Making Change

In the last couple of months, I’ve noticed clerks and cashiers in California, New Jersey, Nantucket, and Rhode Island struggling to make change. The register tells them that the bill was $26,85 and that $50.00 was submitted, therefore the change is $23.15. The clerks take the twenty from the till, but then have some trouble with the three singles and the fifteen cents. The put the money in their palms like marbles, and their mouths move as they count. Forget about it if you handed them 85 cents and told them to give you a dollar.

These kids can’t count any more (older cashiers have no problem), even when they’re told an amount. How hard is it to make change for $10 when the newspapers cost $6.50? If you can’t do that, how do you get through the day? I guess you await the cashless society, which is just behind the paperless and checkless society.

Making change in organizations is related. People (especially in HR—Hardly Relevant) look at the facts and have difficulty adding them up and subtracting the unneeded. Even when they see the issues, they’re not quite sure what to do. You need to tell them: “Stop holding one hour meetings, and stop requiring attendance when you do hold a meeting.” “You can’t tell people you are customer-driven when you refuse to take customer calls yourself.”

They may look oddly at you, but just assure them you know how to make change.

© Alan Weiss 2017


One thought on “Making Change

  1. We used to give cashiers basic math tests. 4 columns of addition/subtraction/multiplication/division with a time limit for completion of 10 minutes. Then we changed that to 15…then 20 and now we don’t even give it anymore. The corollary is that we now spend an entire shift training on basic math skills. Ugh!

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