I got really sad at Wal-Mart today. I mean really sad, I was almost in tears when I left. I admit it, I’m an emotional person and I cry easily, but this one was just really sad.
My Wal-Mart, not my personal Wal-Mart as in I own it but the one I shop at, has recently opened an Auntie Anne’s Pretzels inside. Just a side note, if you’ve never been to Auntie Anne’s and you like soft pretzels you’ve got to go!!! Back to my story… I got a pretzel stick combo with cheese sauce and a drink, healthy lunch right? Well, it was $5.00 and with tax came to $5.49. I gave the girl $5.54 because honestly I have an overabundance of pennies. As I handed her the cash I smiled and explained that I wanted to get rid of the pennies, I have so many. She smiled back and put the money in the till and started to shut the drawer. I suppose the confused/concerned look on my face caused these words to come out of her mouth, “You don’t get any change back right?” She was very sweet and being totally sincere, I could tell. I smiled and said that yes, I should get a nickel back, to which she replied that she wasn’t sure because the other guy (the manager) was over at the soda machine. I said thank you, got my pretzels and cup and walked in somewhat of a daze over to fill up my cup with lemonade. The manager happened to be standing there and I quietly told him of the exchange with the girl. I didn’t want to embarrass her, or get her in trouble, but I really felt like he should know.
I was so sad, in so many ways. First, did she not realize that I had given her more than what my total was, or was she just confused? Was she not able to do the math to calculate the difference? Was she not properly trained on the register to know that she simply had to type in the amount she was given and it would tell her how much change, if any, to give? I was dumbfounded, stunned, astonished, but mostly just sad. Our society has become mostly cashless, I understand this, but our kids should still know these basic skills, don’t you think? When I picked my kids (and some of their friends) up this afternoon I quickly asked them this exact problem, if something cost $5.49 and you are given $5.54 would you give change, and how much? They all answered a nickel… and then one of them said, “how much would I get back?” and I said, “you’d get a Nickelback.” Hee hee! See what he did there?
All joking aside… this really did make me sad. So, go and make sure your kids can make change… please. In the meantime, please enjoy this Nickelback video…