A Note on Education.

"How many have you got there?" she asked and all I could do was wonder.

There was a special on the kind of bottled water that my boss prefers, the exotic, twice-as-expensive-as-any-other-brand brand, but only the jumbo, liter-sized bottles. I was loading up to save myself two weeks' worth of trips.

I had set the bottles neatly on the conveyor in four rows of four, a perfect square of over-priced H2O and she asked how many there were. "Sixteen," I said after a moment.

She then proceeds to count the sixteen bottles, tapping a finger on each bottlecap. I'm not bothered by the idea that she didn't believe me. I'm bothered by the fact that she can't look at a collection of items that is clearly 4x4 and still need to count.

She plugged a one and a six into the cash register and scanned one of the bottles. The register beeped three times to tell her that I was over the limit for that promotion. I'm not normally the one to make a fuss but buying all this water now will save me a lot of time over then next half month or so. I ask if they can make an exception.

She calls the manager over and explains to him that I want to buy "more than the limit." Please note that she didn't give him an actual number.

"How many?" he asks, predictably.

She then proceeds to count each bottle by hand a second time. "Sixteen," she replies.

The manager then proceeds to count my bottles for a third time, also tapping a finger on each bottlecap as he does so. After a moment's though and without a word to me, he acquiesces, swipes his manager card and goes about his business.

Not to use colorful language here, but ex-fucking-scuse me? Am I the only person in line-of-site that finished the fourth grade?

We're talking about a perfect square, four bottles long and four bottles across. How does and adult that possesses the intellectual acuity needed to count out a cash drawer not know that?

Am I smarter than I realize and basic multiplication is, as most seven year olds will assert, really difficult? Or, am I a budding Lex Luthor who is, in fact, surrounded by imbeciles?

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Tom Harper said...

You could be the CEO of that supermarket :)

I've been seeing, and hearing about, more and more incidents just like that. One time I had three of the same item, and the cashier had to touch each item so she could count them.

Have you ever been in a checkout line when the electronic cash registers are down, and they have to add and subtract in their heads? Trust me, it's excruciating.

Tammy said...

Don't ask me about my foray into the Books'A'Million last night.

Let's just say, it wasn't pretty. I nearly made the 15 year old manager cry. I don't like being that way, but the 15 year old managers really bring out the worst in me.

nursemyra said...

It's the latter not the former Thomas