Yesteryear’s Memories: Store Etiquette

August 31, 2021

Recently I got a cheeseburger in a drive-through. I gave the young lady a ten and two shiny new pennies because the total was $5.02. I didn’t know what was to ensue.

First, she gave me a confused look, like, “What are you doing?”

Then, she punched something into the register. A furrow between her eyebrows started to form. Then she looked toward the manager. Then she peered at the register. She shifted from one foot to the other, then said, “Just a minute.”

I wanted to gently tell her how to handle the situation, but she had closed the window tight.

She got the manager over and she gave her some instructions and walked away. The furrow between her eyes got deeper and she pulled out her phone. I suppose she was using the calculator.

By this time, my cheeseburger was probably getting a bit cold. I was trying to be patient, and would be happy to fix things by giving her instruction or taking back my pennies. But now she was facing away from the window like I was a peeping Tom prying into her world. Finally, she gave an exasperated shrug, opened the window and gave me four ones, three quarters, two dimes, a nickel, and my original shiny pennies.
Remember when they actually counted your change back to you? You knew it was correct, they knew it was correct, and no calculator was needed. No subtraction. No math. Just simple counting. I guess those days are gone.
Back to the young lady at the window. I said “Thank you” for the burger. Instead of saying “Thanks for dining with us today,” she said, “You’re welcome”.
As I started to drive away I politely told her, “Here, these are your,” and handed her pennies back.
She put them in her pocket.

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