I just got home from the supermarket, where my total bill came to ₤27.82. I paid in cash, with a ₤20 note, a ₤10 note, a ₤1 coin, 2x50p coins, 4x20p coins, and a 2p coin, for ₤32.82 (to those reading, it should be obvious I was looking for a ₤5 note in change). The till clerk was a very nice young lady, probably a uni student–I watched her count out the money I gave her, at the same time noticing that she entered the total into the computer as exact change, rather than as ₤32.82 (so the computer wasn’t going to tell her what change was owed). When she went into her till to get my change, she took out 3x ₤1 coins (one of them probably the one I just gave her) and handed them to me. I looked at the coins for a moment, then said, ‘Oh, sorry, I gave you ₤32.82.’ She said, ‘That’s right, you did.’ She took back the change, reopened her till, as I was saying, ‘So it should be ₤5 change.’ She said, ‘Do you want it in 1s or two 2 pound coins?’ I was a bit confused, but then figured she didn’t have any ₤5 notes. So I said I didn’t care. She then gave me 2x₤2 coins for ₤4 change total. Then I did see the corner of a ₤5 note in her till. I stood there for a moment, trying to decide if I wanted to go over the amount I’d given her again (I could have gone by denomination, as I did above), trying to persuade her that I was due ₤5 and that that was what I was after all along–why would I have given her single pounds for single pounds back? Anyway, there was someone in the queue behind me, and as it was obvious she didn’t actually remember what she’d counted out (or hear what I said–having been in the cashiering business for a long time, I told the amount I was paying *as I put it in her hand* at the beginning), I figured that ₤1 wasn’t worth stressing her out, or seeming to make a stink. So, Mr. Sainsbury, that extra ₤ is on me, because I didn’t want to look like a jerk! Next time I’ll try an older clerk–as folk grouse all the time, these kids don’t know how to think in terms of making change! (all that said, she was very pleasant and polite)

# Vignette on Young Cashiers

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