Friday, April 15, 2011

Another College Graduate

My mother-in-law is a Hispanic American who speaks English with a Spanish accent. She is white-headed at 60-something. She is very protective over her money, always pays in cash, and always counts her change at the register because she has caught so many cashiers short-changing her. Well, she went to pay her cell phone bill at the local office. The bill came to $30.60. So, she handed the clerk one twenty dollar bill, one ten dollar bill, one quarter, 3 dimes, and one nickel. The cashier took one look at the coin change and demanded another nickel, "you owe another nickel; this is only 55 cents. My mother-in-law asked the clerk to recount. She put her finger on the quarter and counted, "twenty-five". Finger on one dime and counted "thirty-five". Finger on second dime "forty-five." Finger on third dime "fifty". Finger on the nickle, "fifty-five." Then she repeated, "You still owe 5 cents." My mother-in-law was baffled at the woman's error. The clerk grew impatient and told the crazy old tightwad to "Nevermind, I'll put another nickel in for you." So, my mother-in-law again insisted that she had already paid in full. The clerk pointed out that as a college graduate, she was certain that she was capable of counting down 60 cents in change. Finally, the clerk realized her own mistake and felt rather silly for having been so argumentative. I told my mother-in-law that if I had been there, I might have reminded her that you don't learn to count change in college, you learn it in 1st grade elementary school.

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