Dixie Darr

Exact Change

In Lent - Season of Change, Uncategorized on April 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm

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Lent – Season of Change, Day 32

You’re standing in the checkout line behind an old woman who is meticulously counting out change to the exact amount due. You’re annoyed because it’s taking ten seconds longer than you think it should. That woman is me. It makes me happy to have the right amount. Have a little patience and wait your turn.

I asked a cashier once if old people are the only ones who count out correct change. “No,” he said. “Kids do it, too.” All righty then.

More and more stores and restaurants ignore and penny here and there. At Carl’s, my usual bill is $13.24. I hand over a twenty and a quarter and receive back $7.00. Not $7.01. At another restaurant, if my bill is $4.63 and I’m a penny or two short, that’s close enough.

It isn’t that a penny one way or another makes a difference to me, it’s that once upon a time I worked in the accounting department of a federal reserve bank and had to balance the books to the penny every day even though we were dealing in millions of dollars. They paid us a lot of overtime so we could find those extra few pennies.

My mother also taught me to balance my checkbook to the penny every month. Many months I would spend hours trying to find the piddling amount my calculations were off.

I hear they want to get rid of pennies because it costs more (1.7¢) to manufacture them than they are worth. That makes sense (or cents), and anyway, we’re probably on our way to paying electronic with our phones for everything.

At least I no longer write checks. When I’m in line behind an old person (it’s always an old person) who’s writing a check, I marvel that anybody does that anymore. And, okay, I may get a tiny bit irritated because it takes thirty seconds longer to finish the transaction.

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