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Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:00 pm by Dan

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The Lost Art Of Making Change

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The Lost Art Of Making Change

Post  Dan on Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:02 am

The development of the cash register which displays the amount of change due a customer is a blessing for the register clerk but a curse most of the time to the customer receiving change due from making a purchase.

That the clerk input 10.00 and the change due displays as 6.38 is wonderful for the clerk who does not have to make any decision about the correct amount due the customer. After all, isn't it difficult to subtract 10.00 - 6.38 in your head? Or 20.34 - 8.21?

Simply hand over the money and the transaction is finished right? Wrong. Because the clerk does not have to count the change back to the customer to arrive at the correct change, the clerk puts either the receipt or bills in your hand and then coins on top of that.

You are left with a handful of money with coins sliding all over and all you can do is crumple it up in your fist, or slide the coins off
the stack, put them away and then put away your paper money and receipt.

And to top it off, you cannot even be sure that you received the correct amount because all you received was a fistful of money.
The civilized and intelligent way to make change is to use your brain and count the money back to the customer.

Counting back money lesson.
The total is 18.20 and the customer hands you a twenty dollar bill.
Take a nickel out of the register
Add it to 18.20 and you have 18.25
Start counting quarters till you reach 19.00
Hint: Take 3 quarters out of the register
Add it to 18.25
You now have 19.00

Take a dollar out of the register
Add it to 19.00
You now have 20.00

In the process, you handed the customer coins first, then bills, then receipt. The customer has received .80 in coins and 1.00 in bills or 1.80 in change. This is a very simple method and it's been around since the beginning of money.

While I dislike the money slamming there is little I can do about it. In fact there is only one thing I can do. I reach for my change with two fingers instead of holding my hand out open and take the money and receipt first. Then I take the coins.

That way I can put my bills away instead of cramming them in my pocket. Amazing as it will sound, sometimes the clerk will try to put the coins on the back of my hand. Or will just drop everything on the counter due to expecting the open hand waiting for the slam.

Does it annoy the clerk? Most likely it does.


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Post  Gumshoe on Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:29 pm

Cashiers count money as they remove your change from the drawer. They don't count change back as they hand it to you, because that is what they've been trained to do. Hold your hand out palm up and in a timely manner to receive it, and then glance at your money to make sure you're getting the right amount.


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