[ExI] the fun they had

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Oct 19 20:13:16 UTC 2010

On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 8:31 PM, spike  wrote:
> Asimov's conjecture came true long before he envisioned in a way.  If one
> collects all those who make change in fast food restaurants, one would
> likely find that plenty of them cannot do arithmetic at all, even given a
> pencil, paper and time.  The cash register tells them everything they need,
> down to giving them the option of just entering which bills and coins were
> given them, and having the cash register tell which bills and coins to
> return.
> I worked a short stint as a cash register operator at Burger King.  I knew
> all the dollar complements by memory: if I saw any two digit number, I knew
> from memory one dollar minus that number, without having to subtract.  This
> was in the late 70s just before the electronic cash register became
> universal, when the old mechanical tills were chinging their last kachings.
> I didn't stay long, for it caused resentment among my colleagues that I
> immediately went up to the counter without having to pay dues flipping
> burgers in the back.  I never did learn to actually make a Burger King
> whopper.  But hey, I could make change for four hours and have the till
> balance to the penny at the end of the shift.  Numbers are my friends.

Some stores in the UK don't have the modern tills that calculate the
change the way you describe.  I have fun sometimes when the total is
2.83 by giving the operator 3.03 (and expecting a single .20 coin in
change).  Some almost have a mental breakdown as they stare helplessly
at the odd sum of money I give them.

I sometimes make a profit on the deal if it is more complicated.
Recently the total came to 7.52 and I offered a 10 pound note plus a
.02p coin (expecting 2.50 in change). After a bit of hesitation, I was
delighted to receive 3.50 in change.


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