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May 2Tim McLellan

No Bills Over $20 Accepted

May 2Tim McLellan

How many times have you seen this sign posted in a store or restaurant?  Do you ever wonder what the real reason is for this sign?   You quickly say, of course I do.  The business wants to keep minimal amounts of cash in the till in case the place is robbed.  Or you might say that someone may come in with a counterfeit $50 or $100 bill.   I say you are all wrong.

The business has the sign posted because the business owner is nervous about what would happen if the employee had to give change for a $50 or $100 bill.   Most businesses can withstand a loss or $10 here and $5 there when making change for a $20.  But these errors quickly multiply when you have to make change for $50 or $100.

Have you ever handed someone a $20 bill for your purchase, have then ring up the sale, and say wait a minute, here is an additional $0.67 so don’t have to get any coins back?   Now the change amount is wrong on the cash register.  The employee now has a dazed look on their face, because they have to calculate the change amount in their head!  Usually I just tell them the correct amount and leave.  And the employee is thankful that they just dodged a bullet.

A couple of months ago, I was returning some left over material from a project at one of the large home improvement stores.  I was informed that there would be a 15% restocking fee on the three $35 boxes of flooring that I returned.  So I figured I would get a credit of about $90.  The employee handed me a credit for $60, and was shocked that I argued that the amount was wrong, because that was what the computer said.  I looked at the credit and she had entered the return against the wrong line item on the invoice.  Just an honest mistake.  In some cases of a transaction like this, I’m sure that the person on either side of the counter wouldn’t know if the amount was right or wrong.

My niece in 11th grade tells me that her math teacher returns all math tests with a failing grade back to the students with a fast food restaurant job application stapled to it. Would you like fries with that?

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