Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And Now, a Lesson in Math

So today, having slept in and dilly-dallied to the point where I didn't have time to pack my lunch, I had to go out to grab a bite to eat. So, at around 12:30, I trecked out into the heat to go to the nearby Subway two doors down. I ordered a sandwich combo and paid for my meal. As I started to walk away, I realized the woman hadn't given me my cup, so I asked for one.

Her: "Oh, that's for the combo."

Me: "Yes, that's what I ordered."

Her: "Oh. I guess I'm going to have to ring you up again."

(Now, personally, if this were me behind the counter, I would have just forked over a cup. I mean, it was my mistake, so I would be willing to pay for it, but I won't complain. I allow the woman behind the counter to ring me up again.)

Her: "Now, I charged you $5.53 for your sandwich and cookies, and the combo is...let's see....$6.60

Now, when she tells me this, I reach into my purse for my $1.07 to pay the difference.

Her (continued, pulling out an old receipt to do the math): Let me think here... I'll have to subtract it from this... (??) So, so that's....that's...that's...$1.10.

Now, I will admit, that I am not the world's greatest mathematician. I failed my high school trig exam (although I will contend to this day that it was because the teacher tested us on things he said wouldn't be on the test, and then accused us of not studying), and it takes me half a morning just to balance my checkbook, but this is pretty fundamental, even for the numerically challenged, like me. And while I will also admit that it was obvious that this woman behind the counter had a primary language other than English, I've never known numbers to change just because you don't speak the language your patron is speaking as fluently as she/he does. I mean, that's one of the beauties of math. Numbers don't change. 6 minus 5 is one. It has always been one, and it will always be one. 60 minus 53 is seven. It has always been seven, and it will always be seven. Therefor, 6.60 minus 5.53 is 1.07. It's really not that hard. It has always been that way, and it will always continue to be that way. And while I'm not one to begrudge anyone three cents, it's still three cents that I'd rather not part with (and besides, if she had been the one short, she would have demanded that I fork over the three pennies)

Me (slapping the extra $1.07 down on the counter): Actually, it's $1.07.

Her (a bewildered look on her face): It is? (a pause) I guess maybe it is....

Sigh. Some people. Incidentally, if you're interested in some additional math humor, please check out the link below.

http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2007/06/27/the_way_things_are.html

1 comment:

strlight said...

Ha! I enjoyed reading your blogs! The bunny hop video was soooo educational - who knew how high those buggers could go!!