over a period. Customers are less likely to report being given too much change, resulting in loss; getting too little change is likely to cause upset customers and possible consequent brand damage, lost custom etc., so really errors of either sign are costly. A company might well be wise to forbid their checkout staff from doing mental calculations even if it seems like an easy case.

And paying £20.09 for a $7.59 purchase isn't really that easy. You have to subtract the 9c from the $7.59 to get $7.50, then make up the change from $7.50 to the $20. There's plenty to get wrong. The making-up change step doesn't need you to do subtraction: you just dish out coins and notes to get the total to successively larger round numbers (two quarters makes $8, two $1 bills makes $10, $10 makes $20). You can't use that method if you're trying to make up to £20.09, hence having to subtract the 9c up-front.
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Vroomfundel » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:43 pm UTC

The things you learn in the fora - I wasn't aware that most Americans keep jars of coins but that makes perfect sense. See, US coins are super hard to tell apart as the value is not prominently features. Yeah, sure, born-and-bred USians know intuitively what a nickel, dime and quarter are but it still takes up more CPU power to work out the change without having the number stare at you when you check out what change you have available. For comparison, see the 5 Euro cent coin:
Image
A nice, prominent number on it - no chance of mistaking it. The difference in working out the math may not be dramatic but I'm sure it helps with the change accummulation in the US.


This brings me back to the echochambery nature of the fora. You have no idea how much "normal" people suck at math compared to geeks, even ones who work as cashiers. I don't mean to be condescending but it's an inescapable observation that for most people working out the change in a transaction, even a simple one, requires the mental effor equivalent of putting together a sentence in a language you don't speak well and they'd rather not do that.
(ninja'd by orthogon on this part but leaving it in as mine's a bit more detailed)
Ever noticed how they count when they return the change? When I hand out a 10 note for a 5.25 bill It goes like this:
- counts 3 quarters, mumbling 5.50, 5.75, 6
- counts 4 dollars, mumbling 7, 8, 9, 10
Basically, they start from the price you have to pay and add to it until they get to the amount you gave them. So, if they now have to count till 10.25 it doesn't make it any easier for them, quite the contrary.
Geeks, on the other hand, immediately come up with the number 4.75 in their heads and then think - hey, I got a quarter in my wallet, let's round it up to 5.

There was an xkcd strip about this very same thing, I'm surprised no one has shared it yet. I couldn't find it though. Maybe it has some unintuitive name and that's why it's still missing.
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Leovan » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:03 pm UTC

There are more and more cash registers that automatically dispense your coin-change nowadays too. So if you add that quarter the cashier has to re-enter the transaction, otherwise the machine will still dispense 75c and the cashier has to reclaim it.
Another thing might be that there are some well known scams that include trying to get change and quickly doing multiple transactions to confuse the cashier. There's a good chance most stores have a policy that require cashiers to deny any changes to a transaction to keep that from happening.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:11 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:(ninja'd by orthogon on this part but leaving it in as mine's a bit more detailed)
Ever noticed how they count when they return the change? When I hand out a 10 note for a 5.25 bill It goes like this:
- counts 3 quarters, mumbling 5.50, 5.75, 6
- counts 4 dollars, mumbling 7, 8, 9, 10
Basically, they start from the price you have to pay and add to it until they get to the amount you gave them. So, if they now have to count till 10.25 it doesn't make it any easier for them, quite the contrary.


Mulling it over further, I realised that effectively you're using the coin trays as a kind of abacus. Feynman did a story in one of his books about an expert abacus user who had almost no grasp of numbers at all - it was all mechanical shuffling of beads.
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Mutex » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:32 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:(ninja'd by orthogon on this part but leaving it in as mine's a bit more detailed)
Ever noticed how they count when they return the change? When I hand out a 10 note for a 5.25 bill It goes like this:
- counts 3 quarters, mumbling 5.50, 5.75, 6
- counts 4 dollars, mumbling 7, 8, 9, 10
Basically, they start from the price you have to pay and add to it until they get to the amount you gave them. So, if they now have to count till 10.25 it doesn't make it any easier for them, quite the contrary.
Geeks, on the other hand, immediately come up with the number 4.75 in their heads and then think - hey, I got a quarter in my wallet, let's round it up to 5.

As I said, this simply isn't my experience with UK cashiers at all. They're relieved when I give them the 25p and they can just give me a £5 note. They usually ask me if I have the 25p in fact. If they couldn't do the subtraction they wouldn't be able to work out the change was now £5.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:48 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Who's "deliberately making life more difficult for shop workers"? We're talking about literally doing the opposite.

EDIT: Well, giving change that makes the money back simpler is helpful, obviously waiting until they've rung up is unhelpful. But I think the point was that handling that kind of arithmetic should be something shop workers are capable of, if not the education system has failed.

Keyman wrote:For extra fun, do this bit with the change after the young clerk has punched your payment

It was explicitly suggested as something to deliberately do for fun after they've rung it up.

Even though if you couldn't be fucked to think ahead and pay with more convenient change in the first place, it's not the cashier's fault that now you have to deal with more coins than you would have had if you'd planned ahead.
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:23 am UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:Ever noticed how they count when they return the change? When I hand out a 10 note for a 5.25 bill It goes like this:
- counts 3 quarters, mumbling 5.50, 5.75, 6
- counts 4 dollars, mumbling 7, 8, 9, 10
Basically, they start from the price you have to pay and add to it until they get to the amount you gave them. So, if they now have to count till 10.25 it doesn't make it any easier for them, quite the contrary.

I don't think I've ever had it happen that way (here with UK£). Whether calculated on the till or in the head (I tend to assume that even the 'lowliest' of till-workers can do the maths involved or correctly work the till enough to have it worked out for them¹, because anybody not educated enough to handle it isn't likely to now be 'flying solo'²) the change always comes back counted up as change, not as extra-amount-to-hit-the-payment-offered.

There's some minor dispute by some customers over whether they want the coins and then any notes ("there's the fifty, sixty, seventy, seventy-five pence… And the ten, fifteen pounds") or the notes and then any coins ("so, that's ten pounds, fifteen… And fifty, sixty, seventy and five, cheers"). I personally like the coins atop my notes³, but as receipts (the very last thing extracted from the till) often get put atop everything else, I can see why coins, then notes, then receipt would be an ergonomically consistent choice to follow through with.

Worst-case scenario for the assistant is if I've decided to get rid of change, by worst weight-per-value first, and I've time to do this in the queue. I need six pounds, and I've got three £2 coins, but also lots of other coins. Do I have a pair of £1 coins in my other hand? While I do, and still a £2 to swap against, do that swap. Then look to swap two 50p coins for any pounds (may have already paired with a sole £1 for a £2 swap). 20p coins next, five for a pound, or two and 10p in lower coinage for a 50p. Then 10ps, 5ps and 2ps shuffled across and equal value returned (in the finest traditions of double-entry bookkeeping!), sometimes backtracking up the values as filtering the coins (and perhaps finding an odd extra coin in the corner of the pocket) reveals another swap I could have made that I've not yet rendered rendundant. This results in a 'stack' of coins, ordered by value (not size, as 50p is bigger than £1, 2p bigger than 5p, or 10p, which is in turn slightly bigger than the 20p) that I may dump into the hands/onto the counter of the till-worker with maybe an apology (sometimes politely turned down, as an apology, because (right now) change is what the till needs, and I'm actually doing them a favour!) for them to then sort through themselves to confirm my stated value of proffering. (Which may still need change in return. Especially as you'll note I didn't mention pennies. I try to avoid spending pennies, as I put them (and them alone) in a large bottle at home and then bank them after filling it (usually £50, and a few spare to start off the next bottle-worth). I'll sometimes even swap three 2ps for a 5p at the final value-swap (or a 5 and three 2s for a final 10) to get that single penny in change, just to feed the bottle.) And I've never had an assistant break much of a sweat in accepting such schrappnel from me and confirming (or correcting!) my own shuffled summing-up.


¹ And from the "I've got 20p, if that helps?" moments, it seems like tills either have "also tendering another 20p, recalculate" facility or its done mentally (because the till doesn't seem to care if nine pound coins and a further 80p in assorted change are returned, or a tenner is returned whilst another 20p is received, if there are no fivers in the the draw and I offered a twenty for a £10.20 purchase, and perhaps less coins to make up the difference than the assistant would like, given that further customers in line might need some.

² I tried to think of the last time I saw someone in difficulty. It's usually "how do I work this complicated till again?" from the franchise fast-food store, and they're being guided. It's less common thannp with the real sign of a new employee, a co-worker having to type in their till code (or tell them) because they're so new they don't have a login-ID yet! Even these people don't always have problems with the interface, such as adding a last-second decision of a pack of three cookies to my Subway foot-long after already going for the with-a-drink option. Not compared to "the system's slow!" problems which everyone suffers from.

³ For weighing-down purposes as my outstretched hand has to be withdrawn and lowered to whatever pocket things go in without the passage through the air fluttering the notes atop off before I properly deploy the usefully opposable thumb. Though 'paper' money and coins generally end up in different parts of my clothing, so at some point my other hand will either have the coins poured into from the thumb-gripping notes-hand or extact the folding currency (like a more measured version of a table-cloth removal from beneath a table of laid cuttlery and crockery), according to which hand is heading to which repository, with purchased goods either awaiting the first free digital manipulatornto lift them from the counter or already clutched under an upper-arm-against-torso or bag handles slung around a chosen wrist, according to quantity, quality and effectiveness of carriage-gripping required to move away from the till.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby markfiend » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:14 am UTC

Mutex wrote:But I think the point was that handling that kind of arithmetic should be something shop workers are capable of,

At the end of an 8-hour shift, when you're working two jobs just to make ends meet, and some arse gives you some arbitrary amount of money rather than just $20?
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Mutex » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:25 am UTC

markfiend wrote:
Mutex wrote:But I think the point was that handling that kind of arithmetic should be something shop workers are capable of,

At the end of an 8-hour shift, when you're working two jobs just to make ends meet, and some arse gives you some arbitrary amount of money rather than just $20?

Arbitrary? The whole point is to make working out the correct change easier.

If the price is £10.09, would you prefer I gave you £20, or £20.09?

And as I've said a couple of times, in my experience shop workers are indeed grateful for this, and will often request the extra 9p if I give them a £20.

Agreed Keyman was being an arse suggesting doing this for fun, your "echo chamber" comment made me think you were accusing everyone here of being malicious.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby GlassHouses » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:58 am UTC

Mutex wrote: The whole point is to make working out the correct change easier.

I thought the whole point was to make giving the correct change easier. Paying $20.10 when the charge is $10.10 means that they can give you back a large bill, which they usually have plenty of, rather than singles and a bunch of coins, which they're always running out of.

There does appear to be an interesting difference between Europe and America when it comes to this (actually I'm generalizing from my experiences in the Netherlands and New Jersey): in the Netherlands, it is not unusual for cashiers to ask for that extra 10¢ (in my example above) to allow them to make change using only bills, while in the U.S. that only happens when they notice me squinting into my wallet and they realize what I'm trying to do. Pretty much everyone blindly relies on the register to tell them what change to make. Whether this is because mental arithmetic is not a thing in America, or it's just store policy to trust machines more than humans, I dare not say.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Mutex » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:07 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:
Mutex wrote: The whole point is to make working out the correct change easier.

I thought the whole point was to make giving the correct change easier. Paying $20.10 when the charge is $10.10 means that they can give you back a large bill, which they usually have plenty of, rather than singles and a bunch of coins, which they're always running out of.

Both, surely? I certainly find "20.10 - 10.10" easier than "20.00 - 10.10".

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Vroomfundel » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:36 pm UTC

There is quite a bit of difference between handing 20 note and 0.10 coin for a 10.10 (which I agree is often welcome in Europe) and having the more awkward amounts, like a 17.63 bill and handing 20.13 for 2.50 change. I often do the latter as it optimizes the amount of coins I'm left with but it rarely fails to cause confusion.
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby markfiend » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:57 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Agreed Keyman was being an arse suggesting doing this for fun, your "echo chamber" comment made me think you were accusing everyone here of being malicious.

Yeah, no, sorry. I was thinking more on the lines of...
Vroomfundel wrote:a 17.63 bill and handing 20.13 for 2.50 change


I still think giving extra bits of change to a shop worker who hasn't asked for it is only "helpful" in the Ralph Wiggum sense, but obviously YMMV
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:30 pm UTC

What I sometimes do is pick coins out of my wallet for the remainder and then a note to overshoot the required amount: "Here's 13 pence. And £10." - often poking the mass of coins to estimate whether I can reach the required total or not before grabbing the note.

Sometimes I'll also go "Here's £10. I think I've got the 13p too." and start digging it out until/unless the cashier demurs.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby somitomi » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:18 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:The things you learn in the fora - I wasn't aware that most Americans keep jars of coins but that makes perfect sense. See, US coins are super hard to tell apart as the value is not prominently features. Yeah, sure, born-and-bred USians know intuitively what a nickel, dime and quarter are but it still takes up more CPU power to work out the change without having the number stare at you when you check out what change you have available. For comparison, see the 5 Euro cent coin:
Image
A nice, prominent number on it - no chance of mistaking it. The difference in working out the math may not be dramatic but I'm sure it helps with the change accummulation in the US.

This is the reason I like Hungarian coins so much. The obverse contains nothing but the most important thing about the coin: it's face value.
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GlassHouses wrote:There does appear to be an interesting difference between Europe and America when it comes to this (actually I'm generalizing from my experiences in the Netherlands and New Jersey): in the Netherlands, it is not unusual for cashiers to ask for that extra 10¢ (in my example above) to allow them to make change using only bills, while in the U.S. that only happens when they notice me squinting into my wallet and they realize what I'm trying to do. Pretty much everyone blindly relies on the register to tell them what change to make. Whether this is because mental arithmetic is not a thing in America, or it's just store policy to trust machines more than humans, I dare not say.

Giving (and asking for) some extra change so that I can get only banknotes (or a single coin) back is quite common here. I sometimes even do that to ticket vending machines (the trick is starting with the small valued coins), although in that case I want to prevent the machine scattering a bunch of coins all over the surprisingy large trough it has.
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Soupspoon
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:43 pm UTC

I've found that suoermarket self-serve tills actually do quite well with dumping an 'indupiscriminate amount and order of coins in (actually I know exactly how much I'm dumping, because I'm like that, but I'm sure I needn't) and let it act like a commissionless-Coinstar as it returns as few coins back as it needs to (possibly even out of its own coffers, save for 'rejected' coins that come out already) to even up the total purchase+change against the amount offered. I don't make a habit of it, but they seem to have done this without complaint when I've given it a go. (Don't like passing by the human checkouts, if they're free, but I'll use the self-serves without issue. Except for that one that always misweighs heavy items and demands its human nanny intervene to let me continue.)

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markfiend
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby markfiend » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:00 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:supermarket self-serve tills [...] act like a commissionless-Coinstar as it returns as few coins back as it needs to

Really? The ones in our local supermarket (Asda) only seem to contain pennies, 5p pieces and pound coins, judging by the change I usually get.
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Soupspoon
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:05 pm UTC

markfiend wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:supermarket self-serve tills [...] act like a commissionless-Coinstar as it returns as few coins back as it needs to

Really? The ones in our local supermarket (Asda) only seem to contain pennies, 5p pieces and pound coins, judging by the change I usually get.

Maybe I was in front of you in the queue, buying a packet of biscuits and shoving in a whole lot of 5ps! (But, as noted above, no pennies…).

;)

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Keyman
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Keyman » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:06 pm UTC

Let me back up a bit and apologize for sounding like an arse. I did not mean that to sound as if it was a funny trick to purposefully play on unsuspecting cashiers. I am one, and have been for nigh on 19 years now. I meant 'fun' more like the eye-rolling, sarcastic emoji. Mikeski's story shortly after is exactly (except the dollar amount) how it happened to me. And like Mutex original reply, I was semi-stunned that the cashier didn't grasp it. Having it happen more than once, and considering it a tide I'm not going to stem, and taking note of the other commentary throughout the thread I'll just shake my head at the educational system, shake my fist at the kids on my lawn, start more posts with "back in my day".... and go buy a bigger coin jar.
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speising
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby speising » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:08 pm UTC

i'm paying nearly everyhing with NFC now, but for some obscure reason, the copper still accumulates in my purse. and of course it doesn't get spent, because i never pay in cash...
but when i do, i try to do it like somitomi and hand out the small change first.

hetas
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby hetas » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:42 pm UTC

When I want to get rid of change I just dump the coins on the counter and let the cashier do the counting. I'm just lazy that way. And they can get the coins they need and don't need to check my math.

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da Doctah
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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby da Doctah » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:23 pm UTC

When the spirit moves me to start paying with change, I try to work it out to get rid of as many as possible of the smallest coins at once. That usually involves working out the change in mostly quarters, then replacing them five at a time with nickels. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. (Pennies don't get paid out because that gallon jar I started filling in 1979 is almost full.)

Now, when my total comes to $19.87 and I give the cashier a twenty and twelve cents change, I expect them to stare at me blinking like an owl before they work out that it means I get back exactly one quarter.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:15 pm UTC

markfiend wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:supermarket self-serve tills [...] act like a commissionless-Coinstar as it returns as few coins back as it needs to

Really? The ones in our local supermarket (Asda) only seem to contain pennies, 5p pieces and pound coins, judging by the change I usually get.

My local Tesco's self-service machines are keen on handing out small coins for change - it gets a little annoying when I put in some small change to get a nice round total, and get 20 5p coins back...

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:18 pm UTC

Keyman wrote:
x7eggert wrote:In order to reduce the amount of coins you have, take out 9 ¢ to pay the last digit. (4 ¢ might be a good value, too.)

If you can't do that, take out one dollar / euro in {10,20,25,50}-¢-pieces. Pay the last two digits using that (possibly slightly more).

If you can't do that, Europeans need to consider euro coins.

If you can't do that, you succeeded. I frequently have exactly the minimum amount of coins in my wallet, and by not considering more than one kind of coin, it's fast.

For extra fun, do this bit with the change after the young clerk has punched your payment as "Cash - $20" into the register. As in, for a $7.59 purchase..."Oh wait, I have the nine cents".

But only when you have time, and there's not many people waiting behind you.

Other's experiences may (and clearly do) vary, but it's rare in my experience to run into a cashier who would have an issue with that. What blows cashiers' minds is when you're *not* dealing with totals divisible by 10. e.g., something like giving a cashier $20.08 for a $7.83 order. So long as you're clear that you're not messing with them or otherwise being condescending towards them, they tend to be quite delighted when the changes comes out as a reasonable value.

Seriously though, don't do that after they've already rung up one's payment.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:43 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:My local Tesco's self-service machines are keen on handing out small coins for change - it gets a little annoying when I put in some small change to get a nice round total, and get 20 5p coins back...

Sounds a lot like the Vending Machine Slots game.
Put in a $20, then hit the return button. If you get $1 and $2 coins, you're doing well. If you hit the jackpot and it starts desperately spurting out all the 10¢ and 5¢ pieces after giving you less than half the amount in large coins, that's when you start to sweat.

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Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Postby Archgeek » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:31 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
markfiend wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:supermarket self-serve tills [...] act like a commissionless-Coinstar as it returns as few coins back as it needs to

Really? The ones in our local supermarket (Asda) only seem to contain pennies, 5p pieces and pound coins, judging by the change I usually get.

My local Tesco's self-service machines are keen on handing out small coins for change - it gets a little annoying when I put in some small change to get a nice round total, and get 20 5p coins back...

Here in the blighted core of the states, the Walmart self-checkout machines will gleefully return coinage as needed, but with such profound violence that a small child observer would be forgiven for thinking the customer had done something to anger the machine, in light of its flinging of coins out of the tray and onto the floor several feet away.
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