Thursday, January 06, 2011

Idiot sighting

I'm not sure if the story is really THAT funny or if it's the Scotch I'm sipping, but here's a bit from an email I received today:
My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter. She said, "You gave me too much money." I said, "Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back." She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the quarter, and said "We're sorry but we cannot do that kind of thing." The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in change.

Do not confuse the clerks at McD's.


Anonymous said...

they are trained to push buttons, numeracy would be a distraction, might even encourage dangerous ideas.

Anon said...

That is a a bit funny and sad... but I am actually more interested in the first part of your post. What Scotch were you enjoying?

romishgraffiti said...

Thomas Sowell related a similar anecdote in his book Inside American Education, and I thought he was being a bit hard on them and the same here because I myself have been stumped by the change quiz and I am not stupid and actually have good math skills. It is simply because I was used to the usual exchange of money and when one runs into someone giving extra, it turns into a mini-quiz question. It's not a hard one and I had it mastered once I relfected on it for a few moments and gave myself a few practice questions, but when there is line of customers and you are put on the spot, it's not surprising some people get flustered. So I'd say the person here is not stupid (at least not based on this), or that the education system is screwed up (it is, but this doesn't really prove it), but rather that any retail business needs to train it's employee's to be ready for this uncommon-but-common-enough scenario. Using the cash register would be a simple solution. Just put in the amount owed, the amount tendered, and ta-da! the total change to return will be right. :)

Pertinacious Papist said...

10 year Balvenie

Anonymous said...

I ordered "half a dozen nuggets",
watched her search the machine at least twice, finally had to "change" my order to 6 nuggets--she seemed relieved. She had to be at least a high-school junior.