Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Brother, Can You Spare A Nickel?

Okay, here's something I could do without: about three times a week, I'll walk in somewhere to buy whatever, and the cashier will ring it up.

"That'll be $5.04," she says.

"Here you go," I say, handing her a twenty. This is where it starts.

"Uh, do you have four cents?" she asks.

"Nope," I respond, since I generally don't carry pocketfuls of nickels and pennies, having virtually no desire to be a human maraca.

This is invariably followed by an eye-roll from the cashier, often accompanied by an exhausted sigh, as the realization sinks in that she's actually going to have to attempt to count out 96 cents in change.

How about this? Rather than looking at me like I'm Richard Speck just because I don't carry my hammer and piggy bank into the Jiffy Mart with me every time I want to buy a Zagnut bar, how about changing your stupid prices? I'm not the one who's marking everything $4.99 and thinking I'm fooling the world into believing they're paying so much less than $5. Why is it my responsibility to provide all the tools necessary for a trouble-free transaction? Where did I incur the duty to not only pay for my item, but to do so in such a way that requires nothing more than bare sentience on the part of the cashier?

Hey, I brought my money, pal. The rest is pretty much your problem.

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