My Fear of Cashier Change Confusion

One of my greatest fears is confusing cashiers when trying to check-out at a store or restaurant. For example, earlier today Ben of and I went to Costco for some fine dining. I bought, and the total came to $5.42 for our pizza and pop combos.

After giving the cashier a $10 bill, I realized I had two cents in my pocket. However, the cashier had already typed $10.00 into the cash register, thus informing him that the change due was $4.58. Based on previous experiences with this type of situation I knew that bringing my two cents into the equation would bring nothing but confusion, thus stalling the check-out line.

So, rather than giving the cashier my two pennies, bringing the resulting change to $4.00 plus 60 cents in shiny silver, I kept my pennies to myself.

This is the second time just this week where I’ve run into this problem.

I’ve tried to figure out what the basis of my fear is. At this point, I think it’s a combination of two things:

I don’t like making cashiers feel stupid when they can’t figure out how to adjust the change based on the presentation of two cents. Thinking beyond the cash register seems to cause a lot of stress that I can help them avoid.
And I don’t like holding up people behind me in line over my preference for pop machine acceptable coins.

Seriously, I should just go to the drive-thru where I have plenty of time to reach under the seat for correct change before reaching the drive-thru window.

4 thoughts on “My Fear of Cashier Change Confusion”

  1. I think your fear is very justified. It seems that many cashiers cannot do simple money math these days. I remember a time when I gave a cashier a 10 dollar bill for a $5.02 purchase and then after the transaction was up found the 2 pennies, you would think that I have given the person a 5 variable calculus equation to solve. needless to say this took way more time then it needed to.

  2. Fred, your example is as simple as it gets, yet still causes stress.

    Another problem I’ve seen is with large bills. For example, I once bought $94 in subs from a Subway in Escanaba, MI with a $100 bill. The cashier freaked out about the large bill, apparently assuming that I was going to destroy the float in her till.

  3. Hey, you could have told her to ‘keep the change’ and maybe she would have treated you like you had tipped her $90.

  4. As a cashier myself, I can tell you that those two pennies can really throw a cashier off. Part of the problem for me is that I never think I’m getting someone’s change fast enough. I type in what they have given me, I start getting their change, and then they want to hand me more money. My mind is already equating what I’m trying to give them back…and I just get confused. Not all cashiers have this problem. In fact, sometimes I’m completely fine with it! It all depends on how busy the store is that day for me. Your fear is definitely justified though. I have a sister that fears even going to a cash register to be rung up.

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