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Poor Boy

(28 Posts)
lincolnimp Mon 25-Mar-19 12:52:41

It really wasn't his day
Perhaps even his first day on the tills.

I went into out local M&S food hall for some bits and pieces.
I noticed that the lady two places in front of me was having a discussion with the young man on the tills as she paid him with some bank notes.

Lady in front of me paid using contactless.

Now it is my turn---
I had cash as I had been tasked with paying in a charity collection. I had done a bank transfer from my account to the relevant charity account, so had lots of cash.

Looking at the amount required, £37.51, I counted out £30 in notes, gave it to the boy
£6 in 50p and £1 coins , gave it to him,
£1.51 in an assortment of 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p coins plus 1p.

He sat and looked at me.
"How much have you given me?"
"£37.51"
Looking at his till---"But I need £42.01"

I pointed out that the customer information indicator informed me that the total was £37.51 (I knew that there had been some offers, so final total less than initial total.)

"oh, oh yes"
As I began to take my bags to leave, he sat looking at the money in his hand and said

"How much have you given me?"

Oh dear!!!!!!!!!

lovebeigecardigans1955 Mon 25-Mar-19 13:04:43

Oh dear!
You know when I was young, daft and in my first job (not known for my numeracy) I dreaded being put on a till as I knew that these shortcomings could not be hidden. I would've been too terrified and nervous to count the cash out loud.
I was obviously in the wrong job. In a few years he'll (hopefully) gain confidence. We were all young once and more easily flustered.

Namsnanny Mon 25-Mar-19 15:27:47

I’ve always lacked confidence with numbers and therefore money, I would use my own idiosyncratic ways of totting things up and get there in the end.
When I was around 19ys I decided to ‘improve’ my maths by applying for a job in a pub, got it and plunged in. My,my what an initiation!! I always shook and came out in a cold sweat and the mental arithmetic just became more and more derailed!! After a weeks trial the public an and his wife sat at either end of the bar scrutinising my adding up and writing it all down. At the end of the evening they checked the till against their notes and burst out laughing saying I overcharged and undercharged in equal measure so the takings were spot on!!
They then said I was honest and would get the hang of it soon, which I did.....eventually (I’m a slow learner).
By the end of the year I was running the bar single handed whilst training a new member of staff!
Very little financial reward, but I took a great lesson from the experience.

Hope the boy gets into his stride soon.

Deedaa Tue 26-Mar-19 20:53:41

When I worked in a cafe in Cornwall we often had trouble with the takings being short. One day I watched the teenager who used to work at the weekends and discovered that she didn't know where to put the decimal point in the money! This was a girl who had never known anything but decimal coinage and was taking GCSEs!

Tangerine Thu 28-Mar-19 22:55:31

The first day or two on a till can make you feel flustered. You soon get used to it. Even though till is computerised, you still have to be aware of what's going on.

Willow500 Fri 29-Mar-19 07:13:04

Poor kid. I was fairly lucky with counting money as my mum ran a shop but we only had a drawer for a till so I would count out the change the old fashioned way from the cost of the item up to the amount given.

Grammaretto Fri 29-Mar-19 07:23:56

Just yesterday I was a victim of ageist humour when I offered to add up my own items.- there were only 3 -in our community shop as the lady was busy with a big order. She pushed a calculator towards me which I declined as I said I'd add them in my head. "Give her a slate" said the funny chap beside me.
I told him he was very rude.

EllanVannin Fri 29-Mar-19 08:56:04

I have heaps of " old money " in my desk and when the GGC visit I show them and compare coins and their value. They like the old 2/6 pieces so I quiz them on todays worth. It's a good way for them to learn values and also compare prices with today. It keeps my brain sharp too when I ask them to show the equivalent of todays money from the old.

Jane10 Fri 29-Mar-19 09:07:28

In my first job in a shop I was absolutely banned from using the till for weeks. The owner taught me painstakingly to count out change etc before I was allowed near the till. People in shops just hand you your change in a pile these days. Computerised till knows best!

Meg54 Fri 29-Mar-19 10:27:23

The young lad on the till in Sainsbury's priced up my mango as a turnip. I was delighted!

25Avalon Fri 29-Mar-19 10:41:12

Why don't supermarkets train their check out staff properly so the poor lad wasn't put in this position?

GabriellaG54 Fri 29-Mar-19 10:50:16

I think calling the young man a 'poor boy' is patronising.

Saggi Fri 29-Mar-19 11:00:09

I was lucky too.....I used to get up at 4am when I was 11-14 to do a milk round...only at weekends of course...but what that milkman did for my mental arithmetic was astronomical ....this is when a pint of milk was something like nine pence three farthings or some such. At the end of week on a Friday evening he’d take me with him to collect payment from our early morning customers , as you couldn’t knock on doors for payment before 7am!! The amount of pints they’d had during previous week was totted up at top of page and you’d have to work out how much to charge customer...no calculators on those days..... after a few false starts I soon got the hand of the shortcuts he taught me. My maths has always been top drawer and mostly due to that milkman saying ‘ you can do it girl’

Cabbie21 Fri 29-Mar-19 11:03:42

Not only does the till tell them how much change to give, they just plonk it in your hand the wrong way and if you are not quick the coins slide off the plastic note. Much prefer the old way of counting out your change from the price up to the note you gave them.

lincolnimp Fri 29-Mar-19 11:10:11

@[email protected] He looked like a boy, and he needed understanding as a boy would.
To call him a young man would have been more patronising in the expectation that he should have been more adept at his job

lincolnimp Fri 29-Mar-19 11:11:26

oooops, I got it wrong,tried to highlight the name and missed !!!!!!!

Legs55 Fri 29-Mar-19 11:53:32

I've always been good at mental arithmatic, also worked behind bars before computerised tills. Think you can put it down to "information overload" as he would probably be thinking have I done & said everything I was trained to do.

grinHave a nice daygrin

Craftycat Fri 29-Mar-19 11:59:41

Poor lad. I feel for him as I am numerically dyslexic. Fine with words & can learn foreign languages with ease but numbers defeat me. Sometimes I can look at numbers & 'see' them OK - other times they are just random squiggles. I was always top in English & bottom in Maths.
My elder son is the same but not as bad.
You can learn some techniques- such as when giving change to say the amount required & then count the change out loud. It usually works.
However I do wonder if it is just that younger people use cards more than cash once they get to working age. Same as the fact that youngsters often have bad hand writing as they type everything- says she typing!
I hope most of his customers are kind to him- he'll soon get used to it.

Kim19 Fri 29-Mar-19 12:18:57

Strange and sad. I would have thought some sort of overseer would have been with him. Even though much practice may have happened at induction, that first public 'outing' is quite a different matter. I wish him well. Could quite easily have been my son many moons ago.

Happysexagenarian Fri 29-Mar-19 13:01:14

Back in the dark ages my first job after leaving school was in a large London bank, as a junior secretary for which I was well qualified. However, on my second day they decided they didn't really need another secretary so I was transferred to the Cashiers department. I was terrified! Maths and handling money was never my strong point and there were no electronic coin sorters or calculators then. Customers came in with large sums of money (notes, cheques, bonds and coins) and expected speedy and accurate service. I'm sure my face must have been permanently red as I fumbled to sort and count coins by hand (often dropping a few on the floor)! It was a baptism by fire but after 3 weeks I was getting the hang of it and 9 months later I was assistant cashier. I enjoyed being on the counter and meeting the customers and couriers, who were often very generous at Christmas! These days my GC watch fascinated when I empty our 'school hols piggy bank' and rapidly flick the coins across the worktop counting as I go. However, my general maths ability has never improved much and I always have a calculator to hand.

The young man on the checkout will settle in gradually with a little help from understanding colleagues and patient customers.

lincolnimp Fri 29-Mar-19 13:03:34

I agree with you all, I just really felt for him, obviously struggling with real money, for whatever reason

DotMH1901 Fri 29-Mar-19 13:50:03

When I tell my grandchildren that, as a Saturday girl, the Woolworth's I worked in didn't have electronic tills but ones that you had to ring up each item individually and then push another key to get the total, they look perplexed. Even worse when I tell them I had to work out what change to give! My grandson couldn't understand why we had so many coins!

Day6 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:09:41

I still refuse to play darts (not that I do very often!) unless someone else keeps score. Subtracting, say, 17 from 501 would flummox me if I had to do it on the spot. 39 from 501? (I know, take away 40 etc...but my brain just goes to mush)

Like others, I manage words and my mental arithmetic is actually OK - all my multiplication tables are intact and I have O level maths from the days when we had to use log books - but ask me to do sums on the spot and give me a few minutes, or a pen and paper!

It is strange that the young lad at the till couldn't count up the ten pound notes and pound coins, etc. It is a basic skill. That is a failing he'll have to come to terms with quickly and as mentioned, perhaps he should have been given more training before his till duties. Our small GC are quite good at counting money already. (They've had practice. They get more (to put in their money-boxes) than I ever had as a child!

Lizzies Fri 29-Mar-19 18:45:55

I got a job after college in a local pub and I was so shy and the regulars so teasing that it would have been a miracle if the total for the same round was the same twice in a row. I have never been good at mental arithmetic, I had to have tutoring from the headmaster for the 11 plus. Still I met my husband in the pub so that is one good thing!

Ohmother Fri 29-Mar-19 18:51:03

During the checkout operator running my shopping over the scanner she stopped a couple of times to waft herself with a piece of card. I asked if she was feeling hot and she said “Yes, I’ve got a virus.” 😱