Thursday, November 26, 2009
Won't Miss #81 - cluelessness about reducing coin return
Before I ever set foot in Japan, I used to hear about how the Japanese were completely walloping Americans on math test scores. We were made to feel like our kids were hard-pressed to add 2 and 2 and come up with 4 while Japanese kids could do Calculus in seconds with the power of their mighty brains. After coming to Japan, let's say that I've been rather dissuaded from the notion that their math skills are incredibly superior. Part of this has been fueled by the inability for cashiers to grasp an extremely simple math concept. That is the idea of giving a certain amount of money to get back the fewest coins. For instance, if my purchase rings up to 702 yen, I will give 1,202 yen so that I can get back just one 500-yen coin. On multiple occasions, I've had the cashier dumbly try to return the extra money (in this case, the 202 yen). It's as if the notion of doing things this way simply cannot be computed.
I won't miss having to argue with cashiers about this simple notion in order to avoid getting back a pocketful of coins.