#885 Paying for something with exact change

get-rid-of-itFeel this pain: You’re a cashier in a busy store at holiday season.

Now, say you’re good at your job and you’ve been there a while. You’ve long memorized the produce codes and you bag like a champion. You’re keeping up with the traffic, whipping customer after customer through the till in no time flat. You’re rocking the credit cards, you’re rocking the debit cards, and your line is the most sought-after line at the store.

Yes, it seems like nothing can stop you. You are Cashatron, a top-secret, beta-version prototype of the world’s most highly efficient cashier.

And if you’ve been there before, if you’ve ever cashed and cashed hard, if you’ve lived the cash life and have the varicose veins to prove it, then you know what I’m talking about. And you also know the one thing that can trip you up. Yes, you know the stick in the bike spokes for a veteran cashier is simply …

… running out of change.

empty-those-pockets1It happens all of a sudden, too. One moment you’re whipping through the line and then suddenly you stare up at a customer and apologize profusely as you awkwardly dump two handfuls of sweaty coins into their hands. You look back at the long line and just hope somebody else opens up a lane while you wait for change to arrive. It’s a terrible feeling. And it makes us ol’ cashing veterans shudderjust thinking about it.

And that’s why it’s so great for cashiers when someone pays with exact change. And as an added bonus, customers get to empty their pockets and lighten their loads. Yes, it’s a win-win situation.

Plus, there’s a Bonus Round, too! That’s when you pay for something with exact change … with every single coin you have in your pocket. I’m talking about when you have seven coins in your pocket that add up to 74 cents and the bill comes to $5.74. Nope, no breaking a ten for you, because you just won the bonus round jackpot.

Now, this bonus round is pretty rare, but a big hit for everybody whenever it happens. How excited are you when you realize you pulled it off? For a moment it’s sort of like you beat the currency system. No more change for you, Changeless Wonder! Now you’re all bills, all the time, just rocking the sidewalk with those light, empty pockets.

And how does that make you feel?


Photos from: here and here

16 thoughts on “#885 Paying for something with exact change

  1. Don’t know about the cashier’s point of view but definitely yes about the paying-with-exact-change part…the OCD patient in me is soo happy and the gratitude of the cashier is something too…and then you proudly walk out of the shop with your nose in the air looking down on the poor people with notes of large denominations in their hands…never mind that they have more money than you.

  2. This made me smile numerous times. I was a cashier at my mom and step-dad’s convenience store during high school and college. We were 30 miles from the nearest town (i.e. bank). I was always stressing-out about change. A few times over the years an embarrassed mom would come in and ask if her child could cash-in their piggy bank change. I would say not only “yeah” but “heck yeah!”. Those were good days, stress free days, awesome days!

  3. When I’m out doing a lot of shopping and going to different stores, I definitly want to have some change in my pocket so I can try to give exact change all day and end up going home with less change.
    I was also a cashier at a convenience store and I didn’t mind with people came in and paid with change only. It was welcomed because I knew sooner or later I would need some more change in my drawer. Money is money.

  4. YES! I used to work in a small gift store that got slammed at Christmas time. While counting out handfuls of change can be a bit time consuming, there was nothing better than filling those little coin-holding areas of the till, moments after wondering how the hell you were going to give customers their change in the afternoon.

    …I miss working there. :( Right now, I would be putting decorations up, playing Straight No Chaser carols, and probably wearing a Santa hat — not because the boss told me to, either. I brought in the carols, and I owned the hat.


    1. I love Christmas…and Striaght No Chaser carols too! I just brought in a little tree into my new space at the office. All the girls were super excited about it.

  5. Hey.. hey .. I’ve been a cashier for years now, you know, casual jobs to pay the uni fees. And I have to say, running out of change isn’t what irks me… it’s customers who insist on taking two and a half years counting out every single coin they have in their gigantic purse in some sort of wild aim to get rid of them. Like, shit this could save me a trip to the bank, while every other person in this shop waits for me to count out 28.85 in silvers. Half the time, in the end, these people don’t actually have enough and end up using their credit card or something stupid like that. No awesome

  6. Worked at Wendy’s, and I hated counting out change for people. I have never been good at it. I have a disability that always trips me up, and I don’t use that as a crutch, so I hate it when people think that your dumb. I may be slower at it than most, but I’m not stupid. Speed & Accuracy make it hard for me to get it right, and even if I’m off by $0.05 it still pisses me off, when its time to count up the register for the day. That damn five cents eats away at me, more than you know, because that is a mistake that I made and missed, and don’t know when or how I did it! I even use the spell checker on my computer, just to be sure I get that right. What If I had to do that in such a short amount of time, I’d get that wrong sometimes too!

    I wish people wouldn’t be so quick to assume that everyone of us is to lazy or dumb. Math isn’t that simple for everyone to master, and FOR SOME OF US, THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE, NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY!

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