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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Is it that hard to comprehend? (Stupid cashier practices) (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Is it that hard to comprehend? (Stupid cashier practices)
Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 08-06-2003 06:07 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Warning: mini rant here.

You're working a cash register. This can be at a theater, the local McDonald's, Home Depot, it really doesn't matter. As an example, the bill is $12.21, you are given a $20. You give them back $7.79 in change. (Well, that's assuming you aren't a total dumbass.) Do you give them the bills first, then the change? Or do you give the change first, then the bills?

Scenario #1 (what most people do). The bills are laid flat in the customer's hand. Then the change is poured on top of those bills. Great, real smart buddy! Now the customer has to do a balancing act with his hand keeping it turned upright until he can get his other hand close enough to pour the change in. What makes this worse is when the customer doesn't have his other hand free...or if the customer is noticeably lower than you (raised concession stand, drive through window, really tall cashier, etc).

Here's an exercise everyone can do at home. Take your hand and hold it palm up level with the top of your head. Make sure you have some bills in it and change on top (raising it higher helps to exaggerate the effect so it is more obvious what I am talking about). Now bring it down to waist level without dropping all that change. (We humans have to do this simultaneous twist thing with our wrist and elbow to make this work.) It's a little awkward and damned annoying when you end up dropping the change, isn't it? Of course then you have to stop, put away whatever you still have in hand, then waste more time as you pick up what you dropped on the floor or counter. This just slows down the line more. Very efficient! Well thought out! You're a great cashier! Does no one else see the superhuman genius at work here, or is it just me?

Scenario #2 The change is returned to the customer's open hand. However this time the change is put in the palm of their hand and then the bills are given to the customer. At the point of receiving the change, the intelligent customer can slightly close their hand and receive the bills between thumb and finger,
thus getting out of the way for the next customer quicker. (Dumb customers remain with their hand open awaiting the bills to be placed on top of the change, but even at this point it is easy to grasp the hand closed and not drop the change.)

Do this experiment at home too, but this time put a LOT of change in there. Isn't it amazing how even with a lot more change you still don't drop any? WOW! However could that be? Durp!

Why? Why do people do this? Does no one ever just watch an operation and see the obvious little things that could be done to save time and increase efficiency? This one even falls under two categories, efficiency and customer service. (Really, how many customers appreciate the embarassment of dropping their change or even at the end of a long day just having to deal with little annoyances like that?) This has for the last 10 years been on my list of weird policies for employees, but today I saw an example of this that had 4 out of 5 customers in a row (me being the fifth) drop the friggin' change thanks to the way the doof behind the register was returning change.

It reminds me of the stupid craze going on at drive-thrus of handing the customer their drink WITH the straw on the side of the cup. That's annoying. Now customer and cashier must turn their hands a certain way to be able to grasp the cup and that straw. Put it in the bag! (I'm betting this one came from some suit at McDonald's that came up with the "solution" to straw control costs...a firm company policy that the straw must be served WITH the cup.)

For those who don't understand what I'm babbling about, do some "people watching" next time you're out, or even in the lobby of your theater and watch for little things like this. Customers are idiots, we all know this. It doesn't help when the cashier adds to it.

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Jack Ondracek
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Posts: 2348
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 08-06-2003 06:19 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The basic problem is fallout from the fact that our public schools are doing a lousy job of teaching math, and the teachers and administrators are too scared of the parents and lawyers to make anyone accountable (give a kid an F and see how fast you get sued!).

At on point in time, cash registers were not capable of calculating change. You actually had to think! 4 cents to $12.25, 3 quarters to $13, 2 ones to $15 & a five changed your twenty. It was/is a great system because you counted the change twice... once to yourself, again to the customer who then had some measure of confidence that the change was right. You almost always had a perfect till as a result. With change in hand first, the customer could look at it, pocket it, whatever... before the cash came (addressing Brad's gripe).

Today, you have to rely on the cashier's ability to enter the correct amount tendered, then hope he actually pulled out what the register told him to... no counting... no double-check... and no confidence when the whole pile is dumped in the customer's hand, and no clue where the system went wrong when the till comes up out of balance.

Counting change the old-fashioned way is policy here, and one of the first items we deal with when training cashiers. We don't show them how to enter cash tendered. If they've done it that way somewhere else, we insist the habit gets changed before they ever see a weekend shift. Checking up on math skills during the interview process is SOP.

It's tough though... a lot of those kids can't manage to get an order of burgers and fries from the computer to the sack.

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Brad Miller
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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 08-06-2003 06:23 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess I haven't really had much of a problem with getting incorrect change. My beef was with people who give me the bills first, then before I can possibly clear my hand dump the change on top.

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Will Kutler
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1506
From: Tucson, AZ, USA
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 08-06-2003 06:24 PM      Profile for Will Kutler   Email Will Kutler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Many years ago, people would actually have to count back change, and use what is between their ears to do simple math.

The standard practice of long ago was:

1) Customer hands cashier the money.
2) Cashier would count and lay the money across the register door, but out of customers reach. This just kept everyone honest and helped to prevent possible confusion.
3) Cashier would count back change, first the change and then the paper.
4) Then the cashier would deposite the money in the register, close the drawer and hand the customer a reciept.

Many cashiers today are really sad. I can even go into a bank where a machine counts out the money for the teller, who just plops it in my hand without counting it back!

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
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 - posted 08-06-2003 06:46 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I haven't worked too much retail, but the way I always did it was to give the customer back the 79 cents first, counting up from the balance and giving the bills last, on top of the change that's in the palm. I'd say "79 cents makes 13, (then I start giving them the bills) 14, 15, and 5 makes 20. Have a great day now get the hell out!" I don't count the individual coins back to the customer.

What I hate is when they put the bills on your hand, then the change on top, then the receipt on top of the change. I have stuff slippin' and slidin' everywhere.

I don't mind the straw on the side of the cup thing, just as long as I don't have to twist my hand around a certain way to secure the straw. I agree that the straws should go in the bag. That's what usually happens here so I don't have too much experience with the straw on the side of the cup routine, except at Dairy Queen when I get a Blizzard and nothing else... there is no bag to put the straw (actually spoon) into.

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Mike Blakesley
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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 08-06-2003 06:56 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To really screw up a cashier, go buy $12.05 worth of stuff....hand them a $20....wait until they type the "amt tendered" in ... then say "Wait, I have a nickel."

My favorite cashier story happened at our local grocery store. A guy bought stuff worth $3...handed the clerk a $5.00 bill, but she punched in $50 for amount tendered, and then proceeded to give the guy back $47 in change! True story!

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Jon Miller
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From: San Diego, CA, USA
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 - posted 08-06-2003 07:12 PM      Profile for Jon Miller   Email Jon Miller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Speaking of straws, the fast food industry could follow the technique Jamba Juice crews use...tear off all but about one inch of the wrapper, insert the straw, and present the drink to the customer. All the customer does is discard the wrapper "cap" and enjoy the drink. No juggling act, no lost straws. [Smile]

They do it in a way that appears second nature after a little practice and avoids getting their hands all over the unwrapped straw.

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Tim Reed
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From: Northampton, PA
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 - posted 08-06-2003 07:52 PM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Preach, brother! PREACH! And amen, Jack!

No one knows how to count change anymore. Most kids these days do it backwards (counting the cash they're actually putting in your hands, instead of the difference between the price and what you give them), and think they're doing it right!
[Mad]

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Steve Kraus
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 - posted 08-06-2003 08:28 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Back in a prior life I worked for a while as a bank teller. If the customer was getting some odd dollars and 95 or 99 cents back I NEVER asked them if they had a nickel or a penny to bring it up to an even dollar amount. I didn't mind at all if they offered one and I don't really mind being asked by a store clerk when I am the customer but when I was at the bank I figured I of all people should be able to make change without any hesitation or need to simplify.

(I also liked to provide them with different denominations so unless the customer specified otherwise for example a hundred dollars was always 3 twenties, 3 tens and 2 fives.)

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Carl Martin
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From: Oakland, CA, USA
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 - posted 08-06-2003 10:18 PM      Profile for Carl Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Carl Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
those who need to should count back change. i for one don't like to. it slows things down and involves unnecessary verbiage. whenever i have to say something mechanical like that i tend to flub it and stumble over my words. i have a degree in math and trust myself to get it right.

the change usually just goes on the counter. when a hand is offered, i think what i do is slide the coins off the bills into the hand, then put the bills on top. maybe i just want to believe that's what i do. i think there's a real temptation to try and put it all in the hand at once just so noone thinks anyone's getting cheated.

carl

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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From: Denver, Colorado
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 - posted 08-06-2003 11:45 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Carl, the reason for counting back change is not because someone has trouble with math or whatnot, but it's to prove to the customer that you are giving back the correct change. That way he can't come back and say that you gave him a $50 instead of a $20 or that you gave him incorrect change.

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Randy Stankey
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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
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 - posted 08-06-2003 11:57 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How about when you're going through a toll booth?

I always put the car in first gear and let the car idle through the gate. (Assuming I have found an empty or nearly empty lane.)

WAY before the toll plaza, I have gotten my change out. The ticket and exact change are held between the left finger and thumb (as if to make an "OK sign".)

Upon approaching the cashier, the window is powered down. The arm is extended FORWARD and outward as far as you can safely reach. The cashier will put his arm out. Step on the clutch and let the car coast. Use brake if needed. Match speed with your arm to his arm. Upon making contact, gently press the ticket and money into his waiting palm. (Keep matching speed.) Allow HIM to retract his arm first.

If you have done everything correctly it will take less than two seconds for the chashier to recognize that you have given exact change. (Even less if it's a flat fee.) The button is pressed and the light goes green. Off you go!

Essentially, to an onlooker it might appear that you gave the guy a "high five" and kept driving.

I HATE it when some dumb, fat ass has to stop the damn car just to pay a flat rate $1.25 toll! If people knew how to pay a toll without stopping the lines would go, literally, 5 times faster!

Another thing. Those new golden dollar coins are great for those flat rate $1.25 tolls! I kept a pile of them in my car just for the purpose.

I know... Easy Pass! I didn't go through tolls enough for it to be worth it. Besides, If more people knew how to pay toll without stopping there'd be less need for them!

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Bill Enos
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 - posted 08-07-2003 12:25 AM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I was servicing cash registers a small grocery chain had us program all their registers for mandatory change calculation. It resulted in overage & shortage amounts decreasing by about 80 percent.

An interesting thing I noticed where auto change dispensers were installed was that customers would almost always check change received from a cashier but rarely looked at change scooped from the machine tray, those machines make more mistakes than cashiers.

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William Leland III
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From: Charleston, SC,
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 - posted 08-07-2003 09:38 AM      Profile for William Leland III   Author's Homepage   Email William Leland III   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brad, I have pondered that same idea for years. Thank God, I thought this only pissed me off. Why do they insist putting change on top of our bills that need to be put in our wallet's first. It's common sense that people don't put change in their wallets.

What I do is look at the cashier, who wants me out of her line, put the change in my other hand, then put it in my pocket. Then the bills in my wallet. If there is a recite and if you are at grocery store it will be 15' long that goes in the bag. The people behind me at this time want me to leave and the cashier has eyed me twice. Hey, it's your fault your an idiot and don't think about the ten other movements I have to do because you don't think and relate to people.

quote:
4 cents to $12.25, 3 quarters to $13, 2 ones to $15 & a five changed your twenty
Jack, I have never heard of this. Can someone explain it, so I can program it in my TI-82. [Big Grin]

I hate, when a cashier counts back my change. They go to fast and I don't pay attention, if you listen to them it's like they are giving you back you money. I can do the math in my head and I watch them pull the money out of the drawer, so I know what I will be receiving.

Brad, what happened to the the women who ran into you?

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John Pytlak
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From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
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 - posted 08-07-2003 09:44 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 cents to $12.25, 3 quarters to $13, 2 ones to $15 & a five changed your twenty
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jack, I have never heard of this. Can someone explain it, so I can program it in my TI-82.

Jack gave an example of the mental process a cashier would use in giving change from a $20 bill for a $12.21 purchase.

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