This is the first of what I hope is a weekly, or biweekly addition to the Anderson Files. Each week I will take on some matter. Sometimes it will be of some importance, other times not. It will be a grab bag, some odds and ends from my life. I can see this turning into a place for me to rant as well as a place to take stock of the world I live in. So here goes. I hope you enjoy.
I got off of work a few weeks ago around 9 pm. I needed a few things before I returned home. Unfortunately, there was no convenient place to secure these items between points A & B. So I made a small trip out of my way. No big deal. I went in to the Wal-Mart and hurriedly grabbed my 5 items. To my surprise and delight there was a cashier, an actual human being checking people out, and only one person in line. Fantastic!! I get in line, pleased at my progress. Then a hold up. Uh-oh!! The cashier had the drawer open, a vacant look on her face and she was waiting for a manager. I figured she did not have the appropriate change for the customer. No big deal. Then I heard her say that she needed a calculator. I thought she had to calculate the tax. Then the customer spoke up.
“Its $1.35. The total was $23.65 and I gave you $25.00.”
Are you freaking kidding me? The holdup is over simple arithmetic? This can’t be.
“I can’t do math lady. I’ll need a calculator to figure how much I owe you.”
I was stunned. First with the fact that simple addition and subtraction is the kind of thing you have to stop everything down for. But also for the flippant attitude of the employee. She looked at this simple math problem as something like Everest. Far beyond anything she may be capable of. Rather than attempt to figure it out she immediately threw her hands in the air and gave up. No damns were given whatsoever. Finally, somebody came over and they determined that, indeed, $1.35 was owed. I was chuckling.
“Is something funny?” the snotty cashier spouted.
Now I’m in the mood to play ball.
“Yep, I think its funny you cant do simple math. That’s something a 10 year old could figure out.”
“You are going to piss me off!!”
At this point I had paid with card and had my merchandise in hand.
“I really don’t care.”
I grabbed my items and walked off as she stormed off in the opposite direction.
Was I a jerk? I’ll admit, I’m guilty of that from time to time. Maybe even here. But when a grown ass person can’t do simple arithmetic and decides they aren’t even going to try, I get a bit pissy. You are going absolutely nowhere in this world without a few basic skills. The ability to give a shit is one of them. Arithmetic is another. Nobody is asking her to put a man on the moon or even find the collision point of 2 objects moving in opposite directions. This is simple shit!! Further, her rotten attitude further torked me. I understand she is a Wal-Mart employee. They probably don’t pay her enough to care. Still, I have to think that a little integrity would go a long way. How about exerting just a little bit of effort. Just because your pay isn’t what you think it should be does not mean you can just say screw it. Take a little bit of personal pride for crying out loud. I probably should have let it go. I’ll own that. Still, it was an interaction that still puzzles me. What kind of future does a person who can’t do simple math have. That’s a scary thought. My guess is she isn’t going to be moving up the corporate ladder anytime soon. Then again you never know.