Excuse me – what?!?

My husband and I ran a number of errands yesterday morning (as I understand many married couples do together on weekends), and among them was a visit to Auto Zone. Allow me to take a moment before beginning my rant that, for the most part, I like Auto Zone. They change my windshield wipers for me – for free – with the purchase of my replacement wipers. More than that, the last time I was there, the guy even showed me how to change them myself! I’ve had the car for almost 10 years. No one has ever shown me that.

The day before we left for our vacation, my rearview mirror mysteriously fell off the windshield. I’ve never experienced this before, but, with the constant Florida heat and humidity, I understand it’s not uncommon here. So, on our way to the airport, Chris and I went to Target and Home Depot and tried to find a way to reattach it – if not permanently, at least for the interim to get us to the airport and make it to the weekend following our return. And our temporary fix worked – it fell off again Friday afternoon on my way home.

So, there we were at Auto Zone, looking for the adhesive designed to reattach the rearview mirror. Once we found it, we stood in line for a while, and a cashier finally rang us up. The total, including tax, was $3.72. I handed her three $1-bills, 2 quarters, 2 dimes, and 2 pennies. I figured this was the most efficient means of presenting exact change. (It also happened to be the combination of change I had in my wallet.) She laid it all out on the counter, then looked up at me and said, “You still owe me 5 cents.” Hmm. I could have sworn she said $3.72, so I looked up at the register display, and sure enough, it read $3.72. Hmm. So, I counted the change for her. “Twenty-five,” I said, pointing to one quarter. “Fifty, sixty, seventy,” I continued pointing to the other quarter and each dime (one at a time – I didn’t want to confuse her). Finally she mumbled something about thinking I gave her something else and completed the transaction.

On our way to Costco, I asked my husband what coin combination I could have possibly given her that would be short 5 cents. I handed her 6 coins – was there a way to make 72 cents out of 7 coins? Sure – if I gave 2 quarters, 1 dime, 2 nickels, and 2 pennies. But if she thought that the dimes were really nickels, then she would have asked me for 10 more cents, not five.

The entire matter hurt my brain.

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