Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Fifty

I had a good chuckle when I logged in this morning.  Can you see why?

The latest from Blogger Buzz

Updates and Bug Fixes for Feburary 12th

February 12, 2008 — permalink

If you fix a bug, spell check the announcement.  It makes the users less nervous.  Don't worry, I won't mock this too much.  It's sufficiently embarrassing all by itself.

Speaking of embarrassing, or actually more like nerve-wracking, yesterday I found a $50 bill mixed in with my twenties.  This is, to a cashier, the equivalent of an unarmed transport discovering a Klingon uncloaking off the port bow.  Gah!  So what, you think?  Well, there are two instincts that a checker operates under while on 'automatic.'  We fly on autopilot with money in order to deliver good customer service--asking about your dog, checking up on things that you couldn't find in the store, stuff that requires actual thinking.  Instinct one--look at money, sort from highest to lowest denomination, count, enter cash amount, drawer in order.  Instinct two--look at money, sort from highest to lowest denomination, count, enter cash amount, drawer with amounts over $20 denominations getting stuffed under the drawer and others being drawered in order.  Very, very occasionally, especially if there's an additional distraction (like another customer wanting to know what aisle toothpaste is on,) a cashier will think they've been handed a twenty (the most common bill we get handed) when in fact we've gotten a ten or a fifty or a one hundred dollar bill.  I always, always, say "your total is X, out of (insert denomination I think I have in my hand)" and if the customer is paying attention (big if) they'll say "wait, I gave you X."  At which point I'll look at my hand and see X, and apologize.  This doesn't happen very often at all, I'd say once in two thousand transactions.  (Unfortunately I don't have a pulling number out of a$$ icon.)  If I have made a mistake about what denomination I have in my hand, and the customer didn't catch it, chances are high that I'll catch it on the count back.  I always count back when the purchase is made in cash and it's for more than $50.  Just my personal policy.  

The problem was that I remember having flubbed a count back earlier that day, and the customer dismissed it and left rather than me recounting it.  (I compared the change shown on the computer to the amount in my hand instead of recounting it.  This assumes that the number on the computer is correct--which it won't be when I've entered the wrong amount.  Word to the wise.)  And now I was staring at a $50 in my twenties.  I may have, in haste, put it there instead of under the drawer where it belongs.  There were some other wrong bills at about the same height (cashier archeology) so maybe I had gone to the default where I just sorted highest to lowest denomination and skipped putting the fifty under the drawer.  Or, bad, very bad, I may have thought I had a twenty in my hands, entered it as that, and the other misplaced bills were a result of my brain reacting to the fifty in that section and I sorted them consecutively.

So I told my supervisor right away.  And sweated.  And waited.  At six thirty, moment of truth.  Will Kami be $30 over?

Kami was 27¢ over.  Kami had either taken a quarter and a couple of pennies from someone, or the coin rolls she opened were miscounted (a frequent and usual issue, mostly from bank counted and wrapped rolls than the paper ones that regular folks turn in for paper cash.)  

Time to go back to work.  I gotta tell the money not to scare me like that.  I'm getting old and it's not good for my heart!

33 comments:

Pete said...

Thanks for the heads up. Stupid keyboard doesn’t put the letters where I’m trying to type them. :)

Kami said...

You must have the same keyboard I do.

I think the letters swap around like we sleep, like Toy Story dolls. Some of mine have to be heavy drinkers, considering what they get messed up with when I come in and type unexpectedly. The space bar is definitely into tequila. He can't take getting slammed by both thumbs all day.

Kami said...

Case in point--swap around like we sleep? How about *when* we sleep? I know I typed when. Really. Stupid keyboard.

Lindsay said...

After thanking you for catching his typo, he misspelled your name!

Update, 12:30PM: Fixed embarrassing typo in this post’s title. (Thx, Kamilia!)

Too funny!

oRi said...

wow~
intereztin'!!!

Drew said...

At least he remembered the "R". Even Walter Cronkite insisted on saying "FEB-yew-ary". BTW, I suspect "Pete" was being ironic in spelling your name "Kamilia" -- after all, he had to hyperlink it somehow!
BTWA ... as a (now former) radio news guy, I used to have a great time scanning news releases about "National Litteracy Week" and so forth.

Doc_Report said...

"...Klingon uncloaking from the port bow"
Love it!

Bill said...

Hey Kamila, it's even more embarrassing if you pick up someone's misspelling when you have one yourself. In your own subheading, is "indominable" a cross between "indomitable" and "abominable"? :-)

Anonymous said...

Just a heads up: .27¢ means twenty-seven hundredths of a cent, which is $0.0027. You meant either $.27 or 27¢.

Brechner said...

You people are two critical, I'm not getting into this conversation I write like a caveman. Spell check doesn't work if you spell the wrong word right. (or is it write)

Kami said...

Thanks for the heads up about the indomi--oh, I give up. I'll just copy your spelling and change it on my header. I'm back from Radcon and sleepy so I better be careful or I'll end up goofing up somehow.

As for my name being misspelled, that's certainly not the most misspelled I've ever seen it. When it starts with a C I know it's not going to be good.

It's great to have all these new visitors! I'm sort of famous now I guess!

Drew said...

It's a great way to get your blog publicized! I'm going to a course tonight on "Social Media in the Marketplace" (class 2 of 3), which is largely being used by small business people (their businesses are small, that is), who apparently think a blog is something cut down by a lumberjack with a speech impediment ... so I'll mention that in Group Discussion time.

I may try using it on my own blog ...

Terry said...

My spell check doesn't work and I don't see any help or a place to report the problem. This has gone on for over a month, what's the deal guys? It seems that every time something is added some thing else stops working.

yotsuba said...

Spell-checking is a big deal, i guess, if you're e-mailing/sending a letter to someone who's either going to change your life or is really important to you. Otherwise, especially on a casual place like blogspot...I don't really believe it's SO important. However, I try my best to keep my spelling pretty straight. Like one of those guys said above: YOU ARE TOO CRITICAL SOMETIMES. Oh well. You will be you, I suppose. :)

Brechner said...

Drew is correct, I use blogs as a way to keep my Google score up... This is important to my small business. And I write simple like I talk (important)I don't pay much attention to the little red squiggly line anymore. In fact, I use word pad most of the time.

Kami, you are becoming famous I goggled you didn't I?

By the way that's a good thing.
sincerely, Indomi.

Anonymous said...

I thought you might want to put some widgets on your blog.

norol-am said...

I want...... but i'm not feeling confident''''' tnx

Kami said...

I hope that my blog can't make or break my career! That's too much pressure. Then again, I love that we have these opportunities on the web to promote our work. In the bad old days, if you couldn't get much of an advertising budget, you had to rely on word-of-mouth, the slow kind transmitted by telephone and on front porches.

Which reminds me of that corny commercial-- "And they tell two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on ..."

weeds said...

Hey, I worked at a theme park this summer, and I know exactly what you mean.

Although by a month into it I started telling my boss if I was over they could use the money to even out someone else, they did not like that too much...

From one cashier to another - money is way to stressful!

weeds
www.weedsarebeautiful.blogspot.com

zizzybob said...

Spellcheck does not work and I cannot find anywhere to report the error.

Bar Advice said...

Yes, I too notice that the Spellcheck does not work. It says there's an internal server problem evrytime we do a check.

Also, I hope that Blogger or Google would do someting to upgrade the Spellcheck and upgrade it a little. This one is a little weak with checks on things like uppercase letters, spacing and such.

Not sure who to ask but saw your name on the Buzz post.
Thanks.

Drew said...

I say we not worry about spell-check. So there! (I suppose it would be too smug to say we just remember our first-grade lessons ...) Besides, spell-checks aren't the be-all and end-all. The one that comes up on MSWord sometimes gives me that squiggly line under "it's" in the sentence, "it's going to be a nice day" ... and then tells me that the possessive for of "it" does not use the apostrophe (and don't get me started on that). I KNOW THAT! Apparently, no one programmed contractions into spell-check. There was one that caused us untold grief at the place where I work -- a transportation authority. We're in the process of introducing automatic "next stop" announcements on the buses. You get within half a block or so of the stop and a pleasant woman's voice says, "next stop: Main Street". These things are called "annunciators". Do you think our spell-check would accept that? It offered a range of options, none of which was correct. "Enunciators" was one of them. Upper management batted that one around for a while, on the thought that, if the spell-check didn't accept it, then it couldn't be the word we want. Finally I (rather haughtily, I hope not) waved my five years of Latin (plus about 30 seconds of Merriam-Webster Online) in the air and said that "annunciator" was, in fact, the right word and since I was writing the news release, I'd take the heat if it wasn't. Score one more for Man Out-thinking Machine!
(You realize, of course, Kami, that I still haven't read "The Fifty" in its entirety -- but it's been dashed fun taking part in the spinoff comments.)

Kami said...

Heh, I'm glad you're having fun, Drew. Another latin student, eh? I dabbled in high school (which means I remember nothing) but I know a surprising number of folks who know latin in some capacity or another. So, do you get asked to translate mottos a lot?

When I have my writer hat on I'm forced to ignore spell check. I often use words that aren't in most dictionaries, especially when I write fantasy, and I'm well aware of the grammar checker's limitations.

I agree that money handling is definitely stressful, weeds. I'm keenly aware that this is *not* my money just because I'm touching it. It belongs to the customer or it belongs to the company, and if I mishandle it someone that's not me loses. If I make a mistake and I'm the one who pays for it, then c'est la vie. (Gawd I hope I spelled that right!) But if I make a mistake and someone else pays for it, I find that very stressful, especially since company policy doesn't allow me to make reparations. On the one hand that's to protect employees, especially honest Abes like me, as even corporate recognizes we're not perfect and shouldn't have to pay out of pocket to cover an error (and neither should we under any circumstances get any overage!) On the other hand, without a consequence (besides a note in our permanent file if we're off by more than $5) the honest Abe is left with self-recrimination and no means to make things 'right.' I'm a darned good self-recriminator, too. Stomach tied in knots and everything. Thems the breaks, I guess.

zizzybob and bar advice--I don't have any special means to reach admin except by the usual channels, but maybe they're still peeking in here and they may notice your plights. If you go to http://www.blogger.com/home you should see Help Resources. I hope that helps.

Drew said...

Hey ... did you grow up in the Pacific Northwest? I used to go to Latin students' conferences in Seattle -- at Shoreline and Roosevelt High -- although that was in the early 70s and you may not be AS OLD AS I AM ...

Steve McCaine said...

Good points. keep on writing!! :)
c.u. steve (dude56112@gmail.com)

Kami said...

I sort of grew up in the Pac NW. I've spent most of my life here. I never went to any conferences (that would have been excellent!) but we had an after school study group with a gent who knew latin from seminary. I would have been a bit too young for the early 70's for latin, but not by a whole lot.

Although I can't pull latin out of my hat I enjoy certain books (Latin for All Occasions, for example) and I laughed so hard when I read the latin version of Cat in the Hat I disturbed people at the book store. So of course I had to buy it.

Drew said...

So you caved in to the running-dog lackeys of the corporate bookstore oligarchy, did you? What is this world coming to?

I have to confess, I don't remember much about the conferences, except that my high school's goal was to win the skit competition, which we did on the third try with a brilliant piece called "Roman and Martini's Lat-in" (which REALLY dates me, now!). The stuff that public relations careers are made of.

Kami said...

I did cave, of course! As a writer I humbly bow (though I may wear a sardonic smile when I do it) to the mighty commercial publishing industry and all its minions.

Heh re: skits. I was in Olympics of the Mind a couple of years running, and dabbled a few more years giving advice to various teams. I wonder if they still have them. Anyway, one year the theme was The Odyssey. We didn't win the drama portion--the other teams went through a lot of trouble recreating ancient history with their costumes and used the chanting style--but we brought down the house with a Monty Pythonesque skit called Restaurant on the River Styx, complete with cheesy accents that we practiced for months (someone at the event asked us if we were Australian.) We even got a standing O. Good times.

Drew said...

And that would have been exactly my approach to such a sketch. My philosophy (as evidenced in the Olde English epic I wrote in my senior year at university) is to go for the gags lest anyone think I'd actually read the material. (My prof, marking my "Saga of Olaf the Nice", wrote that it "reads as if a Roman soldier had gotten lost in the Bodleian with no one to lead him out except Asterix and Monty Python". Hard to disagree. Can't remember the grade I got. Who cares, after a review like that?

Drew said...

BTW ... I would have loved to have seen that restaurant sketch: do you still have the script?

Kami said...

If I do I'm not sure where it is. My husband occasionally goes through my boxes of papers and, if they are filled with spiders and mice, deems them unable to continue their work as an archive and burns them. Although I'm sure I've lost some gems, overall it's good that we're not buried in ex-manuscripts/exemplary physics and math exams/mouse nests and spiders. I remember that we all got tired of dawn's rosy fingers in the translation we read. I'm not sure if we featured them as an appetizer or some other feature, but they were certainly in the script.

Your epic sounds like a blast. I hope you got an A! Does it still exist?

Adam said...

Ah yes, "FEBURARY." Nice work catching that, Kamila. I wish we pronounced words the way they are spelled :) Like we could all start saying "Wed Nes Day." What fun!

Drew said...

Ah yes ... but why isn't "phonetics" spelled the way it sounds?