Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Penny for your thoughts?

That quote, a remnant from a time where perhaps it placed some value on your thought, is now more of an insult than anything else.
Much has been said about the penny in the past few days, but I don't think I hear about how badly our schools prepare people for simple tasks, LIKE ROUNDING TO A NICKLE!

I was in the McD's drive through (Portage and Sherbrook) and ordered two coffees (Medium, one black, one with a cream and 1/2 a sugar). The total came to $3.11 (It may not have... it could have been $3.21, but whatever)

I drove to the window, and provided the young man (who had a voice similar to Emo Philips) with exactly $3.10.

"It was $3.11 sir."

"I thought we were rounding to the nearest nickle today."

"Yes sir. You owe me another penny."

"Umm... if we're rounding...uh... what happens if I give you $3.15? Do you give me a nickle back?"

"No sir. I keep the pennies."

At that he handed me an official Government of Canada guide to rounding, complete with examples.

Let me digress to point out how far our country has fallen. To consider actually having to explain rounding to a nickle to people in an official Government of Canada document is only not absurd in a country where math is taught as "guess and check". I'll bet other "less developed"countries mock us incessantly.

"OK. So in the example here, it says that if it's .01 or .02 you round down to .00, and if it's .03 or .04 you round up. You're doing it wrong."

"I'm doing what my manager told me to do. I keep all the pennies."

"Perhaps your manager needs a math lesson... or to read this piece of paper. He's stealing from people."

"I'm just doing my job sir."

This whole diatribe is funnier with the Emo Phillips' voice. It's rather sad without it.

A manager of a restaurant who can't round to the nearest nickle... really?

Is he stupid, or is he saving for his retirement? Sure, I know it's only .04 cents, but consider the volume of people they see. I see a car a minute. Quick "guess and check" tells me that's 60 cars an hour, or 480 cars in a shift. If these guys really ONLY round down, they are likely getting an extra .02 cents per customer, which is about $10.

Who cares? Lemme think... I DO. If I go in every day and order the same thing, and he takes me for an extra .04 cents that about $10 out of MY pocket. That's MY money to spend, not HIS to take.

Wanna leave feedback for McD's? You need a receipt and a store number, which I don't seem to get in my coffee orders. I guess I'll go back today and get one, and provide them the address of this post.

In the mean time, for all you teachers out there, teach kids to round please... we shouldn't need to re program the cash registers for this.


  1. As a teacher, I used your example in class, and 18 out of 20 got it right. So that is 90%, or 0.9 as a decimal. So I rounded up and everyone got it right!!! 100% Everyone gets a medal(don't get me started on that one)!!!!

  2. LOL @ everyone gets a medal..where most issues start! don't get me started..
    and try paying with a 2 dollar BILL.. had that happen in the USofA not too long ago..and the kid behind the counter called his manager and said I was giving him counterfiet money.. I had a good laugh..sadly though..the manager whom was NOT a citizen.. demanded I pay with proper currency!.. yes.. I am shocked at how many of these people are actually able to put their shoes ON!!!